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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

DJ Williams talks about Broncos’ cheating under Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels was fired by the Denver Broncos back in 2010 almost immediately after a videotaping scandal, though he claimed he had no knowledge of the violation. One of his former players does not seem to think that was true.

DJ Williams, who played linebacker for the Broncos from 2004-2012, reflected on McDaniels’ tenure as head coach in Denver during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast this week. He recalled how McDaniels was fined after an assistant was caught filming a San Francisco 49ers’ walkthrough in London in 2010. Williams said Broncos players realized at that point that the only reason they had a good stretch under McDaniels was because they were cheating.

“We end up losing to San Francisco. We’re supposed to beat San Francisco. Here’s what happened — our film guy got caught because we had to share a stadium,” Williams said. “He got caught filming their practice. … Josh tried to say that the film guy, who he grew up with, I had (no idea). I believe we started out 6-0 and ended up 8-8.

“After that Junior Spygate happens, we lose six out of eight games. I bulls— you not, once that losing streak happened, we (were) having breakfast and were like, ‘Damn, I knew we (weren’t) that good, bro.’ We (were) cheating!”

The breakfast Williams described may have actually happened, but his timeline seems off. The Broncos started out 6-0 and then finished 8-8 in McDaniels’ first season with the team. The videotaping incident was the following season, and Denver was 3-7 at the time.

If Williams is saying the Broncos cheated right up until they were caught in London, he’s forgetting about a lot of games they lost while videotaping. Of course, it’s a big assumption to say they were videotaping opponents the entire time. There was no proof of that.

McDaniels was fined for not reporting the violation. He claimed the videographer acted on his own.

The Broncos quickly turned into a mess under McDaniels for a number of reasons. The “cheating” that Williams described may have had something to do with why an opposing coach was so irate with McDaniels during a postgame handshake.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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