NY Jets: Robert Saleh’s newest coaching hire has connections to Spygate

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets have added one more coach to new head coach Robert Saleh’s initial staff. And this latest hire comes with an interesting background.

As reported by Brian Costello of the NY Post, the Jets have hired Steve Scarnecchia to be Saleh’s chief of staff, a position in which he’ll work closely with the former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator.

Scarnecchia is the son of legendary New England Patriots offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia, but is perhaps better known for his part in the infamous Spygate scandal.

Both infamous Spygate scandals.

Scarnecchia was a member of the Patriots’ video department from 2001 to 2004 and was implicated by the NFL for his part in the original Spygate scandal. A few years later, he’d take center stage in the newest Spygate scandal.

Under head coach Josh McDaniels, Scarnecchia was fired by the Denver Broncos after filming a walkthrough practice of the San Francisco 49ers a day before the two teams were set to play.

Scarnecchia was fired while McDaniels, who he worked with in New England, was fined $50,000 for not bringing the incident to the attention of the NFL sooner. After his firing, he kept somewhat of a low profile.

Steve Scarnecchia kept a low profile before being hired by the NY Jets

He worked for Syracuse as the team’s video coordinator in 2011 before receiving a promotion to director of operations in 2013. Scarnecchia would return to the NFL in 2015 when he was hired by the Atlanta Falcons.

And for the past six seasons, Scarnecchia has served as the Falcons’ assistant head coach under now-former head coach Dan Quinn. According to the Falcons’ media guide, Scarnecchia was responsible for the following.

“Scarnecchia is responsible for coordinating the Falcons meeting and practice schedules and football calendar, managing the football budget and orchestration of team and staff events as well as providing administrative assistants to the coaching and operations staff.”

This is actually Scarnecchia’s second stint with the Jets’ organization as he was the team’s director of multimedia and production from 2006 to 2008. Ironically enough, it was during his first stint with the Jets that the original Spygate scandal took place.

Scarnecchia is one of a number of coaches on the Jets’ coaching staff with ties to the Falcons which might explain his hire. Most notably, defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich had been with Atlanta since 2015.

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The chief of staff position is a new position on the Jets’ coaching staff and it’s expected that Scarnecchia will work closely with Saleh.