This is the only thing I really want to see as a Bronco fan come morning. I am shocked and appalled at what has become of my Broncos. We aren’t a legitimate NFL team; We aren’t even competitive in on of the weakest divisions in football. I just ask that all the faithful Bronco constituents hold faith just a while longer, because change is coming. Owner Pat Bowlen can’t continue to sit on the sidelines and watch the Broncos bleed to death. This is a results driven league and hopefully Bowlen will look past the smooth fast talk of the Josh McDaniels’ project this season.
Our defense is close to last in the league in almost every key area. Fans are supposed to take heart in our potent offense, but our offense is pointless. Our offense is one dimensional and ineffective against mediocre teams. It is a tough pill to swallow, but honesty is the best policy. At least 60% of our “potent offense” is meaningless yards. I am not a rocket scientist but even I understand a team that is losing like we have almost every week will throw the ball more. That is the only way you can get back into a game. McDaniels can coach an offense but not a team.
Since McDaniels got on board all I have heard about is the 6-0 start. “If we can just get back to that style of football” is something I dread hearing now. I would compare McDaniels to a blind squirrel, even the blind fuzzy tailed squirrel can get lucky and find an acorn now and again. The NFL is a results driven league, as other coaches have found out recently. This week brought the firing of Brad Childress, and last week it was Wade Phillips receiving his pink slip. What do both of these coaches have in common? While with their last teams, they boast an overall winning record. Phillips went 34-20 and coached his team to the playoffs twice in four years. Childress went 39-35 with two divisions titles and two playoff appearances in five years. Both of these coaches took their teams to the playoffs, both of them had proven they could coach winning teams. How does McDaniels compare? He has coached an amazing aforementioned 6-0 start last season and since then has gone a meager 5-14. McDaniels’ only claim to fame is his two records, one a team record and the other a long time NFL record. He owns the worse loss in Bronco history when the divisional rivals (Oakland Raiders) came and destroyed the Broncos 59-14. The NFL record I mentioned is no better- only once in NFL history has a team led the division the entire season until the last game and not gone to the playoffs. That record stems from the Broncos going 2-8 in the final 10 games of last season, needing just one win in the final three weeks to seal a playoff berth.
The Broncos made a mistake. This isn’t something new. Over the last two years the Broncos have been riddled with mistakes. However the mistake I am referencing is the hiring of Josh McDaniels. Young Josh rode in on the white horse out of New England and was supposed to bring the magic with him. What transpired, however, was more riding the wave that Mike Shanahan left. Look at it objectfully. The Broncos haven’t put together a string of wins since that fantastic 6-0 start of last season. Is it possible that the Broncos had momentum left over from the Shanahan era? This writer believes so.
Josh McDaniels can’t evaluate talent. I have said it before and I will say it again. When he coached as an assistant in New England he didn’t have to. His job was to progress players already evaluated. People wonder what it is about New England that makes them so good and it is simply that. THEY EVALUATE TALENT.
I would bet my left arm that coach Bill Belichek wouldn’t have traded Peyton Hillis, and if for whatever reason he did, he would have moved forward from the trade not backwards. Josh allowed Hillis, along with a draft pick, to be traded to get Brady Quinn. Not a good decision if he knew, and I believe he did, at that point know that he was going to draft Tim Tebow. Again, not a good evaluation of a player’s ability. Quinn brings nothing to the table for the Broncos, or any team for that matter. At best, he is a career back up in this league, and has done nothing for the Broncos. Hillis, however, has more rushing yards then the entire Broncos roster combined, all that before you toss in the fact he has hauled in 40 receptions and crossed into pay dirt 10 times this season. That by my count is just 7 less then Kyle Orton has thrown this whole season. Tim Tebow is still an unknown in this league. He has shown that he can be productive when allowed on the field, but not enough for me to label him as a good evaluation of a player’s ability. Alphonso Smith is currently tied for 4th in the NFL in interceptions, a pretty key statistic. The Broncos acquired Dan Gronkowksi from Detroit in exchange for Alphonso Smith back on September 4th of this year. Since the trade, Smith has produced for his team, not only by getting 5 picks in 6 games, but by offering solid nickelback coverage, and when afforded the opportunity, good coverage in the starting lineup. Gronkowski, however, hasn’t produced at all.
Again on the shakedown, we lost on evaluating talent. Some teams lose star players, it happens. Players get tired of losing, or egos clash. The difference between those teams and the Broncos is when the split is inevitable, they try to get the most out of their players. We, on the other hand, will give up a great player just to make headlines in the news. Someone should tell Coach McDaniels that being the head coach isn’t a popularity contest. No amount of smooth talking will get you out of this one coach, you made this bed and you are forcing all of the fans to lay in it with you.
McDaniels needs to go. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, can this end any other way? I see only two alternatives, and both are pure fantasy. Josh begins to accurately evaluate talent and win games, or he realizes he doesn’t have the talent to be a head coach and resigns. Neither will happen.
I will leave you with the last bit of hope for the Broncos that I can see. I do foretell a firing of our coach before the season is up. I see Don “Wink” Martindale serving as an interim coach, until next season. I see us continuing to be the most inconsistent team in the NFL. Lastly, and it will be worth the wait, I see owner Pat Bowlen aggressively trying to convince either Jon Gruden, or hopefully Bill Cowher, to be the next Broncos’ head coach.
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