Just when we thought the big news of the day was Joe Mays and Dan Gronkowski going on IR, the Broncos gave us a buck-to-the-head reality check.
Josh McDaniels got kicked to the curb. He didn’t need a lot of time to pack up his locker office because I’m sure he knew that what came today was merely a stone’s throw away.
You know how an unusually high number of breakups happen after the holiday season is over? Well, I thought that would be the case with the Broncos. No one wants to hurt or be hurt right in the middle of all of the action.
I thought that owner Pat Bowlen would wait until the season was over to make a move. Maybe he noticed Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys jump to a 4-8 record after a 1-7 start under Wade Phillips. Maybe Bowlen knew that hope in Denver was dwindling. Maybe he knew that the Broncos didn’t seem motivated to win for their coach. Maybe he realized that the video scandal was tarnishing the Broncos’ reputation. Maybe he saw that there was a bad bud, and didn’t want it to kill the whole plant.
Whatever prompted Bowlen to make the move now doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that now we see that he is truly invested in the Broncos’ future and their fan base.
After all, NFL does stand for Not For Long. That doesn’t just apply to players.
McDaniels will find another coaching job, just not as a head coach for some time. He’s a great offensive mind that has done wonders with Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, and now Kyle Orton. That was the thing about it. Like a one-dimensional team, a one-dimensional head coach is not going to have enough overall success to keep his job.
You can add McDaniels to the growing list of Bill Belichick disciples that have not made it as a head coach. Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, and even Eric Mangini (all one-time assistants under Belichick) have had more downs than ups as a head coach. That doesn’t mean that they can’t coach. Crennel and Weis are doing wonders with the Chiefs as defensive and offensive coordinator, respectively. After a rocky start with the Jets, Mangini has the Browns going in the right direction.
The point being is that McDaniels will find work. He’s got too much offensive brainpower not to.
While many people see this as a good move for the Broncos, we need to remember that a man just lost his job. It may not be so much a hit to the wallet, but it is a hit to his ego and self-esteem.
While covering the Broncos at training camp this past summer, I noticed that McDaniels was continuously humble and gracious. He was always respectful of the media and their questions. Many coaches develop a chip on their shoulder up at the podium, but McDaniels was smiles and no attitude. He made covering the team more pleasing than many other coaches would have, so for that, I tip my orange and blue hat.
The Broncos will decide on an interim head coach very soon, but must go through the league mandated rule of interviewing multiple candidates for the job. Now the Broncos will be paying three head coaches since they are still paying Mike Shanahan and will continue to pay McDaniels.
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