They Fired The Wrong Guy
By Joe Medina
Well, Broncos fans, our season is over. Mathematically speaking, there is no way our beloved team can make the playoffs, and with only four games to go, I suspect the only bright spot to our year now is waiting to see if Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd get the respect they deserve by going to Hawaii.
One particularly alarming thing to me is the timing surrounding Josh McDaniels’ termination. Even more than the timing, I am very confused and jaded about WHY he was let go. COO Joe Ellis mentioned earlier this week that they unfairly put too much control and responsibility on the rookie head coach. While I originally interpreted that as exec-speak for “We made a huge mistake hiring this guy,” I’ve meditated on it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Josh McDaniels was not the problem here. This team will lose the next 17 out of 22 games regardless of who wears the headsets on Sunday.
My logic to this is relatively simple. The Denver Broncos have been a mediocre to bad team for the better part of five years now. Since the 2005 season, when the team seemingly caught lightning in a bottle, there has been nothing really good since. Even before ’05, which I am calling a fluke season at this point, the team was bad. Mike Shanahan did the Broncos no favors in his last years here. For every Eddie Royal he drafted, he signed three free agent busts to huge money, and also drafted at least two losers. For every one star, there’s been a multitude of garbage money spent on players who didn’t produce. Oh, hello, Jarvis Moss.
The issues with the team go much further than even McDaniels reach went. I’m saying that Pat Bowlen and Joe Ellis have earned themselves the liability of being criticized and questioned just as much, if not more than Josh McDaniels ever was. This team has had issues, deep seated issues that will not go away in 22 months, which is exactly how long Josh McDaniels was here for.
Some of you might question my fandom to call out Bowlen, but I argue the point that McDaniels was fired 2 years and 2 months too early. That’s not okay with me. Did he make questionable moves? Yes, he did. Every head coach does. Every manager/leader of men makes mistakes and miscalculations, and it is extremely unfair for anyone to pin that exclusively on Josh McDaniels. I will follow his career, and I will always cheer for his success, because I like him as a person. I admire his ethics, moral compass and ability to manage decisions. If you don’t think Josh McDaniels had the make up to be a great head coach, it’s my opinion that you aren’t looking at the whole equation. You can’t get to point C without getting through A and B first. McDaniels never got that chance here, and the next team he leads will see successes we wish we had. For now, we’re the Denver Broncos, a middle of the road team posing as a good one until the good ones knock us off our rocker in destructive fashion.
I still love this team, and my heart pumps orange and blue, but my emotional attachment to the Broncos is done for now. I’ll watch the team, and I’m definitely pulling for Coach Studesville to be successful. I’m not the angry ex that hates the new guy replacing the old guy that I loved. I’m not a Shana-fan. I can love the team but disagree with the management at the top, which is exactly how I feel. Sooner rather than later, Broncos fans will see the most dysfunctional part of our team sits in the big chairs at Dove Valley, not in the head coach’s office.
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