Top 20 Josh McDaniels disasters: Anatomy of a Denver Broncos coaching failure
In yesterday's list of the top ten ways Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Denver Broncos, our number-one choice noted that rather than confronting players over the team's 59-14 pasting by the hated Raiders, he went into "a private shell of misery -- precisely the wrong thing to do under the circumstances." Far preferable would have been for him to repeat last year's f-bomb performance than to meekly accept defeat...
In stark contrast to the passion he displayed last year, he seemed like a robot wiped clean of all emotion by the pounding delivered by the Raiders -- and his lack of interest sends a message to the rest of the team that they don't need to care, either. No wonder so many fans fear that Sunday's debacle will set the tenor for the rest of the season. (October 26, 2010)
During the first half of the game in particular, the Broncos' play-calling was as creative as a photocopy of a blank page. The result: One stalled drive after another and a goose egg on the scoreboard. And while McDaniels loosened the shackles on signal-caller Kyle Orton to some degree after the break, he continues to make poor use of Tim Tebow, who nearly half of America would like to see as the Broncos' starting QB. Yes, he did score one of the outfit's two touchdowns -- but he did it running, as usual. Who does Tebow have to blow to be permitted to throw an actual pass? (November 1, 2010)
Why didn't McDaniels and company throw alleged video rogue Scarnecchia under the team bus right away, instead of waiting well over a week to self-report? Hard to say at this point. But McDaniels should have known better, having personally witnessed the bad publicity garnered by the New England Patriots -- his former team, and Scarnecchia's -- after personnel improperly videoed New York Jets signals back in 2007.
The bad PR from this incident remains the worst blemish on Bill Belichick's New England coaching career. So of course, McDaniels, who continues to blatantly mimic Big Bill, has found a way to imitate this disaster, too, but in even more mortifying fashion.
Locals who continue to insist that McDaniels deserves at least one more year to show what he can do at the Broncos' helm will have an even harder time making that argument now. He's managed to turn a much-lauded franchise into a league-wide joke faster than anyone could have calculated. Should he be allowed to compound the misery? Let's look at the videotape... (November 28, 2010)
During CBS' pregame show yesterday, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher and onetime Bengals great Boomer Esiason debated the fines imposed on McDaniels and the Broncos over the video incident, with both drawing a bead on McD. Cowher seemed legitimately angry -- he declared that the penalties were too mild and argued for Denver to lose draft picks -- while Esiason said the combination of the latest scandal with the loss of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and Peyton Hillis (who scored another three touchdowns yesterday) show some serious flaws in McDaniels' decision-making.
Damn straight. Mike Shanahan was fired mainly because of a lousy defense and poor personnel choices. And McDaniels? His talent evaluation is even worse than his predecessor's, the defense is still ultra-mediocre, and if the offense is now at about the level it was when he took over the team, he fixed what wasn't broken, leading to unnecessary turmoil and a whole lot of losses.
Why is this man still the Broncos' coach? Expect to hear that question frequently for the remainder of the season. (November 29, 2010)
Fortunately, the decision to bring the hammer down now rather than wait until season's end for appearance's sake was the right one. Over the course of a month, even observers who'd been certain McD would be given a third season to prove himself were backtracking -- so why wait to do the deed?
Now, fans have a reason to pay attention to the rest of a lost season, not to mention some hope for the future. (December 6, 2010)
More from our Media archive -- the January 13, 2009 post "The Josh McDaniels coverage thus far: fawning, with a dash of worshipfulness."