Mike Nolan’s exit from Denver to Miami to take another defensive coordinator job was one of the more surprising coaching moves of the offseason.
We didn’t get much explanation from either side about the mutual parting, but a handful of players told the Denver Post they know when the beginning of the end started for Nolan in Denver.
It was Week Fourteen, and the 8-4 Broncos traveled to Indianapolis. Peyton Manning staked the Colts to a 21-0 lead in three possessions, and coach Josh McDaniels reportedly wasn’t pleased with Nolan’s run-blitz calls.
“The hostile way McDaniels handled that
communication breakdown was not well-received by Nolan,” Mike Klis writes.
(I remember the game well. The Broncos cut the lead to 21-16 during the fourth quarter.)
Perhaps Nolan was too accustomed to being the alpha dog after a stint as the 49ers head coach. Still, it’s surprising that a coach so used to barking at players wouldn’t accept a little in-game tongue-lashing from his boss.