During a tumultuous 2009 offseason, the Denver Broncos fired coach Mike Shanahan, replaced him with Josh McDaniels, and traded away quarterback Jay Cutler. With Shanahan now coaching the Redskins and Cutler heading into his second season with the Bears, McDaniels may want to keep an eye on the out of town scores from Washington and Chicago.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post writes that given Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s mindset, McDaniels’ job should be safe into 2011 even if the Broncos again miss the playoffs in 2010. But one situation could put McDaniels on the hot seat this year: The Broncos having a losing record while the Redskins and Bears make the playoffs.
The thinking is that Bowlen had a gut feeling it was time to make big changes last year, and if he sees the people he sent packing doing better than his own team, his gut may tell him it’s time to make another change. It may not be fair to judge McDaniels based on things that happen beyond his control in D.C. and Chicago, but life isn’t always fair to NFL coaches.
So while McDaniels will be concerned mostly with his own team making the AFC playoffs this year, he may be keeping an eye on the NFC playoff race as well.