Billick thinks McDaniels forced the issue in Denver

As we all try to figure out what happened to get Josh McDaniels fired in Denver on Monday, a guy who knows a thing or two about getting fired has offered up a theory that strikes us as being right on the money.

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick tells Dan Patrick that McDaniels possibly asked for clarification regarding his future, after last week’s clumsy episode regarding the question of whether he’ll be back in 2011.

“My guess is that he may have gone in and said, ‘Look, if you want me to finish this thing out with these guys, if you want to do anything at all this last month, you’ve got to be definitive and say I’m coming back.  It’s the only way I can hold these guys together,'” Billick said.  “I imagine management said, ‘Well, we’re not ready to do that.’  And it might have got to the ‘F you’ part of it, and [he] said, ‘OK, I’m out of here’ or ‘you’ve got to let me go.’  It feels like that, I have no idea if it went down that way at all.”

We think Billick’s instincts are accurate.  McDaniels surely was bothered by the vote of confidence that owner Pat Bowlen provided verbally, hours before taking it away in writing.  And for everything to fall apart so quickly, at a time when it appeared that the Broncos would wait until the end of the season to make any decision, there had to be a catalyst — and it makes sense that the catalyst may have been the head coach trying to gain clarity regarding the situation.

The good news?  Josh got his clarity.

18 responses to “Billick thinks McDaniels forced the issue in Denver

  1. I don’t think he was looking for clarity – I think, rather, he was looking to get his ####, I mean, ego stroked and stomped his feet when Joshy-pooh didn’t get a wahwy-pop.

  2. How in the world could anybody think this is what happened? This “theory” is coming from a former coach who has been sniffing around every possible head coaching vacancy like a dog on a fire hydrant?

    1) A 3-9 coach doesn’t march into the boss’ office and throw down an ultimatum. He hides from the boss and avoids making eye contact in hopes that he can cling to his job for at least another year.

    2) There are only 32 NFL Head Coaching jobs in the entire universe and RARELY does a coach leave of his own volition. Cowher did it but I can’t think of too many more. Holmgren was on shaky ground and would probably have been fired if he hand’t agreed to step down and hand things over to Mora. Gruden and Shanahan were outright fired. Gibbs was more or less forced out, etc.

    Whisenhunt wanted to wait on the Falcon Head Coach job until he heard from the Steelers but when the Falcons hired Smith Whisenhunt took the Cards offer in a nanosecond.

    NFL Head Coaching jobs are a BIG DEAL and a second year coach with a crap record doesn’t have a lot of leverage.

    It does boggle the mind how Mangini got hired in Cleveland just days – it seemed – after he was fired by the Jets.

  3. Denver is a dumb effing organization.
    They should’ve just kept the rat now they are paying two coaches to not work for them.

  4. “As we all try to figure out what happened to get Josh McDaniels fired in Denver on Monday…”

    What’s there to “figure out?”

    From the time he took the job he commenced on an elongated campaign to make the franchise a mess, from alienating Cutler to over-spending on aging players, all the way through to Spygate II.

    Were it not for that 6 – 0 start last year, his tenure as Bronco’s coach would be even easier see for the unequivocal failure that it truly was.

  5. I still think that Billick was a very underrated coach. He won as many SB’s as Gruden, Holmgren, and Cowher and did it much faster. Granted he was not the offensive genius he was made out to be, but he was an outstanding organizer, a great motivator and the players really liked playing for him because he treated them like men. (that is until it was over and they threw him under the bus.)

    i think he would be the perfect coach for the Cowboys or Vikings. I would like to see the guy get another shot.

  6. His forcing the issue might have saved his job also. I remember at an engineering firm there was rumors that a certain employee would be laid off in a few weeks when his current project would end. When he heard the rumor, he confronted management and demanded to know if it was true. Put on the spot, management assured the employee they had no intention of laying him off. He lasted for almost another year.

  7. citizenstrange is dead on. Billick was allegedly begging for the Bills job and he has his agent call just about every team in trouble all the time. Allegedly.

  8. Mike Florio opines:

    “…a guy who knows a thing or two about getting fired has offered up a theory that strikes us as being right on the money.”

    Asking Billick explain McDaniels’ firing is akin to asking a random schizophrenic about someone else’s psychosis… simply because they share mental disorders.

    Billick is (happily) out of the game. Leave him there, please. No good can come out of resurrecting him… even to ask for an opinion.

  9. Whether its true or not, it was a very entertaining read on the situation.

    People who have never been in such a high profile leadership positions won’t see the relevance of Billicks statements. They think too small and don’t understand the concept of continuance and leadership relevence through crisis.

    I’m betting it’s closer to truth than fiction.

  10. Say what you want about Billick, but I think his assessment is correct. McDaniels is arrogant and likely would not hide from the boss and avoid making eye contact. He would probably do just as Billick suggested. He has a contract and, after that comment from management, would probably not fear being fired “for cause” and lose his money. He had a shot to get some power and respect back from within the organization and it did not work out for him. He forced their hand and got canned in the process. Why drag it out?

  11. ArtModellsPimp says:

    “Billick is (happily) out of the game. Leave him there, please. No good can come out of resurrecting him… even to ask for an opinion.”

    He is out of the game, but he’s not happy about it, by a long stretch. His name has been linked to every coaching opening since he’s been fired, but not linked by the teams. He’s practically been begging to get hired as a HC somewhere.

  12. It was once reported that Bill Belichick gave Josh McDaniels a five-page, typed report on being an effective coach and building a winning organization. If team building was part of that report, then McDaniels obviously didn’t get the memo, so to speak.

    How does McDaniels reportedly ripping the coaching staff in front of the Broncos owner after the loss to the Raiders build team cohesion? How does McDaniels reportedly threatening the jobs of coaches who repeated his “Spygate 1” comments (which amounted to throwing his former team and mentor under the bus) foster loyalty and build team spirit?

    That’s not how you build a team. That’s how you break one apart. In my view, the Broncos’ decision to release McDaniels was appropriate.

  13. “Billick thinks McDaniels forced the issue in Denver”

    So you mean he pulled a “Cutler”?

    Ah, sweet ironic justice.

    Except one big difference: Cutler had a moral justification on his side.

    By the way–wasn’t Champ Bailey one of the guys that gave Cutler grief for bailing on the team?

    And wasn’t Champ one of the same guys that had a major run-in with McDan-yells during practice a few days ago?

    Bowlen: McDan-yells’ job is safe.
    Bowlen (a few days later): McDan-yells is fired.

    Think of what’s been lost:

    Cutler (and to a lesser extent, Marshall, I think) saw the iceburg on the horizon–once the owner lied to him, once he got a sense of McDaniels’ character (or lack of it), the arrogance, the treatment of players, the all-around dishonesty taking place in the franchise, he KNEW it was doomed from the start, and that it was time to get out of there.

    I think lost in all the coverage of this drama is the one simple fact that Cutler was RIGHT.

  14. I really wanted him to stick around so I could see the whole Tebow mess unfold before the Broncos come to their senses ans dump this over hyped fool.

  15. um, did anyone else notice that billick ripped this idea DIRECTLY off what his partner on the NFL Network Coaches’ Show, Jim Mora said? He was literally sitting right next to him last night when Mora said the exact same thing, using almost the same wording. Check the tape for a stunning example of plagiarism.

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