McDaniels could keep his job, lose his power

Last week, the Broncos sent conflicting messages as to the question of whether coach Josh McDaniels will be back in 2011.  Initially, owner Pat Bowlen told that, yes, McDaniels will return.  Not long thereafter, the team issued a written statement from Bowlen that was much more equivocal.

If McDaniels returns, there’s growing talk that he’ll do so either with G.M. Brian Xanders calling the shots when it comes to personnel moves, or alternatively with the team hiring someone from outside the organization to work with Xanders.

From the team’s perspective, such talk is premature.  “We have not made any decisions of that nature regarding the 2011 season.” Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth told PFT via e-mail on Saturday.

If a decision to keep McDaniels but strip him of personnel authority ultimately is made, it would make plenty of sense.  Although, technically, McDaniels and Xanders currently are expected to reach a consensus as to all moves, the widespread belief is that McDaniels runs the show.  And if McDaniels indeed runs the show from a personnel perspective, he’s not running it very well.

From trading Jay Cutler to trading a first-round pick from the Cutler trade in order to draft cornerback Alphonso Smith, who then was traded to the Lions for nothing, to trading Brandon Marshall to perhaps the biggest affront of them all — sending running back Peyton Hillis plus a couple of late-round picks to Cleveland for quarterback Brady Quinn — the personnel moves in Denver over the past couple of years have not been good ones.

Though many Broncos fans are hoping for McDaniels to lose not only his personnel authority but also his job, revamping the player-acquisition function could be the middle ground that allows McDaniels to keep his title, even if he loses much of his juice.

19 responses to “McDaniels could keep his job, lose his power

  1. If McDaniels is still employed by the organization then shame on Bowlen and Ellis. Xanders sucks. McDaniels can’t evaluate talent (or accept that talent exists outside himself).


  2. This would be a really good decision, just not with Xanders as the GM. McDaniels is a great coach, not so great at personnel decisions. I’m not even talking about Cutler, Phonzo, Marshall, etc. I’m talking about the fact that the defensive line is archaic, and when Doom went down to rest of the linebacking corp did too.

    I really hope this happens, and I won’t be believing anything Patrick Smyth says.

  3. The Cutler and Marshall trades were both good moves. I would implore the commenters on this board which they would rather have: Cutler or Orton and two first round picks. Marshall (and his $50 million) or 2 second round picks. I think the answer to both is obvious. Especially if you throw in the fact that neither guy wanted to be a Denver Bronco. Now what they do/did with the picks remains to be seen (you need at LEAST 3 seasons to evaluate any draft). Also, the first-round pick they traded for Smith was their own, not the Bears.

  4. For the sake of all of the AFC West, let’s hope he keeps his job in Denver. He is the fan’s best friend in Oakland, SD and KANSAS CITY.

  5. Keeping him and taking away personnel power would be akin to giving someone suffering from cancer a cortisone shot.

    The cancer has to be eradicated for there to be a quality future.

  6. A week later, it is very clear that the NFL has succeeded in sweeping Spygate II under a very lumpy rug. Neither the media, not any NFL owners, General Managers, Head Coaches, or other players are picking up the outcry of the Bronco’s having gotten away with a far more egregious violation than either New England, the Jets, or any other team accused of cheating with video in the past.

    The Donks didn’t film opposing coaches signals (legal) from a newly-outlawed location, as the Patriots did, they instead ADMITTED (before they were ratted out, obviously) to having broken a very clearly outlawed practice of video-taping an opponents walk-through, something the Patriots were only falsely accused of doing. A much more serious offense, and a far greater advantage. And they did so with a video expert they brought in knowing that he had been part of controversy in two previous employments.

    The Bronco’s have gotten away with a much worse violation, for mere pennies on the dollar; New England was hit with a $250,000 fine and the loss of a first round pick, Bellichick himself was hit with a $500,000 fine, a total of $750,000 plus the pick. The Bronco’s – for having a much more serious breach of ethics, from a coach who clearly should have known better – get away with a mere $50,000 fine each for the team and the coach – $100,000 combined – and no lost draft pick. Instead, they got away with less than half the Patriots’ penalties.

    The same day the incident was exposed.

    You think Goodell wanted this to go away quickly?

    It has.

    This guy should have been fined $1,000,000 (twice Belichicks fine) and suspended, the team should have been fined a half a mil and both a first AND a second round pick, because A) this was McDaniels’ second offense B) Spygate I one apparently wasn’t enough of a deterrant, the price has to be placed higher for the next offender.

    Roger Goodell has fnally reached zero credibility. Finally.

  7. Acanniv,

    Are you serious? I implore you to look at the Broncos roster two years ago and the team of Christmas elves they employ now. Sure, some of them work hard during a few months of the year, but you still wouldn’t want a bunch of orange dwarfs playing football for your team. That Mike Nolan firing sucked, too, by the way.

  8. @acanniv

    The trades may be good in theory, but McDaniels has turned Marshall and Cutler into Robert Ayers (an underperforming DE convert), Demaryius Thomas (a talent that can’t stay healthy), and Tim Tebow (one of the biggest NFL projects there ever was). They still have one more pick from Miami.

    But, like all theories, they’re just theories. I’d rather have a more talented QB in Cutler right now and a better receiver in Marshall than those wasted draft picks. And that is what they are.

  9. McDaniels definitely needs to at worst lose his status as overseer of personnel decisions. However, if Xanders has allowed this to happen without question, then he needs to be fired and a GM with more experience brought in.

    It should have been obvious that Xanders wasn’t ready for this position. When he was an assistant GM when Shanahan was there, he helped oversee the slow demise that happened with Shanahan. When your team is not performing, you cannot promote from within.

  10. How can you say the picks were wasted? Ayers in his second season (and was coming on before his injury), and a rookie in Thomas? Have a little patience, for crying out loud. This team needed rebuilt, not realigned. The offensive line is young and will just continue to get better, same with the receivers and Moreno. We’ll see about Tebow. Elvis and DOOM rushing the passer, Cox should work out. Now they need to get younger in the secondary and the D-line for sure. Its a way better approach than stupid Shanny always trying to patch things through free agency (badly). I’m an optimist, and I can wait. I’ve been a Bronco fan my whole life and I’m not leaving anytime soon.

    Aside from Cutler and Marshall (who, I would argue, are better off gone) and Hillis (admittedly a terrible trade) who would you still want on this team from the roster 2 years ago? Seriously, who? The cupboard was left pretty bare. Most of the players McD has gotten rid of aren’t even on NFL rosters. Those that are (Sheffler, Torain) are always out with injury near as I can tell.

  11. Lose his power? Are you kidding me? Lose his power?

    This guy is the most nuetered coach in NFL history right now. He has lost the fan base, both as a crummy coach and a cheater.

    Leave the show to Xander? Again, are you kidding me? Does anyone besides me recall that this dynamic duo ran off a good talent guy that was the GM?

    The blame for this goes to the top. With Bowlen admitting that he has given Joe Ellis the opportunity to run the club, the blame lies there.

    Clean house Pat, I implore you. The Ellis football decisions have been terrible. His front office has turned a once very visible organization into a ghost in Denver AND around the NFL.

  12. @accaniv

    Simple, Ayers has 1.5 sacks in 2 seasons. Terrible.

    Demaryius Thomas has had injury issues before being drafted. And they are continuing.

    Tim Tebow isn’t ready to start yet. And it doesn’t look like he will be able to for a few years.

    Wasted. Picks. And those are just the players we got for Cutler/Marshall

    Our offensive line is atrocious. You can say that they’ll get better, but no amount of optimism changes the fact that they are overmatched. Somehow, these rookies have brought Clady’s play down. That’s unacceptable.

    And notice, McDaniels is plugging holes like stupid Shanny. See Justin Banaan, Brian Dawkins and Jamal Williams.

    And who would I want on my team that McDaniels got rid of? How about Casey Wiegman, Andra Davis, Brandon Stokely? You are right, the cupboard was pretty bare. But McDaniels could have drafted waaaaaaaaay better.

    The fact that we could have had Clay Matthews, Ray Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Malcolm Jenkins, Brian Orakpo, Earl Thomas, Brandon Graham, Vontae Davis, Ziggy Hood, Sean Witherspoon, or Nate Allen (notice how they are all defensive players) goes to show how patheticly we drafted the past two years.

  13. How does that make sense (other than saving Bowlen money and some face)? McDaniels simply wasn’t/isn’t up to being a head coach and even the best GM can’t fix that.

    McDaniel’s needs to go and the quicker the better.

  14. Well you have to plug some holes, obviously. I’m just glad yr not running the team. You would get rid of draft picks if they don’t go to the pro bowl in their first season! Its the NFL, not the NBA. You have to have some patience. There was no room for Stokley (as much as I loved him). Wiegmann wanted to much dough for a 15th year guy. Andra Davis is on IR with zero sacks and 41 tackles (on the Bills, no less). I’ll take Hagan and Mays, thanks. Yes, the Broncos are terrible now but I have to think their reaching their nadir. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not super fond of giving McD OJT with the Broncos, but I’m stuck with the guys they got so, you know, they’re my guys.

  15. Acanniv,

    My friend, you are most certainly in the minority.

    It is not a case of ‘getting rid of draft picks if they don’t go to the Pro Bowl.’ Any impact at all would be a good place to start.

    In one breath you say we are better off without Scheffler and Torain due to their injuries…..yet Ayers and Thomas get a pass. That sounds a bit hypocritical.

    A 10 year old boy could tell you that the Broncos weak link in 2009 was their defenseive front seven, and McDaniels chose to ignore it in the draft, and go offense. Thus showing that his first craptastic draft was no fluke. Vince Lombardi couldn’t win with his pack of losers.

    Finally, (and the most unforgiveable sin of all), he cheats. The Bills and Lions get to hold their heads higher than us, because at least when they lose, they maintain their integrity.

  16. Please Mr. Bowlen, Get rid of McD and clean out the entire player personnel dept. Cutler for Orton was genius but beyond that it’s been pure misery. We need coaches and executives who know how to draft. McD/Xanders have proven their incompetence in this area.

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