Before offering up more angles and takes regarding the surprise late-season termination of Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, we need to press pause for a second and reiterate a point that we have made many times in the past.
When it comes to the NFL, take things at face value at your own peril.
Time and again, owners, General Managers, coaches, players, agents and others offer not truth but a message aimed at advancing strategic objectives. All too often, reporters parrot the information provided to them without risking credibility or access by pointing out the holes in the story.
As to McDaniels, some were insisting that McDaniels would be back next year, relying upon the safe harbor known loosely as “I’m just reporting what I’m told.” To make matters worse, folks who were either saying that McDaniels is safe or who were saying nothing in the recent past about McDaniels being in trouble are acting like they knew all along what was coming.
Folks had insisted (originating at a certain four-letter network) that McDaniels’ buyout would protect him. On Sunday, FOX’s Jay Glazer made it clear that the buyout would not be a factor if McDaniels were fired.
At PFT, we’re not going to simply recite the text of a press release or pass along without insight the stuff that one of our sources has to say, if our instincts and experience tell us that there’s reason to be skeptical. If the source doesn’t like the fact that we’re not willing to serve as a private P.R. service, that’s fine with us. There are plenty of other “reporters” who have a quota of scoops to fill, and who’ll gladly sell their souls in a series of slivers in the hopes of being first.
If enough time passes, no one will notice that they actually weren’t right.