Fox downplays McDaniels as O’Brien leads offense


Josh McDaniels is expected to be the Patriots offensive coordinator after the season, but his return to the practice field Tuesday in New England was in a different capacity.

While Bill O’Brien ran the team’s offense, McDaniels was seen talking up Bill Belichick during the team’s padded practice. McDaniels is an “offensive assistant.”

Broncos coach John Fox tried to downplay how much help McDaniels could provide against his former team.

“We change players with teams all throughout the year. I think it’s a lot about nothing,” Fox said.

We think the loophole allowing McDaniels to join a team in the playoff should be closed. But Fox points out that these Broncos are different than last year’s Broncos. (Even if many players are the same and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy remains from McDaniels’ staff.)

“I know Josh a little bit. It’s always better to be employed as coaches than unemployed. He doesn’t even know our offense. Our offense is completely different,” said Fox via

If nothing else, this gives Broncos fans a new reason to despise McDaniels. Despite the fact that he drafted their savior.

13 responses to “Fox downplays McDaniels as O’Brien leads offense

  1. Time to put this to bed.

    McDaniels was coming to the Patriots prior to Denver even making the playoffs. He was brought in because Pats OC took another job.
    Really quite simple.

    Much ado about nothing.

    Oh and Denver haters-you wouldn’t have Tebow and Thomas if McDaniels didn’t draft them.

  2. Denver Bronco fans wouldn’t have Tebow, Thomas, Decker, Beadles (starting LG, average player), Walton (below-average players), or Robert Ayers (looking like a player worth his 1st round selection this year).

    Yes McDaniels deserves credit for drafting those starters.

    However, if you’re a Denver fan – of course you’d be upset at McDaniels.

    He dumped Cutler, Marshall, Scheffler, and Peyton Hillis. That’s a dangerous offense in itself. Who would you rather have? It’s debatable. It’s also worth noting McDaniels traded a 1st round pick to move up and take Alphonso Smith, only to dump him for a late pick 1 year later.

  3. McD has been gone for over a year… how much do you really think he knows about what Jon Fox is doing with that O? Especially since they changed much of it to accommodate Tim Tebow?

    The Broncos also had no issue letting Orton go knowing he would go to the Chiefs they were going to play later on and a division foe. I’m positive that Orton knows more about the Broncos current offense under Fox than McD does.

    The fans may go crazy on this but the coaches don’t care.

  4. 1989 Shanahan was fired by the Raiders and was coaching on the Broncos staff less than two weeks later. Raiders beat the Broncos later that year.

    McDaniels hasn’t been part of the Broncos in over a year. Man up and beat the Patriots if you’re a better team. If not, no excuses, move on.

  5. The Broncos may privately hate this move but at least they are all saying the right things and the fact is the O IS different there. And When McCoy was McD’s OC he didn’t call the plays either. Fox has a longer history with McCoy than McD does anyway.

  6. I think this whole McDaniels-to-the-Patriots thing is WAY overblown. No one would be saying ANYTHING if the Pats has signed a player from the Broncos practice squad, who would theoretically know a LOT more about the Broncos current offensive system.

  7. Now trading a first rounder for Alphonso Smith, trading up to draft Richard Quinn, and selecting Knowshon Moreno 12th overall – THOSE were bad personnel decisions. But the sum total of McDaniels’s personnel moves while he was in Denver is on the positive side of the ledger.

    Tebow, D. Thomas, Eric Decker, Beadles, Walton, David Bruton, and Syd’Quan Thompson were good draft picks.

    Re-signing Dumervil, Bailey and Chris Kuper to long term deals were each good decisions.

    Trading for Joe Mays (starting MIKE LB) was a good move.

    Signing free agents Brandon Lloyd, Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman, Russ Hochstein, Matt Prater, and Britton Colquitt also appear to be pretty smart moves.

    Josh McDaniels did not “ruin” the Broncos roster, as has been said so many thousands of times. He actually did a damn good job getting rid of me-first, selfish, prima donna attitude problems and replacing them with guys that love to play football and have strong character.

  8. i agree, it made no difference when the raiders played Gruden and the Buc’s the following year in the super bowl….yep no difference at all.

  9. it’s tough to say what JMD did to Denver. As with his good player moves he had awful ones as well.


    Tebow ( yet to play out though )
    D. Thomas ( finally healthy )
    E Decker ( Not sure yet, great talent but not making plays )
    Beadles ( Great )
    Walton ( Great )
    Dawk ( Great, getting old )
    Goodman ( meh )
    Joe Mays ( not bad, for JJ Arrington trade )


    Cutler for Orton ( So we got 2 1st rd picks for Culter, One was either Ayers so far a bust, Or Moreno huge bust)( Then traded the other 1st rd pick to Sea and got Alphonso Smith with that pick)( gave up on him after 1 season and traded for a Grongowski who was a UDFA, So 1st rd pick for a UFDA? Umm WTF.

    Scehffler for nothing.
    Hillis for Quinn?
    Jarvis Green ( 20 Mill contract and cut him after 2 pre-season games )
    Drafted Darcel McBath in 2nd rd and no longer with team.

    As well signed a bunch of Charachter guys that were only that with hardly any talent.

    So its a weird pickle with JMD. He just couldn’t put it togehter.

    Ridding Denver of the Zone blocking and a running team and trying to make them a passing team witha bad D wasn’t going to work. All’s JMD had to do is come in improve the O and fix the D. he did not. Its not a freak thing that Denver was a easy transition back to a running team.

  10. The Patriots just played the Broncos a few weeks ago. What kind of new super-secret mystery intel are they going to get now? They’ve already seen the team up close and personal.

    Between that and Denver tipping its hand last week with the Steelers, the Pats already have all they need to know without McDaniels.

    Patriots won by 18 in Denver. What is Denver going to do differently that will erase both that 18 point differential and the Pats’ home-field advantage?

    No guarantees for anyone, but McDaniels is the least of the Broncos’ problems.

  11. @ ebbycalvinlaloosh

    All solid observations but McDaniels didn’t resign Champ Bailey. An initial offer was made but less than a week after the proposal it was McDaniels (confirmed by Champ) who pulled the offer off the table.

    It was John Elway who resigned Champ (his first move as VP of FO).

    I believe it boils down to who was traded vs. who was brought in. Talent-wise he got rid of too many players. Personality-wise, I agree Marshall is a “me-first” guy and while Cutler isn’t the most lovable QB, there’s no denying his talent.

    I don’t think you can say McD set the franchise back 5 years, but you can’t say he left a foundation. This is 100% Fox and Elway (Xanders, too) who got this team where they are today.

    Fox played Tebow, McDaniels didn’t. The turn-around has been on defense, most notably the selection of Von Miller who has made a significant impact – that was Elway.

    Bottom line: McDaniels didn’t do as much damage as people initially thought, but the emergence from players on the Broncos this year has to be contributed to Fox and his assistance’s.

  12. McDaniels hasn’t been with the Broncos for more than a year. What’s the big deal?

    Now when the Broncos hired Mike Shanahan just weeks after the Raiders fired him, and just before the Broncos faced the Raiders in the playoffs maybe they had a legitimate reason to complain.

    But of course when the Broncos grabbed a coach weeks after he was let go there’s silence… When the Patriots hire a coach more than a year after he was fired by the Broncos it’s a major scandal.

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