Let me get this out of the way: I am a die-hard Bronco. I fell in love with the NFL in the early 90’s, when Elway, Montana, Marino, Kelly, Aikman, etc., were qb’ing in the league. In 1990, a friend of my dad’s from Denver gave me a John Elway poster which hung in my room front and center next to my George Brett poster (I was a big Royals fan pre-Rockies).
I was definitely in the camp of those who were frustrated with Shanny after the 8-8 season, but I was excited about the offense. I realized that Shanny was losing his ability to be both a coach and a general manager, and thought that taking the latter duty away would be a good solution to the problem. Instead, he was fired.
Fast forward through the McDaniels hiring and the Cutler, Marshall situations. I can see both sides of the arguments on those points. But, beginning at the 2010 Draft, McD left me scratching my head.
My first concern was the draft itself. I don’t remember exactly which picks we had, but I recall being happy that McD appeared to be stockpiling picks by continuing to trade out of first round slots and adding later first rounders along with additional late round picks. I thought he was restocking the cupboard across the board with “his” players, which seemed to be something he wanted to do a la Cutler, Marshall, Hillis, etc.
Then, he excitedly traded away most of those picks for Tebow, in the FIRST ROUND! Good golly.
//jaw still on the floor about that.
Now, I loved watching Tebow in college, but for the sake of brevity, let’s just say that I think he would have been on the board in the second round, and I think that McD showed that he wasn’t sure what he was doing in the draft in that move. No logical person can construct the argument that he was stockpiling a bunch of picks in some scheme to get Tebow late in the first round.
Again, fast forward to the day after our “win” over the Tennesee Titans. Watching the game, we were unable to do the things that we were unable to do against the Colts pretty much all game. We couldn’t run at all, and Jeff Fisher was content to let Orton throw 6-yard outs and swing passes to the RB’s. Then, in the red zone, the defense would stiffen. Just like in the Colts game the week prior.
Even though we can’t run the ball, McD decides that testicular fortitude is more important than actual football strategy, and goes for it on 4th and goal. We can’t score. In the Colts game, if he would have kicked the two field goals in which he went for it unsuccessfully, we would have had a final drive that would have won the game on another field goal.
In the Titans game, he went for it on 4th and short again with failure. However, as luck would have it, the Titans secondary committed a pass interference play on a hail mary to the five. For once, we were able to score. Again, Orton couldn’t find a WR in the end zone, but threw to a RB out of the backfield who had to run it in the end zone.
This is not good football, folks. That “win”, was not the type of win that will consistently happen. It was a fluke. We’re 2-2, but not the kind that gives you confidence. Our running game is a shambles. Our coach thinks that he doesn’t need to follow the traditional book on getting points on the board. Our defense is playing their hearts out (kind of like last year?), but if they continually have to bail out an offense who can’t run (and whose coach won’t put up 3’s when he can because he thinks he needs to “win the game” on one play), they will wear down.
Rant over. I don’t like McDaniels. He is Cleveland Browns-version Belichick.