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Old 03-25-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default IN-Depth Interview McD Klis and Denver post 3-25


Interview: Broncos' McDaniels goes in-depth

By Mike Klis and Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/25/2009 04:56:30 PM MDT
Updated: 03/25/2009 05:25:29 PM MD

DANA POINT, CALIF. — Broncos coach Josh McDaniels sat down with Denver Post pro football reporters Mike Klis and Lindsay H. Jones at the NFL's owners meetings in California and spoke at length about his transition to coaching in Denver.

Here are highlights of that conversation, including his dealings with Jay Cutler, a look at the Broncos defensive and offensive schemes next season and how Denver fits in a much-changed AFC West:

How have your dealings with Jay Cutler been so far?

"I think the best thing for us in terms of conversation and reporting about that is to do that privately. Which I think is important to help resolve the situation. He's our quarterback. We're looking forward to getting him back. We're committed to him and I'll continue to do what we can do to try to affect our relationship positively from this point forward."

Have you and Cutler talked lately?

"In the last few days. I've always been optimistic. He's on our team. He's under contract. And I understand there's things we have to work towards fixing in our relationship. But I'm optimistic about those things. He's our quarterback and we'll always do what's in the best interest of our football team. But we are committed to him and I'm looking forward to him coming back. And as long as that's case and we're both committed to each other then he absolutely will be our quarterback in the long term."

Have teams inquired about a Cutler trade?

"Nobody's contacted me. Nobody's called me. Nobody's text messaged me, nobody's e-mailed me and nothing's going to happen on our football team. ... People have left messages, I can say that."

Can you review the Cassel deal?

"I think the biggest thing is, there were conversations that took place right around free agency opening, the first day. Those conversations never really got too far. The player that was being discussed was traded to another team. We were busy trying to do a lot of things to improve our football team at that time. And then obviously things started to get out and people started to say things, this and that. I think the big thing is we have to communicate going forward to try and get to a resolution."

How does Matt Cassel improve your team?

"You try to take into consideration whatever somebody's trying to offer up. If the quality of the trade you feel in the long-run would improve your team then you listen to it and you analyze whether or not it's the best decision you can make. If you listen to somebody and the trade is ridiculous — a seventh-round draft pick for Ryan Clady — it's silly. You hang the phone up and you move on. But I think every situation is different, every situation is unique. And it's been made very clear to me that my job and everybody's job in this room as a head coach is to listen to a number of scenarios that come up that may have an impact on your team in a positive direction."

So conversations about Cassel happened because they weren't silly scenarios?

"That's why we had them. They were not silly. The conversations that we had concerning the possibility of a trade, they weren't silly requests. They were scenarios that should be considered. And then after that, everything took off so fast that once this became a story that it was almost hard to stop and say wait a minute here, that's not true, this isn't true.


We need to talk in the same room. One thing I want to do and continually want to do is meet with the player. I want to meet with the player by myself. I want to meet with the player one-on-one. I think that's the best way to fix any kind of issue. And if there's anything I would change it would be the amount of time I've had to do that, thus far."

Ego needs to be massaged?

"I don't think that's an issue. He's a very good player so I hope he doesn't need to have his ego massaged. We're excited about this season, we're excited about what we're doing and he's a part of that."

Will you meet Cutler without an agent?

"I hope to. I hope so. We haven't had an opportunity to meet again in person since the last time we met. I'm hoping that would take place sooner rather than later."

Has Bus Cook's presence in meetings been a problem?

"It's not an issue for an agent. That's all I say. We're not talking about a contract. That's why I want to speak with the player."

Is Cutler now untouchable for a trade?

"I think I would be contradicting myself if I said that. Like I said, he's our quarterback. We're committed to him and we will always do what's in the best interest of our team. That's why we're talking about this right now because there was a scenario that was presented that was considered. I'm not going to fall back from that."

Are you surprised how everything blew up?

"Not surprised. It's the National Football League and we've got an enormous fan base and enormous popularity in this country and I know everything that we do and everything these other teams do on a daily basis is very important to the people who follow the game. It's all important to you and you're doing your job."

Is this all about hurt feelings?

"That may be but I don't want to speak for him in terms of his stance on the issue. He knows he's a good player. That's never been in question. He knows he can learn our offense. I know that. He knows it. I know he'll do well in it. And I think his teammates know that he's going to excel in it also. I don't think this is about him wondering if I think he's any good. Because I do. I think he's a good player. We met three or four times before this happened and I know he's going to do well in it."

In the end, the trade proposal died. Why?

"I think there are a number of reasons why those things never materialized. There were different teams, different scenarios. You're talking about a three-way trade that rarely happens. I can't speak for New England, I can't speak for Kansas City in terms of how far along they were. But obviously they had dialogue and it was productive for them."

Looking back, would you do anything differently?

"Just get an open line of communication with the player more often than we've been able to do that since this happened. That's what I'm trying to do every day now. Is try to communicate effectively with him in the same room, face to face and talk through the issue and try to improve the relationship on a daily basis."

New England appeared to get hosed in the deal compared to what you offered.

"We didn't even get to that point. I think they were a lot further along. I think they were ready to do the thing before we got involved. So I'm not sure where that stood. You'd have to ask New England and Kansas City as far as timeline."

In the future, will you be more careful with what you say?

"I don't think I would coach him any differently. First of all, he's the quarterback. The quarterback's always coached a little differently. But he'll be pushed along with the rest of them. And I have an affinity of that position in general."

Why do you keep calling him, "the player" over and over?

"He's our quarterback. And I'm not calling him just the player. I'll call him Jay Cutler if you want me to."

Do you understand that can bother somebody?

"I don't think that's the issue. If that's the issue than obviously we have a long way to go."

You turned Matt Cassel into a good QB. What can you do for a Pro Bowl quarterback?

"That's a good question, I don't know where we can go. I know this, the one thing that matters most to me as a coach is our team wins. We've got a lot of improving to do. And I'm not talking about at one position. We've got a lot of improving at a lot of positions. We were in the top 3 in scoring after the first three weeks of the season last year, and then we were 24th in scoring the rest of the year. We turned the ball over 30 times last year. That needs to improve."

How has Pat Bowlen fit in this process?

"We didn't really have any discussions about specific players during the interview process but Pat made it very clear to me that his singular goal was to win and it would be my job if I was hired to do anything I could to help our team improve.

"And he's been extremely supportive of myself and Brian throughout this whole process. He comes down to my office every day and asks me if there's anything he can do to help us win today. I don't know if I could ask for anything more from an owner."

Has he expressed concern about this?

"I don't think he's thrilled about the situation going around every day. But I think he understands we're trying to work to a resolution and you can't always get to those resolutions as fast as you may want to."

"You do this job and not every day is roses. You go through the highs and lows throughout the course of the season. You go through highs and lows throughout the course of an off-season. This is part of my job. I've had an opportunity to witness what I feel like is the finest football coach in the National Football League the last eight years deal with things of this nature. I was around when we traded Drew Bledsoe. I was around when we released Lawyer Milloy. I saw how Bill handled that and handled the team and never lost focus on what we were trying to do every day which was improve."

Has this all been a distraction to your job?

"It's added time to your day. But I think our coaching staff and our players have done an incredible job at not allowing it to be a distraction to them."

What parts of the "Patriot way" have you brought to Denver?

"I mean, that's what I know. I know this: the way that Bill and Robert Kraft and that organization have done things, it's been very productive for them. And that's what I've been a part of for eight seasons. I've been privileged to be a part of that. I'm not sure I would want to do something a whole lot different than the way they do things because they've had great success doing it, and that's why we're all here, to try to win. Most of what I do, most of my philosophies are going to come from that tree, and I don't regret that at all because it's been very productive for us."

What do you think of the turnover in AFC West?

"I don't think it's a good thing. It's a pain in the butt to get ready for them in the off-season. You've got teams like K.C. that obviously are going to run a different offense, a different defense. Oakland, I don't know if they're going to run a different offense and defense, but it's going to be a little different. So your preparation in the spring is a little difficult because you can't just turn on the tape from last season and go "OK, that's what we have to beat next year" because its going to change. San Diego should be the one constant there, but as you're getting ready for your division opponents in the off-season, which you normally always do, this makes it a little more challenged because you've had too much turnover."

The Chargers' A.J. Smith said he's scared of a New England infusion into the division.

"I don't know why. They kicked our butt last year. It was one of the most ... one of the worst nights of the season last year when we went to San Diego. So I don't know what he's scared of. I'm probably more scared of him."

What are your thoughts on Brandon Marshall?

"Obviously it's a concern. But we don't know any more information now from the league and where that's headed. But Brandon's been doing everything he can do right now to try to get himself better. If that happens, then it would be something to be concerned about and take into consideration. Right now we're just trying to work hard with him and help him be a better player. We had a good conversation about what happened, and I'm sure in due time the league will address that. Charges were dropped, and we'll see where it goes if there is anything more to it.

Is your relationship with Bill Belichick damaged at all?

"Not on my end. I haven't really had a whole lot of communication with him. I've talked with him a few times since I've been in Denver, but haven't had a whole lot of conversation with him. I know he's been very busy, as have we. I hope that stays the same way."

Do you see Tony Scheffler as a good fit in your offense?

"Yeah, of course. Ben Watson's been a very good fit in New England. There's been a lot of good tight ends we've used a lot of ways, and Tony would be one of those players. He's a guy that can present a lot of problems for defenses, as can Daniel Graham, so yeah, absolutely. We've always used two tight ends, we may use more one-tight end or more two-tight ends depending on the week, but this has never been a big two-back offense, although we will do some of that."

How do you know you're ready to be a head coach?

"I don't know if you're ever totally prepared. Was I prepared to be an offensive coordinator, you know? Was I prepared to be the quarterbacks coach in 2004? I think you get confidence from those people around you that are willing to put you in those positions. Obviously, Mr. Bowlen and the people in Denver who went through the search felt very strongly that I was ready and capable. I have a lot of confidence in what I can do and what I have done, and I'm absolutely looking forward to the challenge."

The Denver defensive front seven: how would you line them up today?

"In terms of scheme? That's a good question. I think the answer is that there are a few boards at our facility and they're put up different ways. Because I think it's really important that we see where we finish this spring, and head into training camp in terms of our personnel. I don't think we can really sit there today and say, 'That looks perfect.' In terms of playing them as a 3-4 or as a 4-3, I think we have guys that can do a lot of things. Versatility is a huge thing for what we're going to try to do on defense.

"Darrell Reid, Elvis Dumervil, those kind of players are going to have some versatility for us. They may stand up. They may have their hand on the ground. It might look more like a 4-3 at times. I think there's definitely going to be a flavor of both in the spring. We really like a lot of the abilities players like Elvis have because they're not always a clean match-up for someone on the other side of the ball. He's going to do both. He's going to have his hand on the ground some, and he's going to stand up some."

What do you think of the size of the defensive line?

"We want them to be big. One of the things, I've said since I arrived in Denver, we want to be tough, physical, and I think that's going to start up front on both sides of the ball. We're looking to add size, versatility, and we want to be able to stop the run, and that's going to play into what we do. If we can handle the run with the front seven and not have to drop a guy down, you know that's advantageous to us. We're trying to get to the point where we have enough people that are good players up front, and we have a hell of a defensive line coach in Wayne Nunnelly, and we're expecting Wayne to make all those guys better players. And we have some players that are coming back from last year that we're excited about to see what they can do and how they can fit in our scheme. Marcus Thomas, Kenny Peterson, Matthias Askew. There's a lot of guys we're going to find out about. We're looking for big guys."

What about the Broncos' running game?

"I think they did a little bit more zone concepts than maybe we did in New England. That was really their bread and butter. We did more gap schemes in New England, where we're going to pull a guard. The good thing about Denver is they've done those things, and they've got really good guards to be able to do that. So you're going to see ... I can't give that up. That's kind of my baby. But you're going to see both. Rick Dennison and Bobby Turner are both still there from last year, so our playbook looks pretty nice in terms of what we'll be able to do in the running game because we've carried over plenty of what they do and what they've done, and we've added what we've done in New England, and we're going to do whatever we can to win."

What is your offensive line philosophy?

"We've always had a little bit bigger line in New England. The biggest thing to me in terms of size is can they anchor? Can they anchor the pocket without getting pushed into the quarterback? Historically we've been more of a pocket passing team, so that is always the question when we look at linemen is, do they anchor well or not? If they're going to get pushed into the quarterback seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, that's a little different. But the guys we have, Wiegmann, Hamilton, even though they're a little lighter, they play with great leverage, and that's the big thing for me. We can play with those guys, and they're going to play well."

Any predictions for the AFC West?

"You start with the Chargers, they won the division, and they've excelled now for a number of years. They're physical, I'll tell you that. That's one of the big challenges for us is to try to match that physicality, that toughness they play with. We're all chasing those guys. They run the ball well on offense, which is why it is a big emphasis for us to get to where we feel we're comfortable stopping the run.

"I think they're very physical on defense. They play a 3-4 but have a lot of versatility within that scheme. It's always given us some problems in New England. Last year wasn't very good for us when we played in San Diego. They found some ways to create some mismatches with us in terms of protection and the game got out of hand quickly.

"I've already talked about how K.C. has changed over so that's a bit of a different deal. It's hard to prepare for a team that you can't watch of film and say, that's what they're going to do. We're watching Arizona's offense or Arizona's defense to try to figure out how Kansas City is going to play this year, and that's always a bit of a challenge.

"And then the Raiders, there're three things you're going to face when you face Oakland, and that's big, fast and physical. You're not on Oakland's roster unless you're big, fast and physical. Either one of those, or all of them. So whenever you get ready to play Oakland, you know what the deal is there. They're explosive. We've played them a few times in NE, and they've always been difficult preparation because they're so athletic and so big.

"So there's a lot of different types of challenges in this division, and it starts with San Diego and Kansas City obviously got better as the season went on last year. We played them early in the season, and they gave us a lot of fits. They've got a lot of good young players and added Scott Pioli and Todd Haley, and they're going to be improved. They're on their way up, and Oakland is always a challenge, so it's going to be a heck of a division this year."

Describe your first 2 1/2 months.

"Exciting. Every day is a little bit of a different day. I've been around this game for a long time, so coming to work and being around football is great fun. Your days aren't always fun but the job that you have is something that a lot of people in this world probably wish they could be involved in this game. I'm thrilled to be here. Love every day I come to work."

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Old 03-25-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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Best interview McDaniels has given. It appears someone pulled him aside and helped him with his communication skills. Still needs to stop that "the player" crap.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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I think this is pretty much a transcript of McDaniels at the AFC Coaches Breakfast.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Best interview McDaniels has given. It appears someone pulled him aside and helped him with his communication skills. Still needs to stop that "the player" crap.
That's his power-asserting mind talking. Saying "the player" and "the quarterback" impersonalizes the person, which is job #1 in asserting power over people. Great example, the military - you're addressed by rank - and that's what he's doing here. By the book.

Did you see the other thread where even a sportswriter caught on to this? He asked Josh on the record why he keeps saying "the player." Josh said "no no, I'll say Jay Cutler if you want, I don't mind ... Jay Cutler."

You guys watch now ... anybody not on board with my "Josh is power-mad" theory, just watch: Josh will continue to call Jay "the player" and "our quarterback" OVER AND OVER AND OVER. It's part of the assertion of rank and power.

Just watch.

And it oughtta prove something.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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What does it prove BB? That he likes a more military style discipline?
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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It was a good interview, though .... I like a lot of what he's doing.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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Best interview McDaniels has given. It appears someone pulled him aside and helped him with his communication skills. Still needs to stop that "the player" crap.
Very good interview, nice to hear some things other than Cutler. But be careful making comments about "The Player", I got crucified in an earlier thread because I had issue with it
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Fantastic interview. It's amazing how much better things seem when you get a transcript instead of cherry picked quotes.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:06 PM   #9
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Fantastic interview. It's amazing how much better things seem when you get a transcript instead of cherry picked quotes.
Exactly. I love how the Denver Post cherry-picked the comments for their original article about using some of New England's running style, but completely ignored the part where he talks about retaining Dennison and Turner and using that as well.

I was saying that in an unrelated thread. Quotes look completely different without specific questions attached to them, or without the other quotes that surround/support them. However, many people here fail to grasp that point. As was obvious with the "sky is falling" crowd that we were completely getting rid of the old ZBS despite retaining Dennison and Turner.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #10
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What does it prove BB? That he likes a more military style discipline?
I'm not sure it "proves" anything really. But like I said in that post, referring to a person by rank or job title depersonalizes them ... it's a socially-ubiquitous assertion of rank, from formal, "Attention, corporal!", (corporal responds "sir"), to informal, "oh, waitress?" (waitress responds "sir.")

And - although this is just my opinion - I think it shows a lot about who Josh is. He is a coach's son, and as such was imbued with authoritative leanings therefrom ... plus, he's a small college player schooled in the Patriots organization. Nothing of that background breeds closeness to star playres, especially those with star attitudes like Jay is showing these days.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #11
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Huh. Interesting. I noticed that he referred to both New England and Denver as "we" and "us." I'm guessing he's still working on making the mental transition and settling into his new role with the Broncos. It figures: in most cases that's not going to happen overnight.

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Old 03-25-2009, 05:11 PM   #12
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I hope finally more of these McD haters will swallow hard and back off a bit and give the guy some support and a fair chance to do his best for us all. Bashing the guy at this point is pointless and does no good for the team at all.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:13 PM   #13
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Huh. Interesting. I noticed that he referred to both New England and Denver as "we" and "us." I'm guessing he's still working on making the mental transition and settling into his new role with the Broncos. It figures: in most cases that's not going to happen overnight.

Regards,
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"We" and "us" are okay imo because they're plural.

It was the "me" he used when saying, "I can see why he wouldn't trade Matt to me," that concerns me.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:16 PM   #14
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"We" and "us" are okay imo because they're plural.

It was the "me" he used when saying, "I can see why he wouldn't trade Matt to me," that concerns me.
.
Are you worried that he referred to the patriots as HE instead of THEY as well? You are reading way too much into this.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:23 PM   #15
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It was a good interview, though .... I like a lot of what he's doing.
.
I agree. I believe that aside from the Cutler dbacle, he has done a good job of acquiring talent and I like the transition to the 3-4. If we are able to hold onto Jay I will be extremely happy.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:50 PM   #16
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I agree with Elsid, best interview he's given.

I think we are all hopeful. We need to patch this relationship between Jay and him and build from there. The offense deserves scrutiny from last year HOWEVER I think we have a lot of talent there and he needs to use his philosophy to fine tune our scoring.

I'm excited about physicality on our team. I love hearing that.

I wish everything could start from scratch however I do think he's getting it and I imagine if he's as passionate as some of the FA's say he is, Cutler will end up gravitating to him.

Bottom line, WINNING CURES ALL ailments. We need to win next year. Cutler will help us do that, as will McDaniels... hopefully.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:57 PM   #17
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I hope finally more of these McD haters will swallow hard and back off a bit and give the guy some support and a fair chance to do his best for us all. Bashing the guy at this point is pointless and does no good for the team at all.
Bashing the guy when he deserves it is more than fair. He took the HC job...to quote Popps "he can wear his big boy pants'.

Somehow I think Josh can handle it.

Good interview. Color me excited.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #18
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Vwery good interview...he's manning up, clear vision. I like him.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #19
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Parcells denotes them as 'the player'. I don't know if it goes farther back than that but I do think it predates the Hoodie era.
With Logan and Schefter's comment about 'the player' holding long grudges I'm hoping 'the player' can have a great season and truly get past this.
I do agree McD should call them by their name.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #20
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Were we really 24th in scoring the rest of the year?

Some offense.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:42 PM   #21
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But seriously, this is a great interview.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:48 PM   #22
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Can a head coach be a good head coach without being someone who wants absolute power and obedience?
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:50 PM   #23
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We all know the Wade Phillips style and we didn't like it. It was to yuck yuck you players just show up, yuck yuck lets play some ball, hows the kids, hey there john you wanna go no huddle this week? yuck yuck mmmkay then.

I want a coach that says here is one of my plays, run it until you know it perfectly, then yells at everyone not trying 100 percent, then get's in a game, finds the perfect time, calls his play, players execute, kick ass, and then say man this dude is a dickhead tyrant but this **** works, lets roll.

Players do not have to like the coach, only respect he is in charge.

Mcdaniels should learn to not piss off his stars, but at this point Cutler is being a baby.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hulamau View Post
[SIZE="4"][B]

If you listen to somebody and the trade is ridiculous — a seventh-round draft pick for Ryan Clady — it's silly. You hang the phone up and you move on.
You heard it here first folks! McDaniels would be willing to move Clady for a 6th round draft pick.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkana7 View Post
Were we really 24th in scoring the rest of the year?

Some offense.
People are going to love Mcdaniels. I've watched a lot of Patriots football last 2 yrs and this kid is a slick play caller. I found myself all the time saying wow what a good call. Wow perfect time to go deep. Wow the defense wasn't expecting a throw to the rb there, wow these Patriots are killing people.

I know they had great players, but then I watched him do it with Cassel but a little different and i found myself saying wow the pats really adjusted the qb well. Play calling is an art form. Shanny had it early then IMO he lost the eye of the Tiger, let kubes take it over, then Bates.

I think Mcdaniels knows what plays he needs to be able to hit on to move the ball. I think Broncos offense can run those plays and then some.

Over next 2-3 yrs Broncos will look to get bigger at Hamilton and Wiegmans spot, But Kuper pretty big boy, and Clady and Harris are big boys also.

I think Broncos make up with Cutler, and that at some point the fans and the QB both realize this kid is hungry and talented and what I was turned off by was inexperience in handling stars, media, and the joe at home on the couch. I think the coach wants to win really badly, I think he will work his ass off to do so, and I think the Broncos will be better then people think this yr, and in 2 yrs will be really good.
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