First and foremost, I am a supporter of coach McD, and have been ever since he traded Cutler away. Not because I thought Cutler needed to go(which I now do), but because of all the people involved in that mess, he seemed to handle the situation with authority and class. That being said feel free to slap the kool-aid out of my hand if I get my history wrong. I also feel I should preface my point with the fact that I had a lot of support for Shanny, and was shocked when he was fired. However, when the shock went away there was no surprise beneath it, and I began to re-examine a lot of the things he did, concluding at last that it was a bold and correct move by Mr. B. We've all discussed the glaring personnel mistakes Shanahan made, in drafts, going for the diamond in the rough, picking up injury liabilities, etc., etc. I personally think he made enough brilliant personnel moves to counter a lot of these but that's not the point of my post, I was going to try to raise a discussion about two nuanced differences I've noticed between our two recent HC's and get everyone's input on whether they think it is a part of our success or if I'm just daft.
1)The most immediate difference in style is that McD seems to build his system and supporting cast such that no player is in a position or situation that raises a question about their abilities. Basically, he uses the players the way they work best, rather than asking them to do something else. By contrast, I think Shanny could have made a much more effective quarterback out of Plummer had there been some other playcalling. Plummer was brilliant at the blind rollout, and I never thought of him as anything but a transition from a god of football(elway) to a manageable average QB. Contrast this with Dumervil's rebirth as a QB terrorizing LB and I like where we're headed.
2)More importantly though, I remember a lot of our defenses under Shanahan having "placeholder" players. I'm sure this was going on elsewhere, but I'm very bad with rosters of past years(elway saga excluded). I remember in particular, Cox, Foxworth, and Webster come to mind.(feel free to belittle my mistaken ways as needed) I personally liked Foxworth, but it occurred to me that he, like many others in the Shanahan era, seemed more like a player thrown in so that someone would be on the field there, and not chosen so much for their abilities. Under McDaniels, there doesn't seem to be anybody on the roster because we needed that position, rather everyone on the team seems to have been chosen because they bring something that we didn't have without them.
I'm sure I'm drinking the kool-aid, but I just feel like the roster is infinitely more thought out now than in recent years. Can somebody either back me up with a better in depth knowledge than I have (should be a cinch), or categorically refute this? I would be just as pleased with either.