As this Pandora's box has been opened, I see the inherent problem that Pat Bowlen now faces, he may have to take his next cue from his most despised of enemies in Al Davis. Yes, I true have a vile hatred for the skeleton masquerading as a man that resides somewhere in the mud flats of the East Bay and the team which he owns, but desperate times calls for desperate measures. Pat Bowlen has been put in the unenviable position of having to become the megalomaniacal owner like Davis, Jones, or Synder, something I am sure he does not want to contemplate.
He is in the position where he cannot undermine the authority of his coach, especially a rookie coach, for fear of losing an investment in a new coach, to go along with the money he is losing from firing Mike Shanahan. In addition, he has never had the belief that he not being a football man should be calling the shots, that he relies on his management team to do that and evaluates the product produced.
At the same time, he can not come down against his young star QB who makes the team better today and five years from today. A man that has been groomed to hold the mantle of the next great QB for Denver. Someone that has superstar written all over him and will have the ability to return the Broncos to an upper echelon team.
So what is an owner to do in a time like this, there is no good solutions. You can trade Jay and reap the repercussions if there is not instant success from the trade or even worse, that Jay leads another team to the promise land and we are left in the aftermath of a bunch of lousy players. In addition, trading Jay also sends a message to the other young stars like Clady, Harris, Marshall, Royal, Hillis, and Schefler that if the team has no loyalty or faith in a first round, pro-bowl QB, what chance is there that they have faith in you. The next option would be a more difficult one, and that would be to fire McDaniels now and end the riff; however, as much as that may seem to solve the short term problems, it may not solve the long term problems in changing the attitude in the building, and it would put a stain on Bowlen in that he fired a HC who never coached a game. The third option is to sit tight and hope things work themselves out between Cutler and McDaniels. Chances are that will not happen, and the team will fall into uninspired play and probably an eventual benching of Cutler and continued questions from the media and the fans.
So, here’s what I would suggest Mr. Bowlen, take a page out of Al Davis’ play book and start exerting your power. As much as either McDaniels or Cutler hate to admit it, they are both your employees. Call them into the office and have a coming to Jesus meeting with them, no agents, no GM’s, nobody but you, Jay, and McD and a closed door. Explain to the both of them that Jay will not be going anywhere for any reason, period. That Jay is a valued employee and the company success depends to a large degree on his success; however, he will have to accept that McDaniels will be the HC and he will answer to him on the field and during practice. Explain that you don’t have to like each other, but you better start respecting each other and your number one priority is the success of the Denver Broncos, not your own egos, not who is the captain, not who is calling the shots, the Denver Broncos, plain and simple. Tell them to measure your actions before you do something and say to yourself, is this going to make the team better or is this something I am doing for my own personnel reasons. That Jay can be successful under any system if he is willing to learn and listen, and that McDaniels can coach the Broncos, provided he treats his players with respect and honesty. Throw a lamp or two, scream until you are blue in the face, curse them out, punch the walls, throw a bottle of Yukon Jack or two, call them both arrogant crybabies, make them clean your shoes, bottom line, exert your authority, make them fear you Mr. Bowlen more than they hate each other, and this may have a happy ending yet. I know that is not your style Mr. Bowlen, that you have always carried yourself with class and decorum in the matters of the Broncos, but this team is quickly slipping away from you, and maybe being a short term tyrant will help build a long term team.