I will not claim to be a big supporter of you, in fact, I like many others wanted a more experienced coach or one with a defensive mindset to be the next coach of the Broncos. But when you were announced as the new head coach I jump on board with new Bronco optimism for the upcoming year and was looking forward to hopefully a productive and fruitful free agency period and NFL Draft. I will always cheer for the Broncos and for what they stand for.
Unfortunately, the past 72 hours have been nothing short of earth shaking to the core for many fans. I am willing to accept moves that I may not see as immediately beneficial or providing any great value (such as the signing of a long snapper, a broken down RB, a LB that has never amounted to anything, or even the potential replacement of one of the team leaders and fan favorite in Brandon Stokely). I may not cheer wildly or even think they are very sound, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt to try to mold the team to your image. But now has come the Jay Cutler fiasco, that will likely be a story until well into next year.
This letter is not to provide the blame finger, cause honestly, at this point, what good is that going to do. But what this situation continues to threaten to do is not only rip the team apart but also the fan base as we start taking sides and fighting for who we believe is right, rather than fighting for the Broncos.
So seeing how you have had a meteoric rise in the coaching ranks, and likely spent little time following or appreciating the Broncos growing up, I thought I might provide some insight into helping you deal with this situation and come out on the positive side. Just for the record, the Broncos have a long history of winning, in fact we have been to six Super Bowls, and even won a couple. We have had a lot of great and talented players here (you may not know that since the HOF has only 1 ½ Bronco players), but when you go to Invesco field, look up at the names on the Stadium and do yourself a favor and learn about those players and what they meant to this organization that you have to good graces to be the head coach of. Yes, it is those players that with great coaches and ownership built a great tradition of pro-football. And with great players, you can continue to build on that tradition and right now the best and greatest player you have on the roster seems to have some serious issues with you, but I will get to that latter.
Some things that you may not of noticed when you came here is that we aren’t the New England Patriots, we tend to value honesty and being truthful as useful qualities in a coach. We expect that players will respect the organization and in turn that the organization will respect them, you may want to ask some guys like Tom Nalen and Rod Smith about that. We want to win, and we want to league and the nation to show us respect, but we want it because we do things the right way.
I know right now, it may seem like the world is against you, you have guys like me calling for your head, people ripping you in the press for being naïve or inexperienced, but the wonderful thing is you can fix it. And here is the simple way, it’s called swallowing your pride and doing what is in the best interest of the organization, and calling Jay Cutler’s agent, finding out where he is, fly there and meet with him face to face. You don’t have to announce the trip, in fact it would probably be better if you didn’t, just go there and be honest. Don’t try to save face, if you really don’t want Jay Cutler here, then let him know and let him know why, and then tell him you will either trade him this year if the deal is right or wait until next year. If you do want him here, than have the honesty to say so and show him by reaching out to him with more than sound bites in the press. Sometimes being the boss can be a really tough jump and some of the hardest things to master are people skills, especially if you didn’t need to have them before. Sometimes new bosses want to have the mentality of being the “new sheriff in town”, and like to exert their powers quickly to try to provide an air of dominance in the room. Usually these guys quickly get shown up for being petty and insecure and will likely start trying to find scapegoats for their own failings, I am suggesting that you may want to see how to actually build a team atmosphere, where you value input from employees and realize that you will only be as successful as your employees are. Work with these guys, learn from them, and find way to make them better, that is what any good coach or boss does. And it all starts with communication and ego, if you communicate and don’t let your ego get in the way, you can do a lot of good things.
Realize that Jay Cutler may be acting bitter and somewhat selfish right now, but change can be one of those frustrating things that scares people, but really will lead to growth in the long term. Players are no different than most people, once they become accustomed to a situation, they do not want change, their natural instinct will be to lash out at it as they see it as a threat. What you need to do is to find a way to have players understand that change can be good, it allows for growth and new experience, and greater knowledge, and will make you stronger in the end.
Hopefully we can all get on with the tough parts of change and growth and come out stronger for it.