The other night, my daughter and her fiance were watching the Pixar animated film "Cars." One scene caught my attention in a peculiar way. In this scene, Lightning McQueen, a top-notch race car is running a race on a dirt road. He reaches a hard left turn and loses control. He is advised by a more experienced race car that "to turn left, you need to steer right." At first, McQueen sneers at this advice, but after numerous unsuccessful attempts to negotiate the left turn, he finally tries steering to the right as he enters the turn, and is able to successfully make the left turn.
The scene from "Cars" came along as I was bemusedly reading yet more articles in the MSM and some fan sights which were continuing to promote the view that Denver made all the wrong moves in this off season and were describing how terrible the Broncos were going to be.
These writers were espousing conventional wisdom, and since most of Denver's moves haven't followed that wisdom, the Broncos must be wrong and headed for disaster. Some examples:
Turn Left -- Everybody knows that you trust the coach with the 2 Super Bowl rings.
Steer Right -- Bowlen fires Shanahan.
Turn Left -- Everybody knows you need a defensive coach to fix the defense.
Steer Right -- Bowlen hires McDaniels (NE's Offensive Coordinator).
Turn Left -- Everybody knows you leave the coaching staff of the NFL's 2nd ranked offense intact.
Steer Right -- McDaniels fires Bates, and hires McCoy.
Turn Left -- Everybody knows you hand the offensive reigns to your Pro Bowl Quarterback (see an aside at the bottom of this post regarding the term "Pro Bowl Quarterback)
Steer Right -- Exit Cutler, enter Orton.
Turn Left -- Everybody knows that all of Denver's ills last year were the fault of the defense.
Steer Right -- McDaniels shows his belief that the offense and the special teams were at fault as well, and acts aggressively to improve those two units.
Turn Left -- Everybody knows that the defensive line should be the focus of all of the team's off season efforts.
Steer Right -- McDaniels acts to improve the running game, the receiving game, and the defensive secondary.
Turn Left -- Everybody knows that to fix Denver's woes, the team needed to sign proven, marquee d-line veterans in Free Agency and draft highly touted d-line players in the College Draft.
Steer Right -- McDaniels brings in players familiar with his system, players who are viewed as being of "high character/team first" attitudes, players who are often portrayed as "cast offs" from their current teams.
In the movie "Cars," McQueen's problem was that he was used to racing on asphalt, and a different set of skills are needed to be successful on a dirt road. The MSM and posters at some fan sites have been locked into the paved racetrack formula. They have portrayed their position as being based on such things as "everybody knows," "this is were all of Denver's problems lay," etc. They have clung to the familiar, conventional wisdom.
McDaniels came in and shifted the Broncos onto a new race track, wherein the "tried and true" methods are not as effective. There have been a multitude of articles here at MHR describing the methods, players, philosophies, etc., that McDaniels has brought to Denver. There are lots of articles exploring what he's done, challenging his premises, and ultimately, helping us to understand where we were, where we are now, and where we're headed.
McDaniels has been advising us to steer right, in order to turn left. In the movie, McQueen took the lessons to heart, and became a big winner by winning the adoration of the fans for showing he was the best, even though he did not win his next race. We may not win the Super Bowl this year, but we are on the right track.
To each and everyone of you who has posted during this off season, who has expanded understanding, who has challenged each of us to be intellectually honest, a very heart-felt thanks from this fan.