The 2 questions I want to ask are this?
I have heard everything about McDaniels from both ends of the spectrum. On this site alone I have heard for his head on a platter to him being the next sure Superbowl coach. I don't know how McD's tenure with the Denver Broncos will end as only time will tell but I do believe that he knows what he wants out of this football organization. More after the jump.
What is the vision of Josh McDaniels for the Denver Broncos?
Answer: To win a superbowl. Any head coach in the NFL has this as their vision and goal. The can be no question about it. Simple as that. They want to win.
Is he making the best decisions for this franchise to fulfill that vision?
Answer: Opinions vary on this answer but let me throw this out there. How can any one of us know whether or not McD's, X's, or Bowlen's decisions regarding the players and personnel on this team are good or bad until after the decisions have a few years to take effect.
A few examples:
1) The Cutler debacle. How many were certain we would be a 3 win team after trading Cutler away? Most of the MSM that's for sure. How many thought McD was single handedly running our beloved team into the ground only to realize that ok, maybe it wasn't the worst move in the history of sports? How many people thought Kyle Orton couldn't come in and throw for 3800 yards and 21 TD's? Whether or not McD wanted Cutler as his guy from the beginning is a moot point. He had a vision (Matt Cassell?) and it didn't work out. So after Cutler was unwilling to do his part to repair the relationship the Broncos had to adapt and move on. Kyle Orton although not McD's first choice was a deliberate pick because he was the closest option capable of helping McD fulfill his vision for this team.
2) His Draft choices. McD has supporters on both sides of the fence regarding his draft as well. Those who think he did great bringing in guys who were leaders for their team. Guys who may have been reaches over popular players like Maualuga (who I had tunnel vision for before the draft). Seriously had anybody considered or even heard of McBath or Bruton or Quinn before we drafted them. I hadn't at least. Well many have claimed some of them busts. Some say give them time. I firmly believe a player needs 3 years in a system before being considered a bust. So much adaptation has to take place transitioning from college to the NFL that some don't take the change as well as others.
3) Now we have the Brandon Marshall situation. How will McD handle this? Some say he has already handled it poorly. Others say he was right on benching the guy. Some say he will run our best player out of town and again run our franchise into the ground. Others say good riddance he isn't our best player anyway and we will be better off without him. Once again, only time will tell. I believe McD will think really hard about it though and in the end I believe that he will do what he thinks is best for this team.
Therein lies the real problem. We think we know what is best for the team is right? And why shouldn't we. We study, we watch, we read, we scout players, we have coached winning teams, we've run organizations. Our views matter more than the coach. We see more than he does right? I mean we hear what the MSM tells us or what we read on MHR and our opinions are the ones that matter right? We pay for the tickets so we get a say in how the team is coached! Well as much as I hate to admit it we don't. Pat Bowlen is responsible for getting the guy he thinks will put the best product on the field. Not just the best one to watch but the best one to win. Mr B has bought into the vision McD has for this team otherwise he wouldn't be our coach. Was Mr B surprised with some of the moves McD made? Sure, probably. Do you think he thinks he made a mistake? Not sure. Did Mr. B have the final say in the Cutler trade? He actually called for it.
I know I am rambling so I will close this up. Here is my point. A coach has a vision as to what he believes will make for a winning team. McDaniels has on every level been a part of a winning team and seen what makes them win. He has a vision for what it will take and people won't agree with him. Does that make him wrong? No. Does it make him right? Also No. Only time will tell if it does. I was reading an article by Lombardi and he presented a tidbit of information I didn't know about Walsh when he was coaching the 49'ers and when he brought Steve Young on board. Apparently most in the organization didn't agree with it and I'm guessing after Young's unsuccessful start with the Bucs many fans thought he was a bust and thought Walsh stupid for bringing him on (even though they didn't hardly pay anything for him). Looks like the coach's vision in this case played out pretty well. Parallel this to McD. Not specifically to any player but in general terms. I'm not comparing McD to Walsh because he hasn't earned it yet. I'm just saying we need to let this play out before we can call for the burning torches. He obviously sees things we don't and time will tell if he is right or wrong. Hindsight being 20/20 I'm sure we'll all say we knew it all along. Until then the debate rages on. Here's the quote.
***disclaimer the article is about Tebow (who I'm not a supporter of) so don't let that distract you from the point***
"Tebow is no different than Hall of Famer Steve Young, who left BYU and went to the USFL. Young was known as a runner first; he couldn’t read coverages, and it was felt he would struggle in a pro system. He went to the Bucs and failed to become integrated into their offense. He was literally given to the 49ers in a trade. The Bucs were convinced, as all of America and most of the 49ers organization were, that Young was never going to be a pro-style passer.
When coach Bill Walsh asked his staff if they were in favor of making the trade for Young, there were no yes votes. I kid you not. Today, there will be revisionist history, but I was in the room, and Walsh had little support for making the trade other than his own instincts and vision for Young. This is what made Walsh brilliant. He was not hoping for Young to be a good player, he had a plan to make Young a good player. He saw the path and couldn’t have cared less if anyone else saw it. He was never afraid to stand alone in his opinions."
I for one am happy to have a coach willing to stand alone in his opinions and not waver in what he thinks will make us a winner. Do we have a Walsh in the making? Maybe, maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see.