Something that I have been hearing ever since the draft and the selection of Tim Tebow (something that I disagree with) is that McDaniels' career is now tied to the success or failure of Tim Tebow - or at least his career with the Denver Broncos.
Didn't they (the MSM) say the same thing last year after McDaniels so "arrogantly" traded away our so called "franchise quarterback" for the lowly, low ceilinged Kyle Orton (not my opinion personally)? I distinctly remember the media saying that McDaniels has handcuffed himself and his career with Denver to the success or failure of Kyle Orton. I thought that comment was silly then and I think it is silly today as well.
How can a coach's hands be tied to one player in the ultimate team game? First off, let me state that I understand the importance of the QB position. The person at that position needs to be the leader of the team. McD has been quoted as saying this about the QB position:
"That position on our team, that player has to be at the top of our charts and we want that player to be a great player. He’s got to lead our team, he’s got to make every player in the locker room better and he has to make our team better. That’s what a quarterback needs to do in this league and we want the competition that we provide in that spot to make all of those players better."
So how can I say that McD's stay in Denver isn't tied to the QB he picked up if it is the most important position on the team? Because technically it isn't (his stay not the position). There is one thing and one thing only that will determine whether or not McD has a short 3 year career in Denver or a long 14+ one. That one thing is MF wins baby. Let me put it this way:
If Denver wins the division and obviously makes the playoffs with Kyle Orton will anyone care that we spent a 1st round pick on Tebow? I'm sure many will and will think it was a waste of a pick that could have been used on another area of need. But if we win the division and make the playoffs then those areas of need weren't as big as we thought then were they? I would wager that many would think McD a smart man for starting Orton and allowing Tebow to develop for the year. What if Denver decides to start Tom B and we win big? What about Quinn? What if we start the ever controversial Tebow and win? Does it really matter as long as we're winning?
The only reason the MSM and some fans say things like his career is tied to this player or that is so that they will have a focused source of blame to point their fingers at to prove they were right if the bottom falls out. But given the fact that they changed statements so quickly from last year to this based on a single player aquisition at a position of such scrutiny goes to show that they are wrong to make that statement in the first place. If McD wins with Orton but not Tebow he won't be fired. If he wins with Tebow and not Orton he won't be criticized for trading Culter and getting a wasted journeyman (at least he shouldn't be). The point is that if he wins, nobody will remember that his hands were previously tied to the "other" guy's potential. And McD knows this.
McD brought in 2 QB's this offseason. He brought in the developmentally destroyed Quinn to be the backup to Orton but to push him as competition for the starting job. He then drafted the much hyped Tim Tebow to do the same. According to McD competition brings out the best in players and I have to believe he is right. If you can't put your best product on the field when it counts (to beat out the other guy) then you don't deserve to be a starter in this league. His hands can't be tied to one. If anything they are tied to all 4. They are tied to the WR's trying to fill the void left by Marshall. They are tied to the running back he drafted in the first round instead of the much needed defense. They are tied to the aging defense who went from 29th to 7th in the league in McD's year with the team (what Shanny couldn't do or find a coordinator to do in 3 straight years). His hands are tied to 53 guys (45 active) doing their MF jobs on a daily basis and playing the ultimate team sport like a true team plays. His hands are tied to winning football games.
His vision isn't something unknown or new around these parts but in his interview with Peter King it is put forth candidly by McDaniels:
"I love this game so much,'' McDaniels said. "I would die to have 53 guys here who love it as much as I do. I'm looking to find the right group of guys to accept our one singular goal -- to win." And that is what his hands are tied to, not Tim Tebow, not Kyle Orton. Just MF winning.
The article can be found here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/peter_king/04/27/mailbag/index.html