I have watched and/or listened to every interview ever given by Josh McDaniels. I have read every quote, studied every move, and listened closely to the message and to the manner in which it has been delivered. From what I've seen, I believe.
I believe that Josh McDaniels will win a super bowl as a head coach in the NFL. I believe he will win far more games than he loses in his coaching career. I believe he is principled, maybe to a fault, passionate, and as hard a worker as you will ever find in any business, anywhere on the planet earth - except for ants, those little guys do REAL work - anyway . . . . I think he has gigantic balls, a very clear vision and pays absolutely no attention to the media's opinion of him (as evidenced by the fact that his assistant filters everything and just gives him the general idea of who's with him and who's against him on any particular day). He is going to do what he thinks best regardless of the consequences.
Whether you think he is a fool or a genius, a boy king or the genuine article, one thing is for sure: Josh McDaniels is his own man. If I was Pat Bowlen, I would give him 10 years. I would not make the mistake Cleveland made with Belichick by giving a talented coach a shot and then firing him just as he was ready to start winning. I don't want us to prime Josh to go win 5 super bowls in Green Bay or Tennessee. Bottom line: I believe in my guy and I'm going to stick with him.
My whole idea for this post was to 1) express my opinions of Josh McD, 2) list several observations that led to the formulation of my criteria for his judgment, and 3) list the criteria / timeline by which I will judge Josh McD's career in Denver - hopefully you will agree.
1. Josh's judgment should begin this year because he is just now getting all of the pieces he wants. We are SOOOO YOUNG and SOOOOO NEW. If you scan the roster, the number of players that have been drafted or signed from '09 and later is absolutely striking. Josh is still building, but he's got HIS guys now, so it's time for him to groom them and develop them in his system. For me, the "clock" on his time in Denver starts this year.
2. Josh is a gambler, a feel player at that. If you compared him to a poker player, you'd have to go with Tom Dwan "Durrr". He's confident, makes big moves and doesn't care about what others say. He plays against the grain and usually wins. He will constantly keep your team in the spotlight, which, is valuable to the franchise in the long-run. His eyes are on the reward, not necessarily the risk.
3. Josh is brilliant and not afraid to change. This is probably the best argument for giving him a longer timeframe to succeed. He's not a constant comodity that either will succeed or fail - he has the ability and a willingness to adapt, along with the intelligence to make his adaptations effective. For instance, Tom Coughlin is who he is and he'll never be anything different. He's going to run things a certain way, want certain systems and pieces in place and his "brand" will either succeed or fail - it will not change. In contrast, Josh's system and mindset is always changing and evolving to fix problems and further fortify strengths. I don't care what business you're in - if you find and employ someone who is brilliant, hard-working, adaptable and 100% committed to success, you're going to succeed. Period. Ever read "Who Moved My Cheese?"
4. Josh's relationship with players is hard to get a read on. On one hand, he's all Parcels: "The player this" and "The player that," totally old school. On the other hand, he runs around fist-pumping to the home fans and celebrating with players. He will really test the theory that you can't be a strict disciplinarian and still be a players coach because he's obviously going for both. Jarvis Green, for one, said that Josh's enthusiasm is one of the things that brought him to Denver. It's tough to say if this will make him the most beloved coach ever, cause him to lose the locker room, or both. I think over time this will be easier to figure out. If it goes the wrong way, it could spell doom for Josh. One of the biggest criticisms of him is that he doesn't know how to differentiate his treatment among players and that he doesn't work well with others (Mike Nolan, Jay Cutler, BMarsh etc.). I'm not sure if Josh's need for control is good or bad yet. It is, however, a bit worrisome.
5. Josh McDaniels is good for Denver. He is the most controversial figure in Denver sports. He is a lightening rod, a polarizing figure and he has brought more media attention to the Denver Broncos than I have seen since . . . well, just about ever. He is exciting, interesting, brash . . . . In short, he will bring attention and money to the franchise and, if he wins, he will restore the mile-high magic that has been lacking since Elway left.
TIMELINE AND CRITERIA:
1) No matter what, Josh should have a minimum of 6 years, starting this year (7 total). This is not a one, two, or three year process. Sure, winning in the NFL is everything. That is exactly why you don't want to hand-pick a coach and then not give him a fair shot to learn, develop and build your team. There are going to be mistakes and a learning curve. There are going to be times when you want to go in a different direction - DON'T! This guy is committed, brilliant and adaptable. He has all the tools to learn and grow into a great coach. He has balls and he's going to garner attention for your program as long as he's there. He's the Jerry Jones of coaching, but smarter and far less annoying - more substance to the balls and less flash. It's like Jerry has silver balls and Josh has gold balls. Ya dig?
2) The criteria are simple:
a) winning better than 62% of his games over the next 6 years (10-6 is 62%) and
b) winning at least 3 division championships, and
c) either making it to the super bowl once or making the playoffs 4 out of the 6 years, or
d) fixing the end of the year slide routine by 2011.
e) Winning a super bowl. This eliminates all of the above criteria because it is, of course, the ultimate measuring stick.
If he meets or exceeds these expectations - keep him and it's been a success. If not, it might be time to pull the plug unless we suck in years 1-4 and then go 13-3 and 14-2 and make the AFC Championship both years. I think the above-stated criteria provide a pretty suitable platform for judgment; but ultimately, he needs to win football games and perform especially well in the division, at the end of the season and in the playoffs.