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Josh McDaniels Presser transcript

Opening statement

"I appreciate everybody being here today. I want to first say that I thank you all for your patience in dealing with this situation. I know it hasn't been easy for all of you trying to get information from us and it hasn't been easy for us to deal with it either. We wanted to try to do it privately, obviously, and try to keep much of this stuff to ourselves as we tried to resolve the situation. Again, I thank you for your patience throughout the whole process.

"As [President & CEO] Pat [Bowlen] alluded to in his statement Tuesday night, we just felt as an organization that we got to a point where it was made very clear to us that we were not going to be able to get to a resolution where Jay Cutler could be on our football team. At that point we opened it up and let the league know that we would have an interest in trading the player. Yesterday with the Chicago Bears, [we] kind of culminated the process with a deal we felt was best for our football team going forward.

"We are very excited about the opportunity that we have now and [we] are looking forward to moving on, improving and working towards the 2009 season."

On whether there were any regrets

"No. I think it could have worked out as I mentioned a week ago. It was going to require a two-way commitment and as Pat said, I think that it was clear to us that there wasn't going to be a two-way commitment. We have talked about doing everything we can do to help our football team improve. That's how this started and we are going to continue to do that."

On how the communication broke down

"Like I said, it became obvious that it wasn't going to be resolved the way that we were trying to resolve it. We were committed to trying to do that and I think at the point where it became apparent and clear that it was not going to work out the mindset was kind of: What are we waiting for? Pat released the statement on Tuesday night and we made a decision to move on."


On where he would put the blame

"I don't know where the blame lies or if there is blame. Obviously it was a situation where communication became an issue and at that point it started to get progressively worse. But I understand the player's mindset. I understand that he wasn't happy with what had happened or transpired, but we dealt with the situation straightforward [and] we were upfront with him. There are many things, obviously, that have come out about this whole process and the way that it worked out. Like I said, no regrets of the whole situation other than we could have communicated the thing that we were attempting to fix the way we were attempting to fix it."

On how he would describe his first 90-plus days on the job

"It's been kind of a whirlwind. It's exciting and it's challenging. This is the National Football League and I understand that. It's a production business [and] it's all about winning. In a word, we are trying to make every decision we can that's in the best interest of our team and that we feel is going to help us do that. There are tough decisions to make and there are some easy ones. There are a lot more difficult decisions you have to make on a daily basis. If you are afraid to make those decisions then you shouldn't do this-you should be in this line of work. We are looking forward to moving on with our team and like I said, we're excited about what the team has done so far. The players are all here working extremely hard. We love what we see from them in their attitude, their approach and the way they are trying to improve. We are looking forward to getting on to football."

On whether QB Kyle Orton fits his "mold"

"There is no mold, I wouldn't say that. That's not what this is about. Kyle Orton is a player that I've watched and that I've seen and had an opportunity to study some obviously through this process and before. Kyle Orton has won in this league. He's tough, he's smart, he makes good decisions, he's accurate with the football and we're excited about having him on this team. I don't have a mold. There is not a precise ‘here is what the guy has to look like.' Tom Brady didn't look anything like Matt Cassel and Matt Cassel doesn't look anything like Kyle Orton. It's a guy that can do what we want him to do, understand and process our offense, help our team win, make smart decisions and get the ball to the people that we want to do things with it. There is no special person or special guy that has to fit into it. There are a lot of players that can fit into it."

On whether there will be a quarterback competition

"Everybody is going to compete, yes. Everybody is going to compete. Every position is going to be like that. Kyle is going to come in here and we had a good conversation yesterday. He is excited to get to work and help our team compete and help our team win. That's what he wants to do and we are looking forward to having a player like that."

On whether he has addressed the team

"We had a team meeting yesterday, not after the fact but before it. We addressed that and told them all at a team meeting that we were moving forward, we were going to make a decision soon and once we made that decision we weren't going to look back."

On the amount of flexibility Denver has in the draft with the acquired picks, whether it will be a defensive draft and whether Denver will consider drafting a quarterback

"It gives us a lot of flexibility. It's something that as a football coach going into the draft, the more you have, the better off you are because you can maneuver to get some players that you really feel good about and [we] have the ammunition to do some of those things. As far as it being a defensive or offensive draft, it's going to be the best players at a position that we need players at that can help our team win. I wouldn't say that it's going to be one way or the other. As far as a quarterback is concerned, we are evaluating all of those players just the same. If one of those players-whoever they may be, whenever it may be-is somebody that we would like to have on this team then we would consider drafting a quarterback."

On whether QB Kyle Orton's inclusion in the trade put Chicago over the top

"I think the fact that you are giving up a quarterback and you get a quarterback that has been productive and has won in this league, it's never a bad thing. When you are considering what to do and what is the right decision to make, he certainly weighed into that. That was somewhat of a factor in this deal."

On what he likes about QB Chris Simms

"Chris is in many ways similar to what I just described about the kind of guy we are looking for. He is tough [and] he's smart. He's already knee deep in the offense right now and learning more every day. He met with us this morning. Chris is bright, he can get the ball to the people we want him to get it to and he will have an opportunity to compete for that spot."

On if there was anything he would have done differently

"That's frustrating to me because the situation as it played out, there was communication that morning and I think there has been this speculation that everybody is withholding information. There was a conversation earlier that morning and then no communication for quite a long time. In terms of being forthcoming, I don' t know what else we would do. We called the player, we spoke to him and his agent before anything had ever happened and that's kind of where it stood from our point. We couldn't go forward from it because there was no communication from that point forward. I would never use that word that we would do anything over because we tried to do that and we never could get to the point where there was effective communication.

"Like I said, we were doing something at that point in time-35 days ago or whatever it is-to try to take a look at something that may or may not improve the team. There was no decision made, so we didn't get to a point where we were doing anything. We didn't get to a point where we were going to take anything to Pat Bowlen and say ‘here is what we think we should do.' At that point everything obviously went forward with Kansas City and it's done, so like I said, that's the end of all of it."

On if Jay Cutler was not "his guy"

"No. He could have played in this offense and done very well."

On clarifications of the communication gaps

"There were multiple periods where there was very little communication."

On whether he considered flying out to see Cutler

"No. I think, like I said, it's a two-way commitment. If you're going to do something then it has to be done where both people are trying to get to the same resolution. For the majority of this process that is not the way it was."

On whether he had an opportunity to meet one-on-one with Cutler

"Impossible. Bus Cook (Cutler's agent) was going to be there. We would have loved to do it."

On whether Bus Cook was the problem

"No idea. This wasn't about a contract, so I have no idea if Bus Cook was the problem or not."

On his relationship with Cutler up until the point where it went wrong

"We had multiple meetings. The player is very smart, very bright. I could see that right away. There was never any reason to think otherwise. We met on a number of occasions and he was coming in here and working with [Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks] Coach [Matt] McCoy. Again, he is going to be a good player. He is going to be a good player in Chicago now. There were no reservations about anything that I had noticed or I had witnessed in our conversations. We had good conversations and good meetings."

On whether he was surprised that the situation grew to the point where Cutler needed to be traded

"No. Like I said, It was going to require two people to want the same resolution and to me that's kind of where it fell through."

On when he realized that the situation was not going to be resolved with Cutler staying in Denver

"I think for Pat and I, and [General Manager] Brian [Xanders], in the last four or five days obviously it was becoming more clear and it culminated with Pat's statement on Tuesday night."

On his evaluation of Jay Cutler

"He is very talented and he can do a lot of things. He is very smart. I didn't get an opportunity to coach the player on the field, so just in terms of watching him on film he obviously can do a lot of things and he does a lot of things well. The way I feel about quarterbacks is that his job is to score touchdowns and win games. Jay Cutler is capable of doing that and there are a lot of quarterbacks who are capable of doing that. He is very talented, he obviously he has a strong arm, he is very accurate and he has done a lot of things so far in this league. So yes, he is a good player.

"He is a very talented player, but I will also say this: you are distinguished by getting to the playoffs and winning a lot of games. I think that's how you set yourself apart from other players in this league at any position. Is it a step down athletically? I don't know. You can say what you want to say about that. Is his arm stronger than Kyle's or Chris'? Yes it is. But can you win with anyone else. Sure you can. Like I said, what matters to me is that you have players at every position that we can win with, compete with and be successful with. That is what we are working hard to do every day."

On his challenge in finding impact players in the NFL Draft

"I think you feel that way every year no matter how many first rounders you have. You would love to hit on every pick. We are hoping to hit on the fourth rounders and the sixth rounders. I think there is pressure on you always to select the right players for your team and that's what we're hoping to do. We have a very specific system that we are going to implement offensively and the same thing on defense. We are looking at trying to add players at whatever position that may be that can fit in and help us win right away. We are not going to draft anybody that we hope four years from now is going to make a contribution. Everybody that we draft is going to have a specific grade on them that we feel like fits our team perfectly and gives us an opportunity to improve at every selection."

On whether there is a chance to come out of the draft as a more balanced football team

"That's going to be the goal all the time-to try to be as good defensively as you are offensively and vice versa. I would say from the first moment I landed in Denver though that our goal is to improve the team. We have significant improvement to do on both sides of the ball and the kicking game. We can sit here and talk about statistics a lot. But we have improvement to do on offense, we have improvement to do on defense and we can certainly improve ourselves in the kicking game. There are a lot of areas that we are going to try to address and-in the next two years, with the extra selection we have in the first round [in 2010]-I think that helps give us some ammunition to do that."

On the status of WR Brandon Marshall

"Brandon is doing fine. We are not going to discuss details of anything with Brandon, but he is doing fine. That will be handled with the league if there is anything to be done with it. The charges were dropped and we are just kind of waiting to see if there is anything that the league feels is necessary.

"He is going to do everything he can every day to improve and when he's ready he will be out there."

On why he concentrated on the secondary in free agency

"You are always looking for a player at any position that can give you the right value. We evaluated every player in free agency. We went through that process and just felt like that was going to give us the best opportunity to add players that could help us quickly. You always kind of look at free agency and the draft kind of hand in hand. If you feel like you have a chance to do something in the secondary or at receiver in free agency and maybe focus on another area in the draft then that's something that you take into consideration. We just felt good about [CB] André Goodman, [S] Renaldo Hill and [S] Brian Dawkins obviously and felt like they were going to come in and help impact our team right away.

"You would like to have some experience there at those positions but at the same time stay young. It's an oxymoron, but they all can play, they have years left in all of them and we are looking forward to having that group get together here and start working together at this first minicamp in April. We expect them to play well."

On the last time he spoke to Jay Cutler

"The face-to-face meeting."

On whether he should have waiting longer to resolve the communication issues

"We were trying to do that, but like I said, it was made very clear that that wasn't going to happen."

On whether it was important to resolve the situation before the draft to prevent a distraction

"It wasn't about avoiding a distraction. It was just about it getting to the point where it became very clear to us that it wasn't going to be resolved the way that we were trying to resolve it. At that point I think you are going to try to move on and make the best decision you can to improve your team and then focus on the rest of the spring and having a great offseason. It wasn't about needing more time or giving enough time."

On whether it was a situation where one player was bigger than the team

"Like I said, it just became clear that that wasn't what they wanted. At that point we are focusing on the team. We are focusing on the team every day. We are going to win as a team every day. It's not going to be one player and it's not going to be two players. It's going to be a team and we are going to win. Whichever way we are trying to win, that's the way we are going to try to win. If it's kicking six field goals, it's kicking six field goals; if it's shutting somebody, out it's shutting somebody out; or if it's scoring 45 points it's scoring 45 points. Whatever combination of those things we need to try to win with that's what we're going to try to use. It wasn't just about something like that."

On how he reassures the fans that the team is moving forward

"We are going to make every decision that we can to try to improve the team. This wasn't the end result we were looking for from the onset, but it is where we are at now and we are moving forward in a direction where we feel like we can compete and be competitive. We have added quite a few players to our roster. Our team is doing great things out here in the offseason, working hard. We are looking forward to taking every opportunity that we get as a new regime here to try and improve our team at these minicamps that we are going to have and the OTAs, passing camps and so on and so forth. We are going to be competitive and we are going to find a way to win. That's our job. It's a production business. We hired a good staff and we are going to continue try to add good players that can help out team win in the draft and if there is anybody left in free agency we will do the same thing. There is no one formula to win. We have a lot of improving to do on offense and defense and in the kicking game and we are going to do that every day from this point forward and see where it falls in September.

"We are hoping not to be patient as a franchise. The [fans] are not going to put the season on hold for us. We are going to show up, get ready to go and have a productive offseason. We are going to go into training camp with the same mindset and we are going to try to win. That's what we are going to do: we are going to try to win. And I know this, there is not just one way to do it. I know that."