The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Anyone But McDaniels

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There are so many variables that go into a coach having first-season success -- it's difficult to call. Who really thought that Tony Sparano and Mike Smith would make the playoffs last year with the Dolphins and Falcons? It's easier to peg a team whose new coach has set the entire franchise up for failure, and that's precisely what Denver's Josh McDaniels has done. There was the Jay Cutler fiasco, the switch to a 3-4 defense when the team doesn't even have enough quality front seven personnel, the choice to pick a running back in the first round of the 2009 draft when the Broncos had proves more than any other team that zone blocking can make backs fungible -- oh, wait. McDaniels wants to move away from zone blocking. Nice!

McDaniels seems to have the same problem that fellow Belichick University graduate Eric Mangini struggles with -- if you want to be a disciplinarian, there had to be some sense behind it. You have to treat different players differently, and you don't throw away one of the best quarterbacks in the game because you don't see eye-to-eye. It's the common factor that has led to the failures of so many college coaches at the NFL level -- they're used to players and staffers bowing to them without question, and it just doesn't with that way in the pro game. It will be interesting to see how much rope Broncos owner Pat Bowlen gives McDaniels -- he was more than patient with Mike Shanahan, but if the preseason is a precursor, Shanahan didn't have this kind of disaster on his resume.

By Doug Farrar  |  June 2, 2009; 7:37 AM ET  | Category:  Denver Broncos , Doug Farrar Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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