A Mile High Mistake: Josh McDaniels Era Could Be Over Before It Begins

The SportmeistersAnalyst IMarch 16, 2009

By Justin of The Sportmeisters

If you want to see an example of how NOT to step into a head coaching job, look no further than the Mile High’s very own Denver Broncos’ head coach Josh McDaniels. Before even conducting one spring practice he has managed to alienate the face of the franchise, Jay Cutler.

As if McDaniels’ task of replacing a two-time Super Bowl winner in Mike Shanahan wasn’t already hard enough, he has compounded the situation by stating that he was shopping for a new QB. To make matters worse, in a meeting which was supposed to result in reconciliation, the situation deteriorated further.

Where did Josh McDaniels go wrong?

First, the Broncos’ head man should have gotten Matt Cassel if he wanted him. Failing to get a new QB started the relationship with Cutler off on a sour note.

Secondly, he should have been honest with Cutler about his intentions, or at least give the appearance that he had nothing to hide, even it is all a big misunderstanding.

The job of any coach is to motivate his or her team to play at maximum potential and to get the individuals on that team to perform in ways that contribute to the team’s goals. So far, McDaniels has done neither and could divide the locker room if he isn’t careful with his actions in the very near future.

The NFL is a league built on quarterback play. If a team has a QB that cannot manage the game, that organization’s season could get ugly in a hurry. Just look at the state of the Detroit Lions, arguably the worst team in the NFL right now.

What you have in Cutler is an established leader who is gutsy and has the support and respect of his teammates. To start over with a new head coach is one thing, but to complicate that with a new and unproven signal-caller makes the possibility of success that much more difficult.

But where could Cutler go? There are plenty of teams in need of a QB to set them in the right direction.

For example, the aforementioned Detroit Lions could opt to acquire Cutler so that they will already have a seasoned veteran at the helm. The Lions could construct such a deal in which they could come out on top and get more bang for their buck instead of drafting a rookie QB who could potentially hold out for more guaranteed money.

How about Jacksonville or the New York Jets? The Jets need a QB more the Jaguars, but I am willing to bet that they would be open to take a shot at Cutler. Let’s not forget about San Francisco, who isn’t comfortable with naming either one of their QBs as the starter.

Finally, there could be potential for Tampa Bay, which was in the mix that started all this, to be an option. Sure, this is all speculation but that’s the beauty of what-if's.

What if Cutler is traded to another team? Who wins out on the deal? Any team trading away a young talent that ranked third in passing yards and has a defense that did not show up week in and week out would definitely be on the short end of that stick.

The bottom line for the Denver Broncos this season is that if Josh McDaniels doesn’t pull this team together fast, he could be out of a job just as quick as he got one.