Prior to the end of the Denver Broncos' season, Mike Shanahan was head coach of the second best offense in the league. After a three-game slide when one win would’ve put the team into the playoffs the head coach was fired, the offensive coordinator left and the owner brought in a 32-year-old green head coach Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels has been an offensive coordinator for the past three years, but that was in a system that was already successful prior to McDaniels being brought on board.
After McDaniels was named head coach he tried unsuccessfully to trade Jay Cutler for Matt Cassel, his starting quarterback last year with New England. This ruffled the feathers of Cutler and his high-ego so Cutler forced a trade.
He was traded for a quarterback who was placed in a restrictive offense to ensure he didn’t make many mistakes and some draft picks.
After signing free agent runningbacks Lamont Jordan and Correll Buckhalter the team decided to add another horse to its stable with its first pick, even though the team's defense was the worst in the AFC West and fourth worst overall.
They then traded their extra 2010 first round pick from the Bears for a 5’9” cornerback in the second round. Several general managers and analysts all pointed out this draft was the weakest draft in recent memory. Even Bill Polian stated this draft was the weakest in his memory. The biggest issue I have with the trading of the pick is that next year’s draft is expected to be loaded, and Denver certainly could’ve used that extra pick next year.
Now the latest issue with the McDaniels regime is their star wide receiver Brandon Marshall wants to be traded. If Marshall indeed gets traded for what would most likely end up being a draft pick or two next year, Denver’s really going to struggle on offense. Today the team signed wide receiver Brandon Lloyd who has bounced around several teams throughout his short career.
For the last several years the Raiders have been the AFC West team in turmoil, now it appears the forced John Elway trade from the Colts has finally bitten the Broncos in the ass. In one offseason they will lose their franchise quarterback and their star wide receiver in one fell swoop.
If McDaniels doesn’t lead Denver to a .500 record or the playoffs, he could be looking at offensive coordinator jobs again next offseason.