The fan base and commentators seem loathe to admit it, but the Denver Broncos are deconstructing in order to reconstruct.
Apparently the fans believed that hiring a new coach meant leaving the team exactly as it was, without any major restructuring or upheavals of any kind.
It was assumed that McDaniels would come in, leave all the offensive pieces in place, and then promptly rebuild the defense through the draft and free agency.
A pretty big assumption considering this was a coach who came in and heavily emphasized a "system" approach. Players will fit the system, not the other way around. This was a known quantity from day one. Not believing that things would change, and change in a big way, was extremely naive.
Denver fans set themselves up; they believed change to be a painless and easy process. It's not. It's painful and messy.
There's a lot of negative commentary out there: McDaniels is destroying the Denver Broncos, he's losing the locker room, he's chasing off star players.
Anyone who has ever managed anything of any kind, knows that one must initially come in hard and strict, and then slowly loosen up over time. Coming in wishy washy is what REALLY loses locker rooms. It's much harder to regain control than it is to have it in the first place and then begin to soften a little.
In reality, it's a brilliant move by both Bowlen and McDaniels.
This is how the cow ate the cabbage. PERIOD. There's only one way to skin a cat. PERIOD.
Those players with weak stomachs and intent of bloodless coups shall walk the plank.
Which is exactly how year one of rebuilding should go. In this way, Josh McDaniels is more like Tom Coughlin than Bill Belichick.
Coughlin was often critized for coming into the NY Giants with an iron fist. But, alas, it worked, and as he loosened up (ever so slightly) in coming years, the Giants improved.
When it comes to the the 2009-2010 Denver Broncos, think of one of those home makeover TV shows. The kind where they come in, and instead of just repainting, patching a hole in the roof, buying some new furniture, and call it good, they instead bulldoze everything down and start rebuilding.
The end product produced from the bulldozer/rebuild approach, is always better than the patch the roof/hang new curtains approach.
For Broncos fans, it'll mean perhaps having to sit through a rough season or two in order to get to a playoff caliber team. It'll also mean getting over it. Broncos fans and Denver area reporters and commentators are going to have to let it go.
Shannahan is gone, Culter is in Chicago, and Brandon Marshall may very well end up being traded away for future draft picks...
What did you expect?
There's a new Sheriff in town, and his name is Josh McDaniels.
Let's face it: Denver had become a very mediocre team. As a Bronocs fan living out of state, I became very bored with the organization. Assuming I'm an average fan, the lack of interest generated from a .500 team cannot be a good thing.
Now, however, the average fan is paying attention again. As they say in Hollywood, the only bad publicity is no publicity. We're watching again. For some of us, rebuilding is exciting. Certainly more exciting than 9-7, 7-9, and 8-8. Yawn.
You better believe many of us fans that had gotten a bit bored of the Broncos will be tuned in to this franchise in 2009.
The shortest tenure of any modern era Denver Broncos coach was Wade Phillips and his two year stint back in 1993 and 1994. He went 9-7 and 7-9. Barring a major personality conflict with the owner, you have to imagine that McDaniels will get at least three years to prove himself.
So settle in to that reality all you "glass is half empty" fans and commentators. Bowlen has made it clear that McDaniels is his man. And McDaniels has made it abundantly clear that he is THE MAN.
The bulldozer has flattened the old house. Brick by brick, the new house is rising up.
It's a new era in the land of orange. Get used to it.