I think that Pat Bowlens comments on McDaniels showed us a lot about what has gone wrong in Denver.
I think the message was that Pat Bowlen still has a lot of faith in McDaniels and his talent and that he sees him as a long term coach in Denver.
He recognizes that the staff around McDaniels has been too weak and inexperienced and although he gave McDaniels complete control, he also takes some responsibility for not using his experience to help McDaniels find the right people.
He now takes it upon himself to be much more involved.
The bottom line from Bowlen is:
- McDaniels has tons of talent
- He lacks experience as a HC, and now we need to surround him with better, more experienced people in the coaching staff and the organization.
- It was a mistake to give such a young guy so much responsibility without having experienced, sound advisors.
What should have been done:
The Kansas City Chiefs have shown the right model when hiring a young head coach. After a bad year, Haley was surrounded with tons of experience in Weiss and Crennel as coaches and Scott Pioli as GM. Haley has said that it has allowed him to be better as he can focus on the big picture during the games.
I think we will see a similar model in Denver in 2011.
Final words for discussion on the weak staff surrounding McDaniels:
- Letting Peyton Hillis go for Brady Quinn was a huge mistake. Not even the Browns expected Hillis to explode the way he has. But even without Hillis' monster season you would have to wonder why they let a guy go that fits perfectly in the Denver running needs.
- There has to be something wrong with the coaching and training when so many players go down with injuries. I know this has to be intensity, but it seems like they have been overworking the players.
- The up and down play of both the offense and defense points to a coaching staff (including McDaniels) that is unable to make adjustments during the game. Which to me points to a coach who loses the big picture and two coordinators who either can't see what is needed or can't get through to McDaniels.
Worst case scenario for McDaniels is that if he loses the locker room Pat Bowlen will have to fire him. At this point the easiest solution for that is rebuilding the coaching staff and not the roster.