Josh McDaniels Can Blame Himself for Spygate, Denver Broncos' Failures

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Josh McDaniels Can Blame Himself for Spygate, Denver Broncos' Failures
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Feel free to light a candle in the high attitude, kiss your spouse under the mistletoe and unite collectively in the Mile High City to witness millions of twinkling lights and festive parades, but more importantly, applaud the recent firing of Josh McDaniels.

If he looked like a basic, clever head coach in the NFL, wearing his typical Broncos hoodie to impersonate his former mentor and boss Bill Belichick when he gazed at the mediocre Denver Broncos from the sidelines that unraveled each Sunday, it’s because McDaniels never had a mien in coaching a pro franchise.

By now, we realize that he was never a beneficiary for cultivating an unproductive team or reestablishing faith to the Broncos, unless we are willing to include an awe-inspiring 6-0 start, winning his first six games as a rookie coach last season.

The firing of the sweatshirt-wearing coach, after the Broncos fell out of the postseason category ever since he dropped to a startling 5-17 to wipe out an unbeaten start in his reign and parted ways with quarterback Jay Cutler, comes as no surprise.

There’s more to this story, as Denver’s owner Pat Bowlen finally realized that he needed to redirect indiscretions, such was McDaniels’ ego trip and egocentric ways when he was handed the coaching gig with very little experience.

The tenor of which his dismissal loomed, as it finally came to hunt a foundered McDaniels, so often dates back to his lack of integrity and furtive issues.

And it’s at least a palpable sense of belief with a multitude of Broncos fans delighted over the sudden refinement within a once-respected franchise, to finally understand the magnitude of winning by deciding to move on without McDaniels in the Broncos’ rebuilding plans.    

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“I think everyone here is surprised with the timing, but not surprised it happened,” said former Broncos star safety John Lynch. “Right when I heard the Spygate thing, I thought, ‘It’s over.’”

Turns out, he was right.

Turns out the fans were, too. For those of you surprised by the latest news, even if the Broncos were reluctant in canning the second-year coach, this isn’t a surprise when Broncos video coordinator Steve Scarnecchia was caught filming the San Francisco 49ers walkthrough practice on Oct. 30 in London.

Through all of which, McDaniels mistakenly acted as if he was a slow-minded moron when he was aware of Sypgate II, but never reported it to the team, keeping it secret until details were revealed publicly to humiliate McDaniels.

Thus, by putting his job status in jeopardy, by being labeled as the bonehead of the league for an outrageous misstep that pretty much stained his modus to accommodate good character, it all backfired in McDaniels’ face and cost him his profession as a team leader.

As much as we tried to understand the variations of the human mind, we tried to understand the mind of a man with no pride or zest, but a man who only cared strictly about his ego and legacy, not even his reputation.

When it comes to evaluating McDaniels, beyond all the amount of responsibility that the Broncos pledged they wouldn't give him, simply for the inexperience and disadvantages, it was always about his attitude and ego. Meanwhile, if ever there was an explanation, the Broncos weren't hesitant to admit that he was permitted too much authority at such a young age.

"I think the responsibilities that he was burdened with, it's fair to say that we probably burdened him with too much of that and we were unfair to him in that respect," said the team's chief operating officer, Joe Ellis. "And we certainly need to assess that and look at that moving forward."

Surely, Bowlen and the ownership gave McDaniels the benefit of the doubt. How dare McDumbass was aware of the inexcusable sins and reacted untrustworthy and secretive, adding to the malign crisis that stained the humility of an elegant franchise. At 34, he was the NFL's second-youngest head coach, and had never coached a team and had never been allowed to direct personnel decisions.

Within his stint, he lacked maturity molded by Belichick in New England and served as an outstanding quarterback coach to groom and improve the play of the obscure Matt Cassel with a majestic 11-5 record in 2008.

As it turned out, McDaniels' inability to communicate and conduct a team alone is not surprising when he left from an organization run by Belichick, who makes his baffled coaching staff seem like worthy clones of Vince Lombardi, just as he identified a genius in Charlie Weis.  

"I think it kind of evolved and grew into that and as I said, I take some responsibility on behalf of Pat for allowing that to happen," Ellis said."And it's very likely that the plan will not empower the next head coach with the kind of authority that Josh was probably unfairly put upon him. And it's also fair to say that we'll stick to that plan."

For a long time, the relationship between Bowlen and McDaniels had been severely blemished and irreparable, although he never demanded a change or fired him. The emphasis of the problems cast troubles upon the Broncos, losing an abundance of games, the loyalty of fans, conviction and ambition in a horrid season.

It's pretty pathetic that he had the shortest regime—less than two seasons—of any head coach in Broncos' history. 

All along, he was a risk for a team considered masterful and credible in the league of premier NFL franchises, clearly embarrassed himself and mishandled his toughest task. A team that was paltry, within a well-organized franchise, is facing maybe one of its painful seasons in decades, if ever.    

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," Bowlen said in a statement. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts."

To no one's surprise, he was terminated for the spying scandal revealed last week, and it prompted Bowlen to break off his relationship with Mr. Know It All McDaniels. And so when the NFL delivered a $50,000 fine to McDaniels and the Broncos for illicit taping of the Niners walkthrough, he had every reason to part ways with McDaniels.

"I am very grateful to Pat Bowlen and the Broncos for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach of such a proud franchise," McDaniels said in a statement released by the team. "I would like to thank all of the people who helped us over the last two years. I am especially appreciative of the efforts of every player, coach and member of the personnel department who worked so hard every day."

The realistic understanding is that the Broncos were smart by firing McDaniels for a cause, or Bowlen would still owe him the rest of his four-year, $12 million deal.

It might, in fact, be clearly an intelligent decision, after McDaniels listened to trade offers for Cassel, after he feuded with Cutler and said he never wanted to trade him, after he believed in Kyle Orton and after he selected Tim Tebow in the past, regardless of his poor status for an NFL upstart. 

In other words, if you haven't noticed all of his bad personnel decisions and dumb draft picks, including trades and free-agent signings, Bowlen waited too late to purge McDaniels. And so it ends, of which he couldn't escape an equivocal crisis or couldn't confess of his rotten sins to relinquish from the national outrage in Denver.

Finally, he was divorced by the Broncos, a team that overly loved him, perhaps too long.

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