Tim Tebow Has Vindicated Josh McDaniels

Erik ManzelliContributor IIDecember 16, 2011

DENVER - AUGUST 29: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos congratulates quarterback Tim Tebow #15 following his fourth quarter touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 29, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

If you had to summarize Josh McDaniels as a coach, what would you say? 

His strengths were his play-calling skills and ability to coordinate an offense. 

On the downside, his personnel decisions weren't very good and he was terrible as a head coach.  In 28 games as top dog in Denver, his record was a weak 11-17 with a .393 winning percentage.   

Now about a year after McDaniels was let go, we are starting to see what he was thinking when he drafted Tim Tebow.  Even if you detest him, you have to admit that his quarterback plans for the Broncos were smart.  Things have worked out reasonably well at the QB position even if there were some bumps along the way. 

The work McDaniels did for Matt Cassel in 2008 got him the Denver job.  It's easy to see why he would want to bring him to Denver. 

Unfortunately, the desire to bring Cassel on board meant the bridge with Jay Cutler was burned.

Cutler's physical skills are remarkable, but it seems like he lacks the mental makeup/toughness/intangibles to win a Super Bowl.  In his three years with the Broncos, Cutler's record was just 17-20.  

As you unload Cutler, you're going to need a smart veteran to hold down the fort until Tebow is ready. 

Kyle Orton fits that category perfectly.  In 2009 he had some success—541 attempts, 336 completions, 62.1 completion percentage, 3,802 yards, 21 TD, 12 INT and a 86.8 rating. 

Last year his numbers were also pretty good—498 attempts, 293 completions, 58.8 completion percentage, 20 TD, 9 INT and an 87.5 rating.  His record in Chicago was a very nice 21-12. 

If you have the chance to bring a rookie QB along slowly like McDaniels did, you take it.  The last thing you want is to throw a rookie into a bad situation with unrealistic expectations around his neck.  For instance, Carson Palmer and Tom Brady sat for awhile before they played. 

Tebow's intangibles are fantastic.  All of the complaints against him are fair but can be solved with an intelligent quarterbacks coach. 

If he can learn to improve his accuracy by at least 8-10 percent, he'll win playoff games.  His running ability is remarkable, but I wish he'd slide and run out of bounds more.

He needs to realize that this is a 24-game season, four preseason, 16 regular and four potential playoff games.  Mobile quarterbacks always get injured. 

Josh McDaniels was god awful as a head coach, but Tim Tebow was the one thing he got right.