DROP THE MIKE

The Broncos can’t lose to the most-hated person in franchise history

Sep 28, 2022, 6:48 AM

You could not wipe the smile from my face when the news came down that Josh McDaniels was becoming the next coach of the Raiders. The Raiders?! Hurricane Josh?! Could it get any more perfect?

As if the prospect of acquiring Russell Wilson wasn’t enough to pump life into the barely alive Raiders rivalry, then you add Josh? Too good!

This being Raiders week, I had to reflect on McDaniels’ time here in Denver. Am I safe in saying he may be the most-despised Bronco ever? I know there have been unpopular players who have worn the orange and blue over the decades, as well as disliked coaches, but has there been anyone more villainous than Josh?

Right from the beginning it didn’t feel right. Coming off the success and popularity of Mike Shanahan, Josh was just… so the opposite. Coach Shanahan was always in control. Poised. He got us all used to his ways. McDaniels came in and right from the beginning it was so jarring.

Right here, I want to show a little support for Josh. He didn’t pursue the job with the intention of getting full control. That was offered to him by Broncos upper management. Apparently, Joe Ellis and company liked the Shanahan model, even though they didn’t like Mike anymore. This was a fatal mistake. McDaniels wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility. It overwhelmed him. I’ll always wonder what would’ve happened had the Broncos had a strong general manager like a John Elway, and Josh was just allowed to coach.

It doesn’t matter. It was mistake after mistake and PR blunder after PR blunder. Let me try and list the woes.
Trading Jay Cutler. Drafting Knowshon Moreno instead of Brian Orakpo (Knowshon ended up being a good pick, but it was not popular at the time). Cutting punter Brett Kern at the bye despite a 6-0 record. Getting caught cheating while filming another team. Referring to guys as “the player.” Coming across as a mini-Belichick in a town that was anti-Patriots and anti-Bill. The infamous “do your job and quit making (bleep) up” sideline rant. Playing music at training camp (although he was ahead of his time there). Deferring the opening kickoff when everyone always took the ball (again, ahead of the curve; but at the time, fans hated him for it).

McDaniels was a classic case of being too young, too unprepared, too inexperienced, too obnoxious and too over his head as a first-time head coach (of course, that hasn’t stopped the Broncos from continually going down the first-time HC path, but I digress).

It has been approximately 4,335 days since Josh last won a game as a head coach. For you trivia buffs, his last win was November 14, 2010 – a 49-29 blowout of the Kansas City Chiefs. He would be fired a couple of weeks later. He finished with a 11-17 record as head coach of the Denver Broncos.

McDaniels is now the Raiders’ problem, and based on the early returns, he hasn’t really learned his lessons.

Hurricane Josh. Gone, but certainly never forgotten.

***

Drop the Mike

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