Let's be honest. Josh McDaniels was the youngest and least experienced head coach in the National Football League when Pat Bowlen handed the Denver Broncos franchise over to him. We all knew that there was cause for alarm. Some of us thought that Bowlen had lost his marbles.
McDaniels' predecessor had struggled to advance in the playoffs for a decade or so, but Denver was a consistent winner nonetheless. Sub .500 seasons were almost unheard of. Under Mike Shanahan fans knew, season after season, that the Broncos could be playoff bound.
Josh McDaniels' tenure in Denver began on a slippery slope. Fan favorite and franchise QB, Jay Cutler, was traded away to the Chicago Bears. Megastar wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, protested the new H.C.'s treatment of him. Dove Valley became one enormous soap opera. McDaniels didn't rock the boat. he capsized it.
Alas, the new-look Broncos won their first 6 motherfucking games under the new Boy Coach, beating teams like New England and Sand Diego along the way. An orange and blue wave of optimism swept across the Rocky Mountain West. Bowlen, it seemed, had captured thunder in a bottle. He was a was a genius. His coach was a genius. The doubters were all proven wrong...RIGHT?
WRONG. In the 18 games since we chanted "6 and oh-oh, 6 and oh", the Broncos have dropped 14 of 18. They have become the worst team in the National Football League.
Am I overstating how bad they are?
Who's worse than the 2-6 Broncos. The 0-7 Buffalo Bills? They may be winless but they took the Chiefs deep, deep, deep into overtime on Sunday at Arrowhead. Could the Broncos do that right now? I doubt it.
Are the 1-6 Cowboys worse than the Broncos? They might have one fewer win but they are absolutely loaded with talented players (players like Dez Bryant who the Broncos could have drafted in the first round instead of Demarius Thomas).
Are the 2-6 'Niners worse than the Broncos? We know the answer to THAT question now, don't we?
How about the Ohio teams? The Brown beat New Orleans in the dome. The Bengals are stronger than the Broncos in every phase of the game.
In my NFL power rankings the #32 team is none other than the once-hopeful, formerly perennially-contending DENVER BRONCOS.
Needless to say, the Josh McDaniels experiment has gone miserably wrong. Broncos veterans, regardless of what they tell the media, are tuning out the Boy Coach. Those who make up the team's backbone; players like Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins, are beginning to contemplate their exits. Something must be done ... and soon, or we could be seeing the sun set on the Broncos as we know them.
Pat Bowlen should fire Josh McDaniels on Monday, as soon as the team gets back to Dove Valley. No, he should not wait until the season is over. Bowlen has GOT to send a message loudly and clearly before it's too late. The 2010 season is a lost cause.
An iterim coach should be brought in until a proven guy can be hired after the season is over.
Josh McDaniels will bounce back. He'll make a fine QB's coach or Offensive Coordinator - possibly back in New England where he and his hooded sweat-shirt came from.