This past off season, Josh McDaniels was a heavily sought after head coaching candidate. He had just finished the season as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots where he coached Matt Cassell (who's now with the KC Chiefs) to an unbelievable season.
Whenever a head coaching job opened up, McDaniels name was mentioned. He was a young, energetic coach who had learned under the tutelage of Bill Belichick.
The Denver Broncos were the lucky team that was enable to secure McDaniels services. He replaced long time Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, in a move that signaled a turning point for the franchise. Things were looking great for the Broncos. A young star quarterback to go along with a young hot shot head coach would equal great things for the Broncos.
Or so we thought.
Soon after McDaniels got the Broncos job, he called franchise quarterback Jay Cutler to introduce himself and to let him know that he was looking forward to working with him. After that, he reportedly sought out a trade that would get Cutler out of Denver and bring Matt Cassell in. Following these reports, McDaniels denied any trade talks involving Cutler. He then said that he did entertain trade talks, but did not instigate them. He later said that Cutler would not be traded.
McDaniels was quoted in the Denver Post on Monday as saying: "Obviously, the trade went through with another team. We moved on. I'm not sure if that's where all the discontent stems from or not. I'm sure most of it does."
Everyone knows that professional football is a business. Players and coaches change teams and move from city to city for the benefit of the team, but there is one thing that is vital to any business, whether it's running a professional football team or a lemonade stand in front of your house.
Without communication, people will not trust anybody. Without communication, co-workers will not feel a part of the "team".
If McDaniels would have been up front and honest with Cutler about his desires to have Cassell in Denver with him, then the Broncos may have avoided all of this unwanted media attention. Sure, Cutler may have had his ego hurt, but he's a professional athlete. It's not personal, it's just business.
The way that McDaniels, GM Xanders, and Owner Pat Bowlen have handled this situation has put the Broncos in a bad situation. McDaniels failure to be up front and honest with Cutler has made him look shady and dishonest to the rest of his team.
McDaniels tried to get his quarterback (Cassell) in Denver with him, with the thought that if he couldn't, then he's still got a star QB in Cutler. Unfortunately, he fumbled that situation and now it looks like he's going into his first season as a head coach with no star QB, and a team that doesn't trust him.
Good luck on the season Coach! I'm sure it's going to be great!