Forgive me if I'm not blown away by Joe Ellis' press conference today.
Although I understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, I ended up missing most of the meaning.
Let me see if I can get this straight. Ellis admitted that the organization burdened Josh McDaniels with too much responsibility; he admitted that the organization had not intended to give McDaniels so much power, but that it somehow had "evolved" to that point; he admitted that McDaniels would end up being an excellent and successful head coach in the league; he admitted that McDaniels was in the top of the league in game-planning; he admitted that the organization needed to do more to help McDaniels with all the responsibilities that came with being a head coach.
So the best course of action was to send the guy packing.
I guess Ellis was correct when he said, "We don't have a plan for moving forward."
During the press conference, Ellis repeatedly talking about the passion of Denver's fans and restoring the integrity of the organization.
Translation: we got rid of our coach over some "Fire McDaniels" signs and some videotapes.
It seems like Pat Bowlen has a quick trigger finger these days. Or is that Joe Ellis?
Who the hell knows? Today, Ellis wanted to make it very clear, yet again, that Pat is making all of these decisions, and that he's simply running the proverbial "day-to-day" operations. In fact, Ellis made it seem like his second meeting with McDaniels (the one in which he reportedly was so giddy with excitement to hire the guy) was nothing more than just confirming some administrative details.
Sure, Joe. Sure.
As all Broncos fans know, Pat Bowlen gave an interview to AOL's FanHouse recently, in which he said that McDaniels would be back this year and next year. Then, within hours, that statement was changed to mean that he would be evaluated for the rest of the season. When Ellis was asked about the strangeness of such actions from the owner at today's press conference, Ellis only said that when Bowlen had a chance to reevaluate the comments in light of being responsible to the constituents, he needed to pull back--within hours.
That doesn't sound the sort of behavior that we've come to expect from a guy like Pat Bowlen. Al Davis, yes. Pat Bowlen, no.
Does anyone have the guts to ask if Rick Reilly was right all along? And I'm not talking about within the context of whether or not Jay Cutler returns phone calls. I'm talking about his mental state in general. Woody Paige has reported that Bowlen is not in great mental health, while today Joe Ellis is telling us that Bowlen is in total control.
"Pat makes all the decisions," said Ellis. When asked then why Bowlen wasn't at the press conference to talk to the media, Ellis told everyone that Pat had asked him to handle it, as if Pat's just slowing down a bit.
Ellis plays the Broncos' fans for fools. Worse, by firing McDaniels, while at the same time acknowledging that they've got no plan for moving forward, he only proves that the organization is in knee-jerk mode and succumbs to the
wisdom stupidity of crowds mobs. The salt in the wound will be when his own prediction comes true--Josh McDaniels as a successful NFL coach in another city.
Since everyone is fond of quoting McDaniels' record, here's the Broncos' record since Joe Ellis became COO in 2008: 19-25. They've gone through two coaches and will be paying three next season. Ellis said that if the Broncos have to pay eight head coaches so be it. If only he were so free with players' salaries.
Perhaps Ellis needs to not only restore the integrity of the organization, but the faith that Broncos fans have in his abilities as COO--if he's in charge, that is.
Near the end of the press conference Ellis said, "We haven't determined anything yet."
For once, I believe him.