Huge Decision of the Week: Bowlen keeps McDaniels

Pat Bowlen, at the age of 66, no longer runs triathlons; he tears it up on the stationary bike instead.

For those that question whether or not Josh McDaniels will be around to tear up the AFC West this year, Bowlen had this to say to AOL's Fanhouse tonight: 

"I am not interested in making a coaching change."

Straight from the horse's Broncos' mouth,  Denver fans.  Bowlen isn't taking his coach to the woodshed--this year at least.  

Get used to Josh McDaniels.  The hoodie, the baseball cap, and the baby-faced protege is sticking around for awhile, whether you like him or not.  Personally, I'd like to see him sport a Fu Manchu moustache for the last 5 games.  That way, he'd at least be dressed the part of the villain, which is the part the national media has cast him in for the last year week.  

Why would Bowlen--a guy known for staying behind the scenes and rarely granting interviews--suddenly give an impromptu interview to AOL Fanhouse late into the evening?  It's simple.  He had to do it.

All Broncos fans who have spoken to each other in the last couple of days have all agreed on one point:  blood was in the water, Brad Childress style.  The national and local media were ready to bleed him (no, not orange and blue).  Fans were clamoring for his execution.  I'm sure somewhere, Peyton Hillis and Alphonso Smith were stabbing their Josh McDaniels dolls with pins.

Bowlen, in order to get his organization back, had to come strong.  And he had to do it soon.   McDaniels needed him to do it so that he would have a chance to coach this team with authority down the stretch.  His message couldn't have been clearer:

"I'm very happy with Josh. Josh is doing a good job. I wish he had a few more wins, but we've got five games to go. I've got 27 years in this business. The ball bounces funny and it doesn't always bounce your way. We've had bad breaks, injuries. I've been around football long enough to know this happens and it's a part of the game. We've still got a chance to make the playoffs. People have been in a position like ours and it's been done before.''

If you were in Bowlen's shoes, wouldn't you have done the same?  There are just too many reasons that drowning McDaniels in his own videotape wasn't a good move.  First, scrapping McDaniels now would have meant scrapping an entire offensive system, which would have meant that quite possibly, all three of the Broncos' quarterbacks would have been persona non grata next year.  The 1st-round pick on Tebow would have been a huge waste (admit it, Tebow is actually growing on you).  Second, when Bowlen hired McDaniels, he obviously bought into the plan that McDaniels was selling--not an 18-month plan, but a 4-year plan.   Bowlen, ever the business man, is going to see if the business plan comes to fruition--at least two years of it.   Lastly, it's clear that Bowlen is refusing to turn his franchise into the Oakland Raiders.  The Raiders, at the first sign of trouble, change coaches.  Each and every time they do, they add another sinkhole of futility to their lake of excrement.  Bowlen feels--and he's right in doing so--that continuity is the foundation of a good football organization.  Remember, this is a man who even gave Wade Phillips two years.

Bowlen is wrong about one thing, however.  The Broncos are not making the playoffs this year.  That's his own private Idaho.  All of the reasons why could fill a potato sack.   At this point, I'd rather them have a chance to draft Marcel Dareus anyway.  But I respect the big guy for putting it out there.  He's got some remaining home games (and Tebow jerseys) to try and sell out, after all. 

Another interesting comment from Bowlen was this:

 "I think the coaching staff around him is very important. The head coach is the most important. But the staff is also important. Josh has surrounded himself with good coaches but it may get to a point where some of them have to go. I don't know that yet. Josh is around the football team. He knows...I am confident if he doesn't have the right people around him, that he should change coaches."

This was intentional by Bowlen; it was directed at guys like Jay Glazer and Mike Silver, who have said that the ranks of McDaniels' coaching staff are breaking.  Let me translate this quote for you in a more colloquial way:  "Whoever is talking smack, we are going to find them, and that dirty rat is gone."

Let's not be naive, though.  McDaniels has made a lot of mistakes: he's learning on the job as much as some of the players he's recently drafted.  As many have pointed out (among them McDaniels himself), he's been outcoached, he's been outschemed, and he's fallen flat in some of his personnel moves.  We've noted, for example, that in perhaps the greatest defensive tackle class to come along in over a decade in 2010, he failed to pluck one from the draft.  Yes, while he's gaining valuable experience, it's coming at the expense of this season.  Nobody likes it one bit, except perhaps Al Davis.   In fact, Bowlen doesn't like it either - a few hours after the FanHouse interview, he said that after this season, he will reevaluate the entire team.

Still, although Bowlen didn't mention it in the interview, there's one last reason why all Broncos fans should support what Bowlen did tonight in endorsing his head coach.

There is no way in hell that we can let that punk Jay Cutler win.  Imagine how snarky he would be. 

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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