Tag:Pat Bowlen
Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 7:39 pm

Josh McDaniels fired by Denver Broncos

Posted by Will Brinson

The Denver Broncos announced Monday night that owner Pat Bowlen "has relieved" Josh McDaniels of his coaching duties.

This shocking news dropped via the Broncos official Twitter feed and is up on their website with a "details to come" message. This now means that Bowlen is currently paying two head coaches, neither of whom are actually coaching his football team.

McDaniels has a career head coaching record of 11-17, but is just 5-17 since a 6-0 start to the 2009 season. His decisions to trade Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, as well as draft Tim Tebow, drew plenty of scrutiny, and eventually, it seems, he dug himself too deep a grave.

The McDaniels situation is particularly bizarre for a number of reasons, though.

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," Bowlen said in a statement released by the team. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts. In the end, I was not satisfied with the results and the direction this team was headed. The decision to make a change was extremely difficult but one that needed to be made for this organization and our fans.

"Everyone, myself included, is accountable for our disappointing season and is now responsible for restoring the culture of winning that has been established by this franchise. Our entire organization is completely focused on returning to the level of prosperity that our fans expect and deserve from the Denver Broncos."

First of all, less than a week ago, Bowlen offered conflicting statements about McDaniels' future (his second straight vote of confidence!), stating that he wasn't making a change in an interview, and then issuing a "we are still evaluating" statement from the team.

Secondly, there's no one on the staff that fits the logical mold for an interim coach a la Jason Garrett or Leslie Frazier. Defensive coordinator Don Martindale was considered a candidate for the Raiders job prior to 2009, but ultimately didn't land the gig. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has done an arguably great job as a pro coach, turning Jake Delhomme and Kyle Orton into Pro-Bowl contenders.

Additionally, the Broncos' roster is, frankly, just a mess. While the guys on the team might work for McDaniels' purposes, it might not be the case for other high-profile candidates: Tebow is a project at best, Kyle Orton isn't the ideal quarterback for every situation, the team has been stripped of its big-name stars, and the assets acquired in those deals haven't panned out to substantial value for the long-term.

Perhaps the roster issues ultimately ended up being McDaniels' demise -- there was much speculation recently that if McD wasn't fired, he'd end up having to cede some personnel power to a new front-office figure. This is pure speculation, but Bowlen absolutely could have informed McDaniels that he was bringing in someone to help him run the personnel end, and McDaniels politely told him that he wasn't real interested in that, at which point Bowlen relieved him from his gig. (Again, pure speculation, but certainly a possibility.)

And finally, SpyGate Part Deux -- McDaniels was at the helm of the Broncos when the team was busted for videotaping a San Francisco walkthrough in London, and although the league and Broncos concluded that he did nothing wrong in the incident, outside of not reporting it sooner, the public embarrassment probably didn't sit well with Bowlen.

It certainly didn't sit ell with fans, who began calling for his resignation shortly thereafter. In the end, McDaniels will be remembered for a tenure in Denver in which his star shone bright and loud (some might say "foolishly brash" even) early, but ultimately ended up burning out and fading quickly.

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Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:03 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 12:12 am

Bowlen offers conflicting statements on McDaniels

Posted by Will Brinson

There are plenty of reasons to think that Josh McDaniels might be on the hot seat in Denver. His record since starting 6-0 in 2009 is terrible, his team recently got caught videotaping someone else's walkthrough (on foreign soil no less!) and his personnel decisions have, for the most part, been terrible.

But Pat Bowlen says McDaniels won't be fired this year.

"I am not interested in making a change," Bowlen told FanHouse's Thomas George.

Asked if McDaniels would be back for 2011, Bowlen said more of the same.

"Yes he will," Bowlen said. "I am not interested in making a coaching change."

Andy keeps bringing up a great point whenever we discuss McDaniels on the podcast (and, in fact, we talked about it on Monday, so go listen), and it Bears repeating here: Pat Bowlen is not going to pay three coaches at one time. And he's certainly not going to be paying two if he doesn't have a 100 percent guarantee that there will be football played in 2011.

Because if he cans McDaniels and there's a lockout, he'll be on the hook for both his current coach and Mike Shanahan.

Bowlen did mention, though, that some of the assistants in Denver might be at the end of their rope, and that if McDaniels couldn't realize that, then Bowlen might, um, "help" him.

"I am confident if he doesn't have the right people around him, that he should change coaches," Bowlen said. "It is something I have always left up to my coach. But I always reserve the right to make that change. I have done it on an isolated basis. It rarely happens. He picks the coaches. But, absolutely, I have the right to make those changes."

McDaniels has been hindered by a lot of things, but this season's Broncos team should be better than it is -- they simply have no defense after injuries ravaged them before the season even began. But various problems and the personnel choices end up distracting everyone from the fact that McDaniels resurrected the careers of both Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd with his offensive scheming, and that the Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall trades weren't bad. It's just that how they used the assets wasn't wise. And maybe that's not on McDaniels. If that's the case, though, he needs to find a better set of people to help him work.

And perhaps he should start working on that ASAP -- Bowlen spoke publicly on Monday night, and offered a much different statement to the general press than the one he offered up to George.

"This has been a very trying and disappointing season for all of us," Bowlen said in a written statement, via the Denver Post. "We haven't had the success we had hoped to achieve. Josh McDaniels is the head coach of the Broncos, and you always strive for stability at that position. However, with five games left in the 2010 season, we will continue to monitor the progress of the team and evaluate what's in the best interest of this franchise."

Now, that doesn't mean McD is about to get fired, any more than Bowlen giving him a vote of confidence now means he's locked in for the future. But one thing's for sure -- conflicting public statements about the future of a struggling coach doesn't bode well for the Broncos' coaching staff.

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Posted on: November 27, 2010 5:21 pm

Other notes from Denver

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Other interesting quotes from today’s Broncos teleconference featuring chief operating office Joe Ellis and NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash. For what it’s worth, they declined comment on anything relating to the investigation. For instance, they wouldn’t answer who was the specific person to alert the NFL about the rule violation, because of the league’s pledge of confidentiality.

Ellis on whether he thought there was any hint of a cover-up in the Broncos organization:

“I don’t think there was. There’s not evidence to suggest that. When we did our internal investigation, everybody was cooperative.”

Ellis on hiring video director Steve Scarnecchia despite his past troubles in New England:

“We were aware of some allegations but didn’t know the specifics. He knew full well coming in what was expected of him in terms of the type of behavior we would expect out of him and what Josh (McDaniels), (owner Pat) Bowlen and the Denver Broncos stood for and how we conduct ourselves. It’s disappointing he chose the wrong path when we were in London.”

Pash on how the NFL discovered these allegations:

“It came to our attention because the Broncos came and reported it to us, specifically Mr. Bowlen and Joe Ellis and the team’s counsel. They came to New York and asked for a meeting and sat down with us and went through their own findings of what had happened.”

Pash on why the fine ($50,000 to the Broncos and $50,000 to Josh McDaniels) is so much less than what the NFL fined the Patriots in 2007 for illegally videotaping opponents’ signals ($250,000 to New England and $500,000 to coach Bill Belichick):

“With any disciplinary action, you have to focus on what the facts are. Here, you have, to the best we can conclude, a single incident as opposed to New England’s years of activities. You have an incident that, as best we could identify, was carried out by a single employee without direction from the coaching staff or anyone else with the club. That’s obviously different than New England. From the commissioner’s aspect, as soon as senior management and the ownership were aware of it, they came forward and reported it to our office and operated fully in the investigation. There was a combination of factors led to the commissioner’s decision on discipline.”

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Posted on: November 27, 2010 4:29 pm

Broncos: No reason to fire McDaniels

Denver will keep coach Josh McDaniels despite the controversy of the team video director illegally taping an opponents' practice.

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the Broncos admitting today that they had acted illegally by video taping a small portion of a 49ers practice last month, the team ownership has decided the incident was not cause to fire coach Josh McDaniels.

In fact, much more important to McDaniels’ job security is how Denver – tied for last place in the AFC West with a 3-7 record – performs in the final six games of the season and whether the Broncos can shake off a prolonged slump in which they’ve lost 15 of their past 20 games under McDaniel’s leadership.

But for now, even in the face of today’s big controversy, McDaniels has his job.

“We’re disappointed with the season as it’s gone thus far,” said Joe Ellis, the Broncos chief operating office, on a national conference call. “We have six games left to play. This particular incident that one employee took advantage of does not sway (owner Pat) Bowlen’s feelings about Josh one way or the other. He understands Josh has made a mistake. He’s apologized to Mr. Bowlen. We have six games left to play, and we’re hopeful we improve.”

McDaniels, for his part, seemed sincerely sorry at his news conference, apologizing at least twice for the mistake (the mistake not being that former video director Steve Scarnecchia took the video because, by all accounts, he did that without any instruction from the coaching staff, but instead that McDaniels didn’t report the incident as soon as he knew what Scarnecchia had done).

“I made a mistake. I made a mistake and I should have done that right away,” McDaniels said. “We felt we handled it the right way by not doing anything with that, but I did not follow through with it.”

McDaniels may be safe with the Broncos upper management (for now), but what about the fans’ view of him? What about the fans’ trust in McDaniels?

“I would just hope they understand he’s made a mistake and he’s acknowledged that,” Ellis said. “He did an important thing when he chose not to look at that (tape) and made it clear that it’s not how we’re conducting business. We’ll do better on the field, and from there, we’ll begin to earn back their trust.”

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Posted on: November 27, 2010 1:32 pm

Broncos admit wrong-doing, fire video director

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Broncos have admitted to wrong-doing on the Denver Post’s report today that disclosed they had illegally taped an opponent's practice while in London.

The club released a statement this afternoon, saying it had “discovered and disclosed to the NFL a violation by a club employee of the league’s integrity-of-the-game policy involving the improper videotaping of a six-minute portion of the San Francisco 49ers’ October 30 practice at Wembley Stadium in London the day prior to the Broncos-49ers game there.”

Video director Steve Scarnecchia, while setting up his equipment for the next day’s game, shot the brief video and gave it to coach Josh McDaniels. But McDaniels declined to view it, saying “I’m not doing that,” the investigation by the Broncos and the NFL determined. McDaniels, though, didn’t report the incident to the NFL, and he’s been fined $50,000 by commissioner Roger Goodell. The club also has been fined $50,000.

Scarnecchia has been fired for cause. Goodell also said that because Scarnecchia is a repeat offender of the rules governing the integrity of the game, he will be the subject of a hearing on whether he should be barred from the NFL for conduct detrimental to the league.

A statement from Pat Bowlen, team president and chief executive officer:

“The Denver Broncos and I, as the Owner, believe in the integrity of the National Football League and fair competition and do not, in any way, condone this type of behavior. The fact that an employee of the Denver Broncos would take such action is personally disappointing to me. I apologize to all affected by this incident. This employee is no longer with the organization.

“This incident cuts into the trust and respect our fans, our ticket holders, our community and our fellow competitors have for our organization. That is why the Denver Broncos, upon learning of this violation, immediately investigated this matter and reported the incident to the League.

“The Denver Broncos and I accept the discipline imposed by the NFL. We will take all steps to ensure that an incident like this never occurs again. We will always strive to uphold the integrity of our organization and the National Football League.”

From McDaniels:

“I apologize for not promptly reporting the improper conduct of our video director before our game against the 49ers in London. The actions of this individual are in no way representative of the values and integrity held by myself, our players and coaches, and the entire Denver Broncos organization.

“I understand the punishment from the National Football League and support its commitment to the integrity of the game. We have addressed the situation internally to assure that nothing like this happens again.”

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com