McDaniels reputation remains unspoiled

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:28 PM ET

You’ve got to hand it to Josh McDaniels.

The man really knows what he’s good at and he’s not going to take any chances spoiling that reputation.

McDaniels, even at this early stage in his coaching career is considered an offensive genius. That’s the sort of title that comes with being the man behind the highest scoring offence in NFL history (see the 2007-08 New England Patriots).

But where the Denver Broncos head coach has made the biggest inroads is at quarterback. He helped make Tom Brady what he is today. And when Brady went down he turned Matt Cassel into a dependable pivot.

Even his first year in Denver he took a rather pedestrian Kyle Orton and with the former Bear at the helm, had the Broncos off to a 6-0 start and thoughts of a Super Bowl. Reality eventually set in and the Broncos fell back to 8-8 missing the playoffs on the final day of the season with a loss to Kansas City.

Not even that could blemish McDaniels’ reputation.

But now with the drafting of Tim Tebow at the apparently ridiculous 25th-overall position in the draft, McDaniels is said to have opened himself up to criticism with this potentially reputation-killing move.

McDaniels’ critics would have you believe that, but this isn’t his first rodeo as the saying goes.

Tebow may or may not work out but either way the genius in Denver has himself covered.

Kyle Orton, who we expect to start at quarterback again this year, is a McDaniels disciple. The head coach made sure of that last pre-season when after a truly un-Orton like performance that included three first-half picks against San Francisco, McDaniels showed complete faith in the former Bear and dismissed that performance out of hand.

That’s how you get a guy on side, at next to no cost to himself. Then this summer he went out and acquired Brady Quinn, a former first-round pick who already has Denver fans and media alike considering him the best of the three quarterbacks in competition for the job.

Quinn knows how to compete for a job having done just that in Cleveland with Derek Anderson and gives McDaniels insurance should Orton go down with injury or lose the job on merit. And if he can stay healthy for a change, he might just give Orton a run for the job injured or not.

Tebow is McDaniels’ all-or-nothing gamble. Few are giving Tebow much of a chance to succeed in the league. Typical of the draft-day response to the Broncos picking up Tebow was this from Mel Kiper Jr.

“If Josh McDaniels can get this done, he’s going to prove a lot of people wrong,” Kiper said. “Tebow’s got more doubters than he has supporters. If it works, everybody will say Josh McDaniels is a genius. We’re going to find out within the next three years who’s right and who’s wrong.”

If McDaniels is right about Tebow, it’s a home run. If he’s wrong, chances are we’ll never really know for sure because McDaniels will bury him on the bench and stick with one of the other two ... with his own reputation intact.

Just like you thought

Many thanks to the fine folks at ESPN The Magazine and Dwayne Bowe in particular for confirming exactly what we suspected went on during those NFL road trips. “My rookie year, we were playing in San Diego,” Bowe says. “You hear stories about groupies hanging out in hotel lobbies, but some of my teammates had it set up so there was a girl in every room. The older guys get on MySpace and Facebook a week before we go to a city; when a pretty one writes back, they arrange to fly her in three or four days in advance. They call it importing. Younger guys don’t have the money to do it,” Bowe added. “Anyway, these girls had the whole top floor. They know everything about us — first and last names, sisters and brothers, salary.” So now you know.

At the half

Cheer up Buffalo fans, you’ve got J.P. Losman to kick around again. The former Bills QB has signed on with the Seattle Seahawks for a reported $600,000 one-year deal. Losman had a short stint with Oakland and even played with Las Vegas in the UFL before Pete Carroll decided he needed a reclamation project ... In case you missed it, Bengals wideout Chad Ochocinco is no longer in the running for a Dancing With the Stars title. Now he’s off to some other reality dating show called The Tournament. We’re pretty sure he’ll eventually get back to football.

Fourth and inches

Terrell Owens might have fit in nicely with the Oakland Raiders of about four years ago, but not now. Head coach Tom Cable denied reports the Raiders have even discussed bringing in the yappy receiver ... Off-season workouts are in full swing so this was almost predictable. Brandon Marshall, a guy who never met an off-season workout he could warm up to, is not taking part in the Dolphins workouts because he’s recovering from an unspecified surgery. And JaMarcus Russell just turned down that last donut ... That dumb Spygate lawsuit is dead. A New York Jets football fan will not be allowed to move ahead with his $184.8-million lawsuit over the 2007 secret videotaping of signals from Jets coaches by the archrival New England Patriots, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled. Carl Mayer, a Princeton, New Jersey, lawyer with Jets season tickets, was trying to sack the Pats in court over the scandal known as Spygate.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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