Monday, January 9, 2012

An In-Depth Look at the Men Behind the Curtain: NFL GM's: Josh McDaniels

This is a RFH Collective signature series featuring the men who make the personell moves in the NFL. Check out other Behind the Curtain articles on Ozzie Newsome, Phil Savage, A.J Smith, and Thomas Dimitroff

One of the biggest story lines this week is of Josh McDaniels reunion with a Broncos team he supposedly left in tatters at the end of last year. At the time of McDaniels departure the Broncos were a 4-12 team with a number of aging vetrans and few up and coming prospects. McDaniels was excoriated for both the 2009 and 2010 drafts that were seemingly filled with busts. It seemed like our man Josh was the poster boy of an Xs and Os man who should never be allowed to shop for his own groceries. Then came 2011. Out of nowhere the Broncos were one of the best teams in the AFC, and despite adding some new talent (I admit Von Miller is good), many of the key performers were McDaniels hold-overs. With this story on the tip of everybody's tongues lets take a behind the curtain look at the Broncos drafts of 2009 and 2010.


Knowshon Moreno (12)
Rober Ayers (18)
Alphonso Smith (37)
Darcel McBath (48)
Richard Quinn (64)
David Brunton (114)
Seth Olson (132)
Ken McKinely (141)
Tom Bradstater (174)
Blake Schlueter (225)
Mistakes are made everyday. "I thought this was America"

Analysis: Although this post will highlight McDaniels' overly hated on record, 2009 was not the strongest offseason in Denver. Moreno, thought to be a safe pick has been relegated to seldom used reserve, losing his job to Willis McGahee. Alphonso Smith was a terrible pick at the top of the second round, only playing for half of a season before being traded for essentially nothing. This draft also lacked depth with Quinn and McBath leaving the team uneventfully. Although those two high picks were clear misses, McDaniels did get a quality player in Robert Ayers. Ayers, an RFH Collective favorite at the time of the draft, was slow to develop, but has blossomed in his third year. He started all 16 games while recording 42 tackles, 5 sacks, and 5 TFLS. The other keeper of the draft was David Bruton who starts at safety and notched 8 tackles in the Broncos playoff victory over the Steelers. What makes this offseason a bit more acceptable was the acquisition of Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill to fill both safety positions and Andre Goodman to fill in opposite Champ Bailey. There is no doubt that Mcdaniels did not start out with a bang, but it should be noted that he walked into a situation where his number one priority was dealing with spoiled quarterback Jay Cutler. That in and of itself is a full time job.
Demaryius Thomas (22)
Tim Tebow (25)
Zane Beadles (45)
JD Walton (80)
Erick Decker (87)
Perrish Cox (137)
Eric Olson (183)
Syd'Quan Thompson (225)
Jammie Kirlew (232)
Mail your thank you cards now Denver Fans because McDaniels drafted his pants off in 2010

Analysis: This offseason was the one that grabbed headlines. For the second offseason in a row, McDaniels was forced to unload an immensely talented yet enigmatic superstar in Brandon Marshall. Adding fuel to this fire was a draft where McDaniels took a number of gambles. Sited as his undoing at the time of his firing, it looks like this draft might end up being a thing of beauty. In all, McDaniels last draft with the Broncos produced five starters in last nights playoff game. Thats right folks, FIVE. Thomas, thought to be a bad pick ahead of Dez Bryant had a break out season with 551 yards (17.4 average) and has proven himself as one of the up and coming deep threats in the league. Beadles was thought by some to be a pro-bowl level guard this year. Olson started every game and center while Decker lead the team in yards receiving (612) and catches (44). That leaves Tebow. What more can be said. The man is flawed, and sometimes terrible. Every time he does something bad, however, ask yourself one question. How many quarterbacks would you rather have on your team to win a football game. If you pick more than 10 you either are crazy or stupid. This man is a hero, gentleman, and scholar. It will be bittersweet when he loses by 40 this weekend....but I digress.

Well folks, there you have it. Upon reading this post I am hoping that everyone of our Denver readers mails Josh McDaniels a beautiful thank you card because your AFC semifinalists are HIS creation. Chalk the downfall of this drafting genius to media stupidity and lack of patience. When the junior hoody rises from the ashes you can be I will be posting it. For now, I am just glad that he is back on the Patriots side.

1 comment:

David said...

Hendrie Brothers. I was going through my email and found that SPKJ had directed me to your site while I was on deployment. Figured I would throw some thoughts out about McDaniels in Denver.

1. While Alphonso Smith was truely a terrible pick, lets not forget that he was traded for a Gronkowski brother, hardly nothing.

2. What made the Smith pick worse was that McDaniels traded a '10 1st round pick in order to acquire Smith at the top of the second.

3. The 2010 draft certainly was better than it originally appeared, as drafts tend to be; however, it could have been so much better, if not for the aforementioned Smith trade and the Tebow pick. Imagine if they had taken Rob Gronkowski, Patrick Robinson, Devin Mccourtey or Jared Odrick. They would be looking a whole lot better right now with Orton or Quinn at QB.

4. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, Matt Stafford, Matt Schaub, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Mike Vick, Cam Newton, Matt Cassel, Big Ben, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer...

5. Fuck Eli Manning.