• Author:
  • Published: Dec 19th, 2012
  • Category: Football, NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Josh McDaniel is the wrong choice to coach the Browns.

Josh McDaniel is the wrong choice to coach the Browns.

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Josh McDaniel is the wrong choice to coach the Browns.

English: Josh McDaniels at the 2009 Denver Bro...

English: Josh McDaniels at the 2009 Denver Broncos Fan Fair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Those of you that have been reading this site for awhile know I am not a fan of Josh.

 

On Mar. 17, 2009 after Josh was caught trying to trade for QB Matt Cassel (NE) and caused his pro-bowl QB Jay Cutler to demand a trade, I wrote the following:

 

Bowlen blew it when he fired Mike Shanahan and blew it again in hiring the 32 year old McDaniels. McDaniels is not mature enough to be a head coach in the NFL. It was a bad hire and this is only the first screwup for which McD will be responsible.

 

I was correct.  Following that debacle, Josh was forced to give pro-bowl WR away for next to nothing and would have lost pro-bowl DE Dumerville to free agency if he had not been fired.  McD implemented a 3-4 forcing Dumerville to play OLB.  That is not the best way to use his talent.

 

To the credit of Bowlen (owner of the Broncos) his next hire was a good one.

 

Now the most persistent rumor about who will replace Shurmur is—wait for it—Josh McDaniel.  That would be a monumental mistake.

 

The history of the Bill Belichick coaching tree has been dismal.  Here are the results:

 

Josh McDaniels – Fired after less than 2 years

 

Eric Mangini Browns (2009-2010) – Was so bad at judging talent that he lost his GM control after a year and only got a 2nd year because Mike Holmgren wanted his boy Shurmur to get a 2nd year of OC before introducing the later as HC.

 

Romeo Crennel Browns (2005-2008) Chiefs (2012) – You would have thought that after the Crennel disaster the Browns owner would have had more sense than to hire another Beilchick clone. Not only did the Browns go for a clone but KC promoted Romeo after the team fired Haley.

 

Al Groh, New York Jets (2000) – Groh was lucky to survive a year.

 

Nick Saban, Miami Dolphins (2005–2006) – A much better college coach than pro.

 

Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions (2009–?) –  Jim has lost control of the team that has way too much talent to have this bad a record.

 

 

So my question is this:  What would make Jimmy Haslam even consider McDaniel for the job?

 

For one thing the 3-4 defense does not fit the Browns personnel at all.  The weakness of this team is at OLB.  And the strength is our DT rotation.

 

And don’t forget McDaniel drafted Tebow in the first round then did not develop his passing mechanics.  I wonder if he could not or just did not think it was a priority?

 

The biggest issue I have with Shurmur is that he is about as flexible as cement.  He seems incapable or unwilling to make adjustments during the game.  The same things have been said by players for McDaniel.

 

My experience has been those that believe they are the smartest guys in the room are usually not even in the running.  The Browns need a coach that will put the players in the best situation to take advantage of their abilities and help them win.  We did not see that with Shurmur and I doubt that McDaniel would be any different.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

Why has Bill Belichick’s coaching tree as been so barren?

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Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England P...
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As I predicted months ago, Bronco Owner Bowlen fired HC Josh McDaniels this week. This is what I said on this site on March 17, 2009:

The key story is that Bowlen blew it when he fired Mike Shanahan and blew it again in hiring the 32 year old McDaniels. McDaniels is not mature enough to be a head coach in the NFL. It was a bad hire and this is only the first screwup for which McD will be responsible.

That was written before the Broncos went 6-0 to start the 09 season. That start was followed by a 2-8 record to end 09 and a 3-9 start to the 2010 schedule.

It was obvious to me that McD was not nearly ready for the head job. But that is only the latest example of the failures of the Belichick disciples. Here is the major list of NFL head coaches that have come from the Belichick system:

Josh McDaniels – Fired after less than 2 years

Eric Mangini Browns (2009-?) – Was so bad at judging talent that he lost his GM control after a year and now is on the hot seat again.

Romeo Crennel Browns (2005-2008) – You would have thought that after the Crennel disaster the Browns owner would have had more sense than to hire another Beilchick clone.

Al Groh, New York Jets (2000) – Groh was lucky to survive a year.

Nick Saban, Miami Dolphins (2005–2006) – A much better college coach than pro.

Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions (2009–?) – Schwartz is on the hot seat and will probably go after the season.

Something that should be noted is that after going 36-44 as HC of the Browns, it took Belichick 4 seasons to be named HC of the Patriots. That team was in such disarray that they were looking for someone with some experience that would actually take the job.

The question becomes why does one of the most successful coaches in the history of the league have such a meager coaching tree?

There are a couple of major reasons. The greatest is “Belichick attitude.” The Belichick clones come in with the Hoodie Attitude. That is an attitude of secrecy and take a dictatorial control over the locker room and the players. They are unwilling (or unable) to accept others ideas or adjust their “system” to the current talent available.

That may work with 18-20 year old boys but very quickly loses an NFL locker room filled with veteran players. They will not put up with being treated like children. The attitude only works if you have 5 Super Bowl rings as head coach.

One result of the attitude is the desire by the clone to dump talented veterans that refuse to buy into the system. Both McDaniels and Mangini have done that recently. The result is a steep decline in talent on the roster and generates losses. The NFL stands for Not For Long if you don’t win.

The attitude of “do it my way or else” also inhibits making half time adjustments. Because they are convinced that their system is perfect, they will continue to do the things that have not worked in the second half. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.

When a clone is questioned by the media or the ownership, they tend to stand firm and refuse to make changes. That tends to irritate the owners and hasten the firing.

Another reason is the lack of preparation. Belichick is by nature a control freak. He is not willing to take the time to teach his underlings. He dictates the game plan and they are only a middle man between him and the team to execute it. The assistants don’t participate in the formulation of the plan or even the research of the opponent upon which it is based. Because they are not involved, they do not learn the reasons behind the strategy.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,Patriots,Belichick,McDaniels,Saban,Mangini,Belichick coaching tree,Broncos,2011 Draft,Browns,Jets,Dolphins,coaching change
  • “Bill Belichick Empathizes With Josh McDaniels, Other Fired Coaches” and related posts (nesn.com)
  • Leading Off: Under the Hoodie, the Patriots Hum (nytimes.com)
  • No shock: Lightning rod Belichick better than ever (cbssports.com)
  • You: Josh McDaniels Fired: Where Will Wonder Boy Coach in 2011? (bleacherreport.com)
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  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 6th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The analysis of the Cutler trade.

The analysis of the Cutler trade.

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Fryingpan Sports

The analysis of the Cutler trade.

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By Bill Smith

The Broncos got lucky—real lucky—in the Cutler trade. It is hard to overestimate the NFL owners’ willingness to jump at getting talent. And make no mistake about it, Cutler is talented. But a lot of that talent is not performance, it is potential. And nothing can get a coach fired faster than the P word—potential.

Part of the reason that Cutler went as high as he did was the lack of starting quality QBs available in free agency and the draft. There are a couple of competent veteran FA QBs with starting experience like Byron Leftwitch, J.P Losman, and Joey Harrington among others. So far no one has indicated a great deal of interest in any of the three.

The deal wasn’t all that one sided. The Bears gave the 09 first and third, a first in 2010 and QB Kyle Orton. They got QB Jay Cutler and the Broncos 5th pick in 2010. The first and third picks in 09 was the minimum that you would expect for a young franchise QB. Besides, the Bears received a compensatory pick at the end of the 3rd round for the free agents it lost in 08. Those picks are offset by Cutler. The inclusion of Orton is no big deal for the Bears because with Cutler starting, Orton would have been a backup at best. The only choice in question is the Bears’ 1st in 2010.

If the Bears wanted to trade up from the 18th pick to get high enough to get QB Mark Sanchez (USC), they would at least have to get to 9th pick. That would get them in front of San Francisco who would take Sanchez if he was available.

The 18th pick is worth 900 points on the NFL Draft choice trade value chart. The 9th pick is worth 1350. The Bears’ third round pick in 09 is worth 180 points. Even including the third pick, trade value to get to the 9th pick from the 18th pick in 09 (900+180) is still 270 points short. The value of the Bears 1 in 2010 is 400 points (equal to the second round in 09).

Given that, the gave a total of 130 extra points (equal to a late 3rd round in 09) to get a proven QB like Cutler rather than a rookie 1 year starter in Sanchez. Sanchez is a total unknown. Those of you that read this column frequently know I have serious doubts about Sanchez. If he is good enough to be a top 15 draft pick, why wasn’t he able to beat out John David Booty (5th round pick 137 by the Vikings) for the 3 years that they were both at USC?

Any GM in the world would trade Sanchez and a third pick for a proven QB like Cutler. Cutler has much more arm strength, makes better reads, and has proven himself against an NFL pass rush. Sanchez works hard throwing the 15 yard out from the opposite hash which is a key measure of arm strength. He also has never faced NFL pass rushers or NFL corners.

And even if Chicago make that trade to get to #9, with the luck of the Bears finding a QB, Seattle would take Sanchez at 4 and the Bears would be out of luck.

What do the Broncos do for a QB? I will have that in a future column.

I believe that new head coach of the Broncos, Josh McDaniel, was the totally wrong pick for Denver. The offense for Denver last year was in the top 10 in the league. It was the 29th ranked defense that killed the Bronco chances for the playoffs. And yet owner Pat Bowlen selected an offensive coach in McDaniel who was the offensive coordinator for New England. In the spitting contest between his HC and franchise QB, Bowlen backed McDaniel.

The Denver media reported that Bowlen said he had not been told that the GM Brian Xanders and HC were trying to deal the starting QB. Don’t believe that for a second. Had McDaniel not told Bowlen he was shopping Cutler, the Coach would be gone (along with the GM) and Cutler would still be a Bronco.

I think McDaniel has set the Broncos back 3 years even with the extra draft choices. I have always liked Orton. But Orton is at best a care-taker QB and not someone that can lead you deep into the AFC playoffs. As a Browns fan, that does not sadden me in the least. We will see which team is helped more by the trade. My bet is that Chicago is now even with the Vikings in talent to win the NFC North.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: Cutler,Bears,Broncos,NFL,Draft,49ers,Seahawks,McDaniel,Bowlen,Xanders,Draft choice value chart,Sanchez,Vikings,Booty,Leftwitch,J.P Losman,Joey Harrington,Orton,Patroits
  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 18th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The media has missed the point of the Cutler vs. McDaniels spitting contest.

The media has missed the point of the Cutler vs. McDaniels spitting contest.

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Fryingpan Sports

The media has missed the point of the Cutler vs. McDaniels spitting contest.

t

By Bill Smith

As usual, the media have totally missed the most important fact in the QB Jay Cutler vs. new Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. The antique media call Cutler a cry baby. Others say that McDaniels has all the power because Bronco team owner Pat Bowlen backs his new guy. That is not the key story here. The key story is that Bowlen blew it when he fired Mike Shanahan and blew it again in hiring the 32 year old McDaniels. McDaniels is not mature enough to be a head coach in the NFL. It was a bad hire and this is only the first screwup for which McD will be responsible.

To go back to the beginning, McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders committed an unforgivable sin—trying to trade a somewhat proven young franchise QB for another somewhat proven older QB Matt Cassel. McD thought that word of the failed deal would never get out. How stupid was that? In this era of 24 hour sports channels, there is no way on earth or any alternative universe that someone wouldn’t blab. Even when the reports leaked out about a 3 way deal between the Patriots, Bucs and Broncos he refused initially to acknowledged the attempt.

Cutler was not happy and that is understandable. He has been the QB for 3 years and made the pro bowl last year. According to Cutler’s agent Bus Cook, in meeting with McD earlier this year to go over the playbook, McD had told Cutler that he had come to Denver specifically because he wanted to coach the young man. Given the trade talk, Cutler feels that McD lied to him then as well.

McD immediately compounded the gaff. Rather than trying to resolve the situation face to face by going to see his jilted QB, McD called Cutler and reportedly committed another major error by lying to him. According to multiple reports, McD told Cutler that other teams had contacted him about Cutler’s availability. That conversation just added fuel to the feud.

When a face to face finally happened this past weekend, it was an even bigger disaster. Rather than a 1 on 1 with his QB, Cutler insisted on bringing his agent Cook. Not being man enough to face a 2 on 1, McD brought his GM along for support. In that meeting, things did not improve. According to Cook, the Cutler contingent believed that McD was going to call Jay for a one on one. According to McD, it was Cutler that was supposed to call.

When the call came, it was Cook calling to tell the team that Cutler now wants to be traded because he has no faith in McD, Xanders, or Bowlen.

My analysis: Bowlen blew it. He is now trying to save face by backing his sniveling coach McD. McD showed no guts in confronting the issue. He wants his Patriot QB like a 2 year old needs his blankie. He wouldn’t even face Cook and Culter alone. He needed backup.

Josh, engage brain before dialing for deals. You don’t dangle your franchise QB in trade talks that and keep the locker room together. This is what will happen if Cutler is not traded. Some players will back the new coach but others who played with Cutler will back him.

Pat, you blew the firing and blew the new hire. You had better tell McD to back off or you are going to lose what fan base has not already written you off. You need to get the D fixed because it was a well oiled turnstile threw which opponents ran on their way unmolested to the endzone. Cutler was the 3rd rated QB last year while McD has not won anything by himself yet. You need to get control of your coach or replace him.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: Broncos, NFL, FOOTBALL, McDAniels, Bowlen, Shanahan, Cutler, trade, Buccaneers, Patriots, Cassel
  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 31st, 2008
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Before you fire your head coach…

Before you fire your head coach…

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at ...

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at the White House- Cropped from original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Bill Smith

There are a lot more open coaching positions in the NFL than there are qualified candidates. On average, about 8 of the 32 coaches are fired every year. Last year only 6 got the ax so you can look for a few more before too long.

NFL stands for “Not For Long” as far as coaches and players are concerned. “Mangenious” last year turned into one of the dismissed coaches this year after the Jets jettisoned Eric Mangini and his staff. Team management totally ignored the fact that the problem this year was the QB Bret Favre and that was a move that Mangini did not support. He also did not support the release of QB Chad Pennington. Farve did not at all fit the Mangini system which was ball control/low turnovers. Pennington doesn’t have the arm to throw deep but that is not part of the Mangini offense. If management had done the right thing, it would have fired itself. Don’t hold your breath for that.

Management faces a huge problem when the expectations far exceed the results. Just before the fans form a mob and storm the castle with burning torches, the management decides to throw the head coach out the 8th story window. They do that in hopes that the act placates the mob below. But the mob will just move out of the way of the falling bodies and continue to charge. Usually however, the problem is not the coach but the lack of talent that management has collected. But you can’t fire a whole team—can you?

The question is do you take the hot coordinator flavor of the month and hope (and if you are the GM pray) he develops into a Bill Cowher or do you hire a formerly fired head coach and hope the second, third or in some cases sixth time is the charm that turns him into the next genius. Then there is the option of selecting the hot college head coach. Each of the approaches have worked great in some cases and failed miserably in others.

For those that take the coordinator of the month path. While former assistant coach hires John Harbaugh (Baltimore) and Mike Smith (Atlanta) might have worked out well, I remind you that Romeo Crennel was the hottest coordinator in the market just 4 years ago. That certainly worked out great for the Browns, didn’t it?

Retreads usually don’t work out either. Bill Belichick that learned by driving the Browns into the ground and then turned genius in New England. For every Bilichick there are dozens of second time around failures. Most coaches were fired for losing. Since the team that fires a coach is already good at that, why would they want to hire someone that lost someplace before?

Then there are the college coaches. Few college coaches bring the credentials that Butch Davis brought to Cleveland. As defensive coordinator in Dallas, he contributed to the championships won under head coach Jimmy Johnson. At Miami he turned around a program under NCAA sanction and laid the basis for a national championship under his successor Larry Coker. Even with all that, he failed miserably at Cleveland. It was so bad he quit with 5 games left in the 2004 season. College coach Bobby Petrino was hired by the Falcons and things went down hill so fast he didn’t last an entire season. He quit after 13 games.

So what is a beleaguered GM to do? There are a few—very few—coaches out there that left on their own. The name that everyone wants is Bill Cowher. But he isn’t excited about giving up a reportedly 2 million a year TV gig that takes less than 30 days of his time. The second most sought after guy is Mike Shanahan who was just fired from Denver. He was really good at coaching but picking players—not so much. Mike Holmgren agreed to retire after the 08 season but is having “Favre-like second thoughts.” Seattle has moved on so he is a good choice for someone. He also had the GM function there and may be looking more for a GM job, his weakness, rather than a coaching job, his strength. Mike, stick with what you do best!

Marty Schottenheimer is available after being drummed out of San Diego and he has won everywhere he has been. But with him there is that playoff game problem. He just can’t seem to win enough to get to the Super Bowl. Other retreads looking for a second or third chance include former Raven Brian Billick, and former 49er coach Mike Nolan. Former Rams head coach Mike Martz is available after being fired by SF from his offensive coordinator job. Anyone that hires him better be really deep at QB because his system tends to use them up like facial tissue. Reports about former Giant HC Jim Fassel indicate he is so desperate he would consider the Oakland job if it comes open.

There are several hot prospects from the coordinator group including Jet assistant head coach Bill Callahan, Brian Schottenheimer the Jet OC, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and Cowboy offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (I thought he was the coach in waiting for the Cowboys).

Here is a hint for those owners that want a yes man as head coach. Call Jerry Jones. He will trade you Wade Phillips for a future draft choice and a player…. Well you had better talk to him.

That’s what I think. Tell us what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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