My reaction to the news that Denver owner Pat Bowlen said Josh McDaniels will remain the team’s coach in 2011: What else do you expect Bowlen to say?
McDanielsWe know fans in Denver want McDaniels out and many in the media think that should be the case based on his 5-16 record in the past 21 games and the recent videotape scandal that cost the team and McDaniels a combined $100,000 in fines.
But ownership put out signals last month that McDaniels will be back in 2011. A major reason for that is the team still owes money to former coach Mike Shanahan through next season. There is little chance Bowlen is going to pay Shanahan, McDaniels and a new coach in the same year.
Denver CEO Joe Ellis said Saturday that the scandal was not a cause for McDaniels' termination. Still, the fact that Bowlen, who has been keeping a low profile lately, publicly stated his current plans has to be looked at as a strong sign of support for McDaniels.
"Yes he will," Bowlen told Fanhouse when asked if McDaniels will return next season. "I am not interested in making a coaching change.”
"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.''
The Broncos are 3-8. They are not going to the playoffs. Bowlen, who indicated that some of the staff may not be as safe as McDaniels, is just putting a happy face on this situation. He knows this team is going nowhere this year.
But neither is McDaniels. I know this will make many Denver fans very unhappy. But you had to see this coming. Denver is planning to give McDaniels another chance.
Now, things can always change. Ownerships in Dallas and Minnesota stood behind their head coaches until the day they were fired.
If fans stop going to Denver’s remaining home games and the Broncos finish 3-13, the cries for McDaniels’ termination will be loud. But as of Nov. 29, Bowlen is sticking to his plan -- McDaniels is staying in Denver.
It’s not a shock.
UPDATE: In a statement released to some media on Monday night, Bowlen said the season has been a disappointment and that everything will be evaluated at the end of the season. This was clearly an attempt to calm fans who may be in an uproar over his comments to Fanhouse.