Well, the Josh McDaniels era in Denver sure hasn’t gotten off to a great start. If the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator was hoping to make the Broncos denizens forget about the storied and lengthy career of predecessor Mike Shanahan, it probably was going to take even greater play from QB Jay Cutler, who definitely showed flashes of greatness in 2008. But McDaniels ruffled feathers and alienated Cutler early and often upon arriving in Denver. You usually hear coaches, particularly young ones like McDaniels, say what’s necessary to not lose the respect of key members of a football team early on in their tenures. Not McDaniels. The result has been a testy Jay Cutler, and rightfully so to a certain extent.
Could Cutler really be on his way out of Denver before the first day of spring this off-season? It’s looking more and more possible every day, with Cutler’s home even being listed for sale as of late last week. To get the scoop on what’s going down, let’s check in with former Broncos TE legend Shannon Sharpe on KKFN in Denver. And if you’re a bit tired of the plain-Jane answers given by so many college basketball coaches and NFL folks this time of year, don’t worry – it’s Shannon Sharpe!
“The more that I sit down and think about it – you had the second worse defense in the National Football League. You couldn’t turn the ball over; you couldn’t pressure the quarterback. And the new guy [McDaniels] comes in and the first thing he wants to get rid of is his Pro Bowl QB? I don’t want to trade for a Julius Peppers. I don’t want a Ray Lewis or a Bart Scott; I don’t want a defensive lineman. I want to trade my QB! That’s the problem.”
On the double standard in the NFL for players and front offices when it comes to making ‘business decision’:
“And why is it that when an organization wants to trade a player, it’s business; but when a player wants to request a trade, he’s being disgruntled, he’s a malcontent? See you can’t have it both ways.”
“If I’m Jay Cutler now, I think he has to leave.”
On how he dealt with a somewhat similar issue when he was with Denver earlier in his career:
“When Mike [Shanahan] tried to trade me in ’95, after the ’95 season. And when I called the organization they said it wasn’t true. And my agent and I found out later that it was true. I never trusted Mike again until I got back the second time around.”