Posted Sun Nov 22nd by Monty
Back in October, with camera crews mere feet away, San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos players got in a well-publicized verbal and semi-physical exchange as they warmed up for their Monday Night Football outing. Before Sunday’s Broncos-Chargers tilt, many noted that there didn’t appear to be such a fracas.
There was. This one just happened behind the scenes.
According to multiple reports, Chargers linebackers goaded Josh McDaniels and a group of Broncos players as they walked by during pregame warm-ups. McDaniels would later describe the Chargers’ comments as “not for papers” and hoped to avoid the story altogether, but, in the moment, the head coach responded to the Chargers’ smack talk.
He told the linebackers, “We own you.”
After the game, linebacker Shaun Phillips told the story to the San Diego Union Tribune’s Kevin Acee in a snippet that apparently wasn’t appropriate for papers, either:
“I’m not surprised,” Shaun Phillips said. “He’s a little cocky (rear end). It’s all good, all fun and games. We didn’t look too much into it. As a coach, I hope he has that mind-set. But to say he owns us? I mean, you beat us one time. What has he really done in this league? He had a team 6-0 and now he’s looking up at us from second place.”
For something that Phillips described as “all fun and games,” his and his teammates’ other comments seem to indicate otherwise.
According to San Diego radio station producer Marty Caswell, Phillips called the Broncos’ decision to onside kick in the third quarter “stupid” and showed McDaniels’ “cocky nature.”
Caswell also said that Shawne Merriman called McDaniels’ comments “very cute,” and will have more on his radio program Monday.
This type of pregame skirmish is to be expected from players that pumped when they collide before a game that heated, but a Head Coach not able to keep a level head before the game? I’m disappointed.
Meanwhile, the Chargers showed what most of us knew — that they suffer a gaping hole where their class should be. Those quotes infuriate and disgust me, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Broncos players read them and feel the same way. The Broncos could rally behind their coach because of these comments, and if San Diego and Denver were to somehow meet in the playoffs, the Chargers will only have themselves to thank for the firestorm they’ll face.
All that being said, McDaniels still missed an opportunity to be the bigger man. As Head Coach of the Denver Broncos, I had hoped he would be.
McDaniels incites Chargers [San Diego Union Tribune]