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Published on 11/22/2009 at Sun Nov 22 21:18.
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Josh McDaniels and Ladainian Tomlinson chat postgame.  (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Josh McDaniels and Ladainian Tomlinson chat postgame. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

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]

  • kerry

    McD the only thing you own is a playbook that other teams have ALREADY figured out, and a shiny new Ass beating at the hands of Phyllis and the Chargers.

    fuck my life.

  • JYBaritone

    “Meanwhile, the Chargers showed what most of us knew — that they suffer a gaping hole where their class should be.”

    I'm absolutely HOWLING at this comment. I was at the game in SD, not three rows from where the first skirmish took place. It was instituted by the Bronco players talking trash. Does this mean that they have a “gaping hole were their class should be” ?

    How about two of your players getting in a fight on the sidelines? Is that “class”?

    I for one have no problem with players talking trash, if you would have ever played the game you would know it's just part of it.

    A coach talking trash is another thing, and at the least is simply giving the opposition something to get motivated about.

    Finally, back in the day I would listen to Fouts and Elway talk trash with each other and with opposing fans. Both are HOF players and are beloved. McD is just getting started in Denver. It's gonna take more than one year to get this team moving forward again.

  • vatocuz619

    “Meanwhile, the Chargers showed what most of us knew — that they suffer a gaping hole where their class should be.”

    Really?!? Did you bother to read the article before you copied & pasted it into your blog? Looks like McDaniels showed us what most of us already knew – that he learned about class from Bill Belichick. ha, ha 32-3 suckas!

  • pwsbronc

    Don't mind the trash talk, it is part of the game. Does anyone remember Shannon Sharpe??? no more needs to be said…
    as they say if you talk the talk you better be able to walk the walk and tonight the bolts did just that and then wiped their backsides with our team.
    Again we get bitch slapped in our house, nothing more embarrassing than that, so I suggest until you can at least come out and represent as an NFL team, we might not want to worry ourselves about all the trash talk. We got man handled so badly tonight we had better call the police because I thing we may have been violated in public…….pathetic trying to snivel about a beating. Man up, take the lumps because as history shows, we will be on top again when it is our team. Until we can beat the bolts on a regular basis as they are doing to us then ” They Own Us”…..
    So, lets let our play speak for ourselves or just keep getting violated….
    We have another chance at redemtion on Thursday, so lets see if we can't turn this thing around…..and then maybe we can throw out some trash talk of our own…

  • robtink242

    Anyone else is wondering whats going on with our blitz game. i was disturb to see Doom in coverage on Vincent Jackson. We rarely brought that A gap blitz thats super effective. I really don't know. It has to be the coach staff. We are doing a horrible job game planning. We don't go deep on B more when they weren't stopping the bomb, Steelers starting safety was out and we didn't open the field at all. We loose to Washington which is embarrassing enough. And just a series of silly mistakes against the chargers and a lot of dumb plays called in.

  • NavyBSU_fan

    Wow, we got our tails kicked! I am not really upset that we gave up 32 to the chargers, they have a great offense. i am upset that our offense only scored 3 points. We need to put in Brandstater since he couldn't do worse than Simms. Brandstater having a mediocre game keeps orton on the side line healing so he can be ready for the playoffs (knocking of wood) We can pull out of this funk but it needs to start with admitting that our over paid back up QB is not cutting it and that is keeping our under paid starter from healing.

  • herc_rock

    Smart move, rook.

  • boltking


  • Chiefhatersincebirth

    I agree Navy, did anyone else notice the poise Brandstater has in the pocket. You can't coach that, you just have it or you don't. I say let the kid play if he is future QB of this team. As far as the Chargers and their redneck QB, “Where are your rings?” You don't have any and your window is all but patched over. McDaniels is a good coach and the players love him so lets give him another offseason to bring in more of his guys and draft some gritty players in the trenches.

  • herc_rock

    You mean their run towards a second round playoff loss?

  • SDlivineasy

    Yeah McDaniels is a really good coach. Good call on that onside kick. Way to deflate any momentum that your team may have had. Denver scored 3 points. 3!! Are you kidding me? You scored more than 30 points in San Diego on MNF about a month ago and you couldn't get into the end zone one time AT HOME? Haha. Enjoy watching the Bolts in the playoffs (again).

  • Kyle

    There's a time and place for trash talk. Before the game, during warmups is fine. That's its proper place (between players anyway).

    After the game, to newspapers and radio folk, saying the coach you just beat is a “little cocky ass” and “stupid?” Completely classless, period.

  • Chiefhatersincebirth

    Agreed Kyle! By the way I love your site and I'm sure I speak for all of us Bronco fans outside of Colorado when I say thanks for the great coverage.
    As far as the onside kick is concerned; stupid. Most coaches wouldn't do that but McD was trying to get a spark and keep his defense off the field a little longer. If it was successful we would be saying what a ballsy move it was and McD knew the consequences of not recovering it. Look at what happened with the Patriots and their fourth down attempt against the Colts. If it worked they would have kept Manning off the field for the rest of the game.

  • herc_rock

    The Chargers have proven to be a pretty classless team the last few years, but I can't pound on them for this.

    McD was being a stupid, little, cocky ass.

  • broncoboy

    im so mad we lost and gave up 32 points we need to stop and think the teams we lost to we could have beat stay together damn thats it trust in TEAM we need a better QB orton is nice we need great we are not playin bronco ball throw the ball deep 10 times out the game get knowshawn on the flats one on one cant be stop throwin 10 yards every 3 plays give us more time to fuck up come on the D is fallin apart gettin beat deep not stopin the run gettin spread apart thats cant happen everybody wants to be a star play tight we i mean WE have to win this next game no matter what

  • broncoboy


  • kerry

    yeah the lack of pressure is very disturbing. we blitzed rivers quite a bit last time we played and we got 5 sacks. so for some reason the coaches decided NOT to blitz this time. and here is something else to think about, is Nolan REALLY calling all the defensive plays? id like to think Nolan is smart enough to stick with what works, but if McD is sticking his nose in on the defensive side of the ball, like Shanahan often did, then thats whats screwing with the rhythm of the defense. perhaps McD is interfering with the defense and having Nolan play more conservative? its not out of the realm of possibility. Shanahan did it every year.

  • JYBaritone


    I'm in agreement with your opinion of the onside kick call. It wasn't a bad call, just poorly executed. When you look at it on replay the only person on the Charger squad who wasn't fooled initially was the guy who recovered it (Nanee). If the Broncos execute that play better it would have been a momentum shifter.

    As far as the Classy vs not-classy thing… listen. I used to remember watching guys named Shannon Sharpe, Junior Seau, John Elway, and Dan Fouts go at it. It's part of the game. But I never remember Shanahan or Coreyell getting into it. It's just something Coaches shouldn't do. Why throw verbal gasoline, ESPECIALLY at an opponents linebacking crew, even if you ARE heckled?

    I was at the first game between these two teams in SD, and not far at all from where the first altercation took place during warm ups. It was the Denver crew, and I'm pretty sure it was Eddie Royal, who started it then.

    Both of these teams talk a lot of smack, if smack talking means the teams are “classless” then the whole NFL and NBA are classless. It's just part of the game… for the players.

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