Posted Mon Oct 25th by Monty
There’s a perfectly-worded poll currently running on the Denver Post’s website. It asks, “Do you believe Broncos coach Josh McDaniels can keep his team from quitting on him this season?”
The choices: “No. The loss to the Raiders shows they’ve already quit,” and, “Yes. I think the Broncos will rebound and at least keep trying.”
This is the question McDaniels is undoubtedly asking himself after his players spit in the face of everything he claims to stand for Sunday in Denver.
If actions speak louder than words, the vast majority of the 45 players who dressed in Broncos blue gave their coach, and their fans, the virtual middle finger on October 24th. McDaniels lost his players in humiliating totality in Week 7. Has he lost them for the season?
“It’s not good enough – it’s not even close to good enough,” McDaniels said. “I apologize to (Owner) Pat (Bowlen) and the organization, all the fans and everyone else. It was awful.”
Like his apology to the fans, McDaniels’ message to his players has fallen on deaf ears. You can count the number of players who “did their job” on one hand. There was no essence of “smart football” or “playing tough,” physically or mentally.
The defense, physically outmatched and mentally ill-prepared, quit on Wink Martindale when the scoreboard still read 0-0, when quarterback Jason Campbell scrambled past defensive back Nate Jones for a long first down. There was not an iota of fire or spark from the defense for the 57 minutes of football that followed. The Broncos allowed a franchise-record 59 points to the rival Raiders, along with 328 rushing yards, the second highest number posted in 25 years.
The offense, physically outmatched and mentally ill-prepared, quit on Josh McDaniels after Kyle Orton‘s first snap. Orton made a dreadful, terrible throw, and McDaniels got cute with a Tim Tebow/Demaryius Thomas end around on the next play.
Even had Thomas not fumbled, the move was so finesse even the Broncos cheerleaders were rolling their eyes.
After a loss like this, don’t ask if the Broncos should start Tim Tebow. They shouldn’t. Not in Week 8. Kyle Orton is still their best chance to win.
Don’t ask if McDaniels should be fired midseason — he won’t be. The only realistic interim coach would be a coordinator, and the Broncos only have one of those. The Broncos are likely thinking about firing Wink Martindale before promoting him.
Don’t ask if the Broncos players have quit on their coach — they have.
Ask if McDaniels can get them to un-quit. Because that’s the only way this season can be salvaged, if one considers a 6-10 finish “salvaged.”
The repeated theme of post-game quotes by the coach and players was of “soul searching.”
If one isn’t found, the Broncos will be coach-searching.