Posted Mon Dec 20th by Mr.East
A couple days ago Broncos General Manager Brian Xanders held a press conference where he explicitly explained who held the power on player personnel issues and implicitly showed the strength of his spine. While conducting an interview with the Associated Press, Brian Xanders stated:
“The dynamics were he [McDaniels] had final say on player personnel issues… I was respectful of that, and I was going to work under those parameters.”
However, that is not how Xanders’ job description read at his time of hire. Greg Henry of Examiner.com wrote back on February 12th, 2009:
The Broncos announced Xanders will be in charge of all player personnel issues, including college scouting, pro personnel and labor negotiations. He also will have oversight responsibilities with respect to the video, equipment, grounds and athletic training staffs.
The phrase in charge means, “to instruct authoritatively.” Apparently Xanders didn’t get that memo because he seemed to let Josh McDaniels push him around on nearly every decision made over the past season and a half. If Xanders wanted to draft a defensive tackle, no can do, McDaniels just spent three picks trading up for Tim Tebow. If Xanders wanted hazelnut grounds in the maker, too bad, McDaniels only drinks french roast.
Now that McDaniels is gone it seems like Xanders is frantically trying to clear all the blame off of his plate in order to keep his job. So Brian, if you didn’t make any player personnel decisions, why were you getting a paycheck to do so? In my opinion Brian Xanders is just as responsible as Josh McDaniels for all the decisions made during their stint here. If Xanders was a true leader, a legitimate manager, he would have spoken up, he would have put his foot down on something he truely believed in. Instead Xanders sunk to the role of the bromidic yes-man.
Even if the authority officially shifted to McDaniels on paper it still means that Brian Xanders was involved in all of this turmoil. Now that it looks like the shop is going to get cleaned out again, Xanders shows his true colors by throwing McDaniels under the bus and taking no blame himself. Stunts like this are not the way a true General Manager of the National Football League should be acting. Right now the Broncos don’t need someone who cowers in the corner to be “respectful” working “under those parameters.”
True General Managers such as Ozzie Newsome and Thomas Dimitroff would never put themselves in a position like Xanders’. When Brian Billick was fired during the Raven’s brief slump Baltimore’s operations didn’t skip a beat. The Ravens’ next season went on business as usual, pick the right coach, draft elite talent, and win games. Can anyone say the Broncos have the infrastructure in place to do the same?
If Xanders stays on and actually drafts players, there isn’t much to look forward to according to his past. Xanders background is with Rich McKay, the man Dimitroff replaced on the Falcons front office and Harold Richardson the General Manager for the Michael Vick trade.
Since 1994, when Xanders was hired, to 2007, when Xanders left, the Falcons have gone 100-123-1. From 2000 to 2007 the Falcons have had 62 draft picks and only 5 of those picks turned into pro bowlers. Out of those 5 picks only one of them still plays for the Falcons (Roddy White). And of course, zero Super Bowl wins.
The head coaches of the Atlanta Falcons from 1994 to 2007 were June Jones (19-29), Dan Reeves (49-59), Wade Phillips (2-1), Jim Mora Jr. (26-22), Bobby Petrino (3-10), Emmit Thomas (1-2). Dan Reeves was the only coach to take the Falcons to the Super Bowl and Denver fans all know how that one went.
Xanders did not have a huge part in the wins, loses, draft picks, and coaching hires but this is his background, these are some of the criteria a front office executive should be judged by. Despite the numbers, Xanders does have 14 years of NFL experience at the age of 39. However, in his short tenure in Denver he has done nothing but sit in the backseat and divert the blame from himself.
If this is the type of leadership Brian Xanders brings to the table then he must go. Just like they say, if you’re not apart of the solution, you’re apart of the problem.