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Published on 12/20/2010 at Mon Dec 20 12:30.
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Broncos general manager Brian Xanders checks the board in the team's war room. (AP Photo/Denver Broncos, Eric Lars Bakke)

Broncos general manager Brian Xanders checks the board in the team's war room. (AP Photo/Denver Broncos, Eric Lars Bakke)

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 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.

  • chrislynch

    Absolutely, Xanders NEEDS to go. I have never liked him as a GM. He has always been a body physically filling a role. Denver needs a REAL GM, then fill in the coaching staff.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Anyone who has ever worked in any kind of corporate environment (which the NFL front office is) understands that job descriptions don't mean a damn thing.

    Mr. East, I like your stuff and I can even understand you wanting to make a case to dump Xanders but the way it starts off just sounds like a guy who doesn't know what it's like living in the world of upper middle management.

    The guy got a shot to put GM on his resume and get a pay increase for his family and he took the job just like you or I would have done in the same situation. Had it worked out for McD it would have worked out for Xanders and he would have then landed a real GM job just like Scott Pioli did.

    Pioli after all was given the EXACT same roll for Bilichick. He was a hired consultant given the title of GM to workout the final contracts.

    Bowlen wanted to bring the New England system to Denver and Xanders was his very own Pioli.

  • AtomicLeo

    We have no idea what the power dynamic is in Dove Valley. Is Ellis running the show? Did he hire Xanders and basically tell him that McD has final say in football decisions? I don't know. The real interesting question I have is: what happens to Ellis if Elway is brought in? Basically Elway would be taking over Ellis' job and be Bowlen's front man. Where does Ellis fit in *that* configuration? Forget about Xanders. Ellis needs to go far far away, IMO and if he is left in charge we can expect more losing seasons.

  • MrEast

    I agree with everything you said. I just don't like how Xanders is trying wash his hands of everything that happened of the past season and a half. I'm not also a fan of his background of mediocrity.

  • Joshua Manning

    “62 draft picks and only 5 of those picks turned into pro bowlers.”??? LOL!!! He maybe the next Matt Millen. Just kidding! I give him one more chance. Let's see if Xanders can make some good moves.

  • herc_rock

    In McDaniels' defense, Hazelnut is pretty terrible.

  • Uncle Rico

    The Denver Broncos must hire a bona fide general manger with solid NFL scouting roots, not a glorified capologist that is unwilling to accept any accountability for his role in the epic collapse of the franchise.


  • linmoo

    For god's sake, do not let Xanders continue as GM. This guy is a glorified accountant, hired to take care of Bowlen's cap problems. He has highly suspect personnel hiring skills. You just can't polish a turd, and this guy is a one big, after-Thanksgiving dinner floater.

  • flbronc

    why are we killing him for stating something that we already knew. who here didnt know that mcd had the final say on personnel moves? He simply stated that he didnt have final authority and that he worked within those parameters.

    i would love to know what differences he had with mcd… it's my guess that he probably disagreed with some of the 'major blunders' that mcd made and that is the only reason he is still hanging around.

    that being said, i think we can do better than him. lets go get someone from a quality organization with a good scouting background, from a team with good history of quality drafts.

  • Ian Henson

    I think Xanders is the scapegoat. Just look at the way he did Dumervil's contract, I think he's borderline genius level and that's why Shanahan brought him in.

    Look at the last two drafts, compare them to Shanahan's last ten… Our last two drafts yielded at least five of our currents starters. What Xanders is doing is smart and it is potentially saving his job.

  • Nisse

    yeah, can we really get anyone better? what good GM would leave his current job to sign with one of the worst teams in the league?

    xanders staying here for 2011 is deffinetly a posibility

  • Ian Henson

    Scott Pio… Oh nevermind, I am available and I am awesome on All Madden.

  • linmoo

    Quite frankly, I think they'll be several very qualified candidates interested in the Broncos. It's better to take over a team at rock bottom than to take over a mediocre team on the brink, both in terms of draft position and overall upside. If the upper management grows the balls look outside the house, they'll likely find a real gem for years to come.

  • TheTroglodyte

    I second the motion. All in favor of Ian Henson as GM say aye.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Like who?

  • Ian Henson

    I am updating my resume now with all relevant information. Haha, thank you for the smile.

  • linmoo

    I think Eric DeCosta from the Ravens, Tom Telesco from the Colts, or Les Snead from the Falcons should be at the very top of our list.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Hmmmm I must admit that is a better list then I expected you to come up with. Please nobody from the Colts though. I'm tired of bringing in people who only want to draft for the offense.

  • 5280

    Troglodyte ur right. Within middle managment a job description doesn't mean squat, but thats a very bad thing. to brush it off and say well a job description doesn't mean anything excuses the fact that Xzander has ast there and has done as close to nothing as he can possibly do. Middle managment really mean HR and from my experience HR people do exactly what u said, nothing and collect a paycheck for and yes if i could do nothing and get payed for it i would. That doesn't mean it's right. If all Xzanders signed on the dotted line for was to sit there and do nothing and get paid for it then we made a mistake. the only thing he has potentially done right is draft tebow, decker, and thomas, other then that, name one thing Xzanders had a hand in realisticlly that made sence. If theres anything the list is very small. The difference between Xzanders and Scott Pioli is Pioli is an NFL vet in the GM business and Xzanders could be considered to be in his internship for god sakes. Belichick is a mastermind and pioli helps when needed because he has the resume to do so. Thats waaaaaay different then McFuck and Xanders. Why let amatures have the power of the gods? Even if you dont go by his resume Xzanders hasn't made any descisions with any klind of common sence. Everyone knows they should have went defence in both drafts and they didn't and they also should have picked up some big name, big talent defencive players through free agency the last couple of yaers and they failed to do that as well. So regardless of the job description, Xzanders hasn't done a good job at all. Whether it's because Pat Bowlen set it up that way himself is another debate, but Xzanders has no business being a GM for the broncos.

  • flbronc

    The post had a list of potentials, and the three linmoo has are on it. i am with you on wanting someone from a team with a history of drafting good defensive players. personally that puts me in decosta's camp.

    yes xanders has had better drafts than shanny- but how much was him and how much was mcd? nobody really knows the answer to that. what we all know is that pat bowlen probably should have hired that octopus who picked world cup games to do our draft- it would have produced better than shanny.

  • TheTroglodyte

    There is so much wrong with this post I don't even know where to begin so I am not. You should look up Pioli's experience before Belichick handed him the GM job for the Pats though. He had far less experience than “Xzanders”.

    Here ya go, this should help you out :D

  • lakers24

    some one should have saved mac d from himself sorry x-man you gottogo .being a yes man was not no job decribshon

  • robtink242

    Here's my list of players that wont be here next season:
    Chevis Jackson
    Nate Jones
    Cassius Vaughn
    Ronald Fields
    Steven Hauschka
    Lee Robinson
    David Veikune
    Russ Hochstein
    Brady Quinn
    Kyle Orton (trade)
    Laurence Maroney
    Renaldo Hill
    Coats Daniel
    Jabar Gaffney(traded)

    Most of that lists is obvious… Who ever runs this team let it be known that they are going to bring in alot of people.. Some people will not be given a chance and others will be gone by OTA's!

  • jdkchem

    Funny how those “ego” comments have vanished isn't it?

  • jdkchem

    Funny how those “ego” comments have vanished isn't it?