Class Act 10/12/2009Posted by sportretort in cutler, denver broncos, NFL, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: bill Belichick, denver broncos, Jay Cutler, Josh mcdaniels, kyle orton, new england patriots, nfl football
The Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots 20-17 in overtime. The win moved the Broncos record to 5-0. Denver head coach Josh McDaniels defeated his old team, and his old boss, Bill Belichick.
Remember the off season McDaniels had? Hired as Denver’s new head coach, he became one of the five youngest head coaches ever. As if that was not enough of a
challenge, the Cutler affair broke out. Then Denver’s best receiver wants out. The criticism grew and grew. It seemed as if half of Denver wanted this guy gone before he ever had the chance to coach a game. Bronco nation was atwitter with prognostications of outright failure. The over/under in Vegas for the number of Bronco wins this season was at 6 1/2. McDaniels had, after all, given away the best quarterback ever to play the game for the second coming of Ryan Leaf. Now, five games in, it looks like the over will be surpassed, perhaps before the season is half over. What a difference a few weeks can make. Guess this guy can coach, after all. A week one victory came on a deflected pass that was caught and turned into a long touchdown with just seconds left on the game clock. Just luck, most said. Never mind that Denver was in the lead until they surrendered a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game. Then came victories over Cleveland and Oakland. Just bad teams, the detractors said. Wait untill the Broncos play a good team. Then we will see how bad they are. Denver followed the 3-0 start with a victory over Dallas. They overcame an early 10-0 deficit, scored the game winning touchdown late in the 4th quarter, then future Hall of Fame defensive back Champ Bailey knocked down two Dallas passes in the end zone to seal the victory. Many of the detractors said that the Broncos were lucky again and Dallas QB Tony Romo had a bad game. Wait untill they play an exceptional team like New England. Yep, the Broncos are now 5-0.
At the end of the game, McDaniels looked quickly for Belichick, then went to the area in the stands where his family was sitting, pumping his fist into the air. Lost in the moment, he seemed more cheerleader than coach, and the fans in the area were pumped up by the gesture. During the post game news conference, McDaniels allowed that while, yes, it was special to beat his old team and mentor, it was not all about him. The victory was a testament to a team of players who worked hard and fought hard and earned the victory. For someone who had taken as many shots as McDaniels has, it was a class move to give the credit to the players, where it belongs. His first big moment in the sun and he rose above the pettiness that had engulfed his chaotic start in Denver. Some will point to the fact that he and Belichick did not shake hands on the field after the game, but McDaniels did shake hands and hug every member of the Patriots that he could find. And the emotion he aimed at the stands will go a long way to getting Bronco fans on his side. It will do almost as much as the 5-0 start. It also turns out that Kyle Orton, the new QB in town, is not that bad, either.
Perhaps McDaniels had a clue all along. To borrow a line form the classic Movie Casablanca: Denver, I think this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!