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The way we were: Back when McDaniels and Cutler played nice

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Posted March 17, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

(Blogger's note: I know the proper word in the headline is "nicely." But my grandma always told me to "play nice" so this is in her honor, I suppose.)

It's not the most revealing thing I ever have uncovered, but I went back and looked at Josh McDaniels' introductory press conference back on Jan. 12 after being named head coach of the Broncos. Lo, it was a simpler time ...

Pay special attention to the line of questioning regarding his coaching style and whether he resembles the dour Bill Belichick or the bulldogish Charlie Weis, his primary mentors of yore. It's more interesting than anything if you are following closely the Jay Cutler saga, as I know you are:

On whether he has spoken with QB Jay Cutler:
“I have not. That is something that will take place here very shortly. There are a lot of people that I want to reach out to and speak with, here shortly — players and coaches that are still on the staff and that will happen here soon.”

On how he describes his coaching and leadership style as compared to his mentors (Bill Belichick, Charlie Weis):
“It’s different. I’ve had a lot of great mentors. Nick Saban was also someone that I worked for and under. I’ve tried to take some things from Nick, from Bill and Charlie along the way. I hope I’ve taken all the good things from them. The way I coach and try to lead is by being more prepared than everybody else — trying to do that on a daily basis because I think that is what players respond to. Players want to win, they want to be taught and improve and they want to have an opportunity to be successful, and as a coach that is your job. That is what I want to do every day when I come into the office. I want to be prepared and give them an opportunity to succeed, with what particular scheme or system we are using on that particular day or week. That’s what I want is to be prepared and for them to be prepared. We are going to play tough and smart and well under pressure and that is the way that preparation is going to extend to them on the playing field.”

On whether he considers himself a “tough” coach:

“At times, of course, if that is what has to happen. That is what you do when you are in this profession. I don’t think you do it unnecessarily but I like to believe I’m a teacher. I’d like to believe that I can communicate. That is a very important word for me. I think that goes from the top down and when you need to get your hands dirty in this game you need to be willing to do it. I think the players accept that, look forward to it and will respond to it accordingly.”

On if his personality differs from his former co-workers Bill Belichick and Charlie Weis:
“Sure. I try to focus on the positive things that those people have given me the opportunity to see. I think that you will certainly see me bring a little bit of a different vibe. I am going to have a lot of energy, I can smile. I will do some things that I think people will like and get used to. Like I said, I think the personality of a coach — and this is true of everybody, any coach and any player — it comes through over time when you get the opportunity to see how I differ from them. It is hard to describe that standing right here. There are going to be some things that are going to be different.”

On his impressions of Broncos QB Jay Cutler:
“Jay is very talented. I have had an opportunity to watch him a number of times on film and in person once this year. He has a lot of ability. I know just from some of the information that I gathered on him coming out of college that he is a very intelligent person, a very intelligent player. He does a lot of things well. I think Jay is going to enjoy playing in this system, this offense. It is very quarterback friendly once you get to the point where you can use all the tools that it gives the quarterback. Obviously he is a very important part of our success going forward and I can’t wait to get started working with him.”

On the immediate challenge of being a head coach in the NFL:
“I think it is a process that has to come in place. There are a lot of things that are going to come up that I have not necessarily dealt with before but I am looking forward to that. It starts with an evaluation process of where we are at, where we have been and where we want to go. I think once that process begins I think a lot of things start to fall into place starting with staffing, players, our schedule for the spring and the rest of it. There are a lot of things that need to be done and I look forward to doing them.” 

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