There were a lot of Broncos takeaways from Super Wild Card Weekend
• Let’s get this out of the way at the top. I’m still a Dan Quinn guy. He remains my top choice to be the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.
• That belief was rattled when I saw the boneheaded way the Cowboys lost to the 49ers. My immediate thought was, “Oh no! Jerry Jones is going to do the smart thing and fire Mike McCarthy and replace him with Quinn!” Then, I relaxed because it’s the Cowboys, it’s Jerr-ah, and I don’t need to worry about him doing the smart thing.
• I saw my guy James Merilatt do what he does best – fear mongering. Right here on the pages of Denverfan.com. He brought up Quinn’s failings after Kyle Shanahan left as OC in Atlanta. Quinn’s next two hirings didn’t fare well in large part because Quinn wanted them to run the Shanahan offense-something Steve Sarkisian and Dirk Koetter weren’t familiar with.
• Atlanta’s offensive production dropped off precipitously after Kyle left. And soon after Quinn was fired.
• What made the moves by Quinn even worse was he had two young minds on his Falcons staff who could’ve/would’ve picked up where Shanahan left off in Matt Lafleur and Mike McDaniel. Huge mistakes. The kind of mistakes that get coaches fired.
• But there is an upside to what happened to Quinn in Atlanta. It has to do with why I have no problem hiring a “retread” (man, I hate that term) coach. First-time coaches make mistakes. They all do. Some don’t pay for them with their jobs. Some do. But what all first-time coaches do (at least most of them) is learn from their mistakes. I’m confident Quinn realized his mistakes when he reflected on the job he had done after he was fired.
• So when George Paton got around to asking Quinn what lessons he learned as a first-time HC, I’m sure Quinn said something along the lines of, “Next time I’m a head coach, I will hire a bright, innovative offensive coordinator. And when we become a winning team with an explosive offense and other NFL teams come sniffing around wanting to hire our hotshot OC, I will already have been developing other young offensive hotshots as QB coaches and passing game coordinators who will be ready to step in when given the chance.”
• In other words, Quinn will establish an offensive coaching philosophy and pipeline that can last for years. Kind of like what Bill Belichick has done in New England. Defensive-minded head coach. Hires an OC in Charlie Weis. Weis creates a system that works. He leaves. Josh McDaniels takes over. McDaniels leaves (hmmm, wonder where he went?). Bill O’Brien takes over. O’Brien leaves. Hurricane Josh comes back. All the while the Patriots’ offensive machine rolls along. That is why if your head coach and organization does things the right way, it doesn’t matter if you have a defensive-minded head coach with an OC who’s in demand.
• I hope that soothes the rattled nerves of Broncos Country who has been led to believe the hiring of another defensive-minded head coach would be the ultimate doomsday scenario.