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Broncos coach McDaniels takes relationship with QBs to new level

FRANK SCHWAB
Colorado Springs Gazette

ENGLEWOOD – Josh McDaniels and his quarterbacks will be tied together at the hip. Almost literally.

The new Broncos coach could be mistaken for a quarterbacks coach during many practices. While the defense is on another practice field, the running backs are working in one area, receivers are on another and the offensive linemen are on the far end of the field, quarterbacks Kyle Orton, Chris Simms and rookie Tom Brandstater usually have McDaniels by their side.

He watches everything they do. He wants every detail mastered, from the quarterbacks sounding the same when they call plays to their footwork.



Most coaches know their success is ultimately tied to how well their quarterbacks play. Few take that challenge as personally as McDaniels.

think it would be uncomfortable if I didn have an opportunity to work with those guys, McDaniels said. don think there anybody here that knows it and understands it quite as well.



McDaniels obsession with the quarterbacks is unique. Veterans Orton and Simms said they hadn been around a coach who cared so much about the intricacies of their job.

knows the offense inside and out, it his system. And it not just with quarterbacks, he hands on with all position groups on offense, Orton said. I think his passion is coaching the quarterbacks, and he very good at it.

MEETINGSThe quarterback-coach relationship in Denver is manifested in a few ways, but one is in quarterback meetings.



Many coaches don sit in regularly on specific position meetings. McDaniels is a regular participant when his quarterbacks meet.

day, Orton said.

McDaniels also is involved in coaching them outside of the meeting rooms, during practice. He will call plays during the season, and wants the quarterbacks to be familiar with him.

going to be talking to them on game day, so I see it going hand in hand, McDaniels said. I wasn going to be voice in their helmet, I probably wouldn do as much talking to them during practice. During practice, a Broncos staffer kneels in front of the center, a camera trained on the quarterback. This close-up view will be used later to break down tiny mechanical flaws that might go unnoticed by other teams.

McDaniels is a stickler for all details surrounding his quarterbacks.

great, Orton said. very good at it. He teaching us different techniques and we getting better every day. DIFFERENTOrton previous coach in Chicago was Lovie Smith, a former defensive coordinator. Chris Simms came to Denver from Tennessee, where Jeff Fisher another former defensive coordinator is coach.

Neither one seemed ready for McDaniels. They hadn experienced a coach looking over their shoulders so closely.

Simms said it was the first time in his career he has had any coach care so much about his mechanics. He said most NFL quarterbacks don worry about finer points of the game because of their natural ability.

can all throw it so we can get sloppy with mechanics, Simms said. , I completed it, I don really care about mechanics, I got it there. But when it comes time and you want to be a consistent machine throwing the ball, always being accurate and throwing the ball in the right spot, then you have to fall back on your mechanics and you need somebody there to hone it in. YELL Although McDaniels is more teacher than taskmaster, he can get intense during practice. After one minicamp session this offseason, he jokingly told reporters that he hoped they didn hear too many of his swear words to the quarterbacks.

McDaniels pushes his quarterbacks hard, but they aren constant whipping boys for him.

one thing I say about coach McDaniels is, it business-like, but at the same time he treats us like humans, Simms said. very approachable if you want to talk to him as a human being. I think that makes everyone feel comfortable around him. HISTORYAfter the Broncos traded Jay Cutler, McDaniels said that there are a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL capable of scoring touchdowns and winning games which showed his confidence in his system. After all, Tom Brady had a lot of success with McDaniels calling plays in New England, and former seventh-round pick Matt Cassel threw for 3,693 yards last year after Brady injury.

Whether it was the system or the players that made the Patriots offense successful, it tough to question McDaniels track record with Brady and Cassel.

have to have a great system, first and foremost, Orton said. quarterbacks have had a lot of success but he also had two really good quarterbacks.

goes hand in hand. The system can be great but if you don have the players to execute it, it going to be a weak system. OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR Mike McCoy title is offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but McDaniels handles a big part of both of those jobs. So McCoy, who worked with the Carolina Panthers quarterbacks from 2002 through last season, accentuates McDaniels teachings.

like a second coach McDaniels, he like the angel on his shoulder, Simms said. he says, he constantly beats it in our ear. It like, coach McDaniels is off with the defense looking at them, so now we got coach McCoy, who an extension of McDaniels.


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