New Broncos coach well versed in football, pressure |

New Broncos coach well versed in football, pressure

Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostJosh McDaniels is preparing for long days in his office

CANTON, Ohio – Here in the land of rich Midwest soil and high school football majesty, Josh McDaniels was toughened to handle one of the greatest quarterback-coach spats in NFL history.

McDaniels could never have known this, of course, as he played quarterback in a demanding town for a legendary high school coach who happened to be his father. Playing for Dad meant proving every day to everybody else that a starting position was something earned, not inherited.

In starting his first head coaching job with the Denver Broncos, McDaniels’ preference would have been to use his fertile background on more menial tasks, such as rebuilding the organization.

But to revisit McDaniels’ youth, to see the millions of dollars poured into the local prep football programs in northern Ohio, to understand the grave pressure that accompanies upscale accommodations and the expectations from those who funded them, is to realize former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler never had a chance.

It may not be easily detectable, but there is a tough skin covering the boyish looks of the Broncos’ 33-year-old head coach, who this week leads the team into training camp. Rookies, quarterbacks and injured players report Monday.

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