Sam Bradford Tried to Learn Josh McDaniels’ Offense from Charlie Weis

One of the many downsides to the NFL lockout was players being unable to meet with coaches. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had to organize and fund workouts to keep his team fresh. Matt Hasselbeck threw to his receivers in a parking lot. Guys had to improvise in the lockout to stay sharp, and apparently Rams quarterback Sam Bradford got really creative.

In order to get a jump-start on learning new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ offense, Bradford headed to Gainesville to pick Charlie Weis’ brain. You may recall that Weis was the offensive coordinator in New England when McDaniels was the team’s quarterbacks coach. Even though their offenses aren’t identical, Bradford figured it would be a good starting point.

“They spent time in New England together,” Bradford told Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples. “So their offensive philosophies are fairly similar. Obviously, they don’t run the exact same offense. But I just thought if I could come down and just talk some ball with coach Weis and get a feel for what his philosophy is, then it could possibly help me try to transition to Josh’s offense.”

Bradford said that even though he had the playbook, it’s not the same as having someone explain it to you. He says meeting with Weis was beneficial so he could gain an understanding of what McDaniels would be looking for.

I already was a Bradford fan based on his playing ability, but now we can add more positive characteristics to his abilities: creativity and improvisation.

Josh McDaniels Likely to Choose St. Louis Rams and Sam Bradford

Josh McDaniels‘ run as head coach of the Denver Broncos lasted only a season and a half and it was more known for controversies than victories. Despite his failures in Denver as a head coach, there is one constant that remains true: the man can coordinate one heck of a passing game. Under McDaniels’ coaching, Tom Brady has his record-breaking 2007 season, Matt Cassel threw for almost 3,700 yards and 21 touchdowns in his first year starting, and Kyle Orton threw for nearly 7,500 yards and 41 touchdowns over two seasons.

Though he was fired by the Broncos because of a controversy in which one of his assistants filmed the 49ers during practice, McDaniels has been a candidate for several offensive coordinator positions. The Vikings and Rams both reportedly have been trying to hire him, and NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi says McDaniels likely will choose to work for the Rams.

Pairing McDaniels with promising youngster Sam Bradford would be a fantastic combination that can further Bradford’s development. Bradford already led St. Louis to a 7-9 season, and he joined Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan as the only rookie quarterbacks to throw for over 3,000 yards in their first season (he ended up with 3,512). McDaniels could help Bradford work on completing more passes downfield, and he already has experience getting the most of an unimpressive receiving corps — exactly what the Rams have. Hiring Josh McDaniels would be an excellent step towards furthering Sam Bradford’s development as a quarterback, and it could lead to many future division titles in the NFC West.

Denver Broncos Fire Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels has become the latest Bill Belichick understudy to fail to get the job done as a head coach in the NFL.  In what was kind of a surprising announcement — but I guess not really when you actually think about it — the Denver Broncos announced via their Twitter that they have decided to cut ties with McDaniels before the end of his second season as head coach.

Through his first six games in 2009, McDaniels led the Broncos to a 6-0 record and appeared to be a perfect fit in the Mile High City.  He even out-coached his mentor when he led Denver to a 20-17 win over the Patriots in a week five match-up.  Things went south from there.  The Broncos are 5-17 since the 6-0 start last season, including a 3-9 record in 2010.

As if the lack of success on the field wasn’t enough to warrant running McDaniels out of town, the Broncos also found themselves at the center of a videotaping scandal a little over a week ago.  While McDaniels claimed Denver video man Steve Scarnecchia acted independently and was not working under his supervision, the fact that he was a member of the Patriots organization during Spygate certainly raised plenty of eyebrows — most notably Todd Haley’s.

No word yet on who the interim head coach will be.

NFL Fines Denver Broncos $100K After Steve Scarnecchia Videotaped 49ers

As if the 3-7 record wasn’t embarrassing enough for the Denver Broncos, now we know they lose even when they cheat. Broncos video man Steve Scarnecchia was being investigated for filming a San Francisco 49ers practice the week the teams were in London preparing for their matchup. The Niners won 24-16 despite being recorded by the Broncos. Now we have learned that both the Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels have been fined $50,000 for the incident, and Scarnecchia has been fired.

Denver head coach Josh McDaniels says he did not watch any of the film after Scarnecchia offered to show it to him. Scarnecchia really took all the blame for the incident, saying he filmed San Francisco completely on his own. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is meeting with Scarnecchia about a potential ban from the league as a repeat violator (he was also a member of the Patriots spygate crew).

McDaniels was fined for not immediately reporting the incident to the league. He claims he did not watch the tape but he also didn’t report it immediately. Does that make any sense? I’m guessing this incident had a lot to do with what Chiefs coach Todd Haley said to him after not shaking his hand. “There’s a lot of **** being talked about you” sure makes a lot more sense now. I don’t know how McDaniels can claim innocence in the matter, and I don’t know how they haven’t performed better employing practices like that.

Todd Haley Apologizes for Snubbing Josh McDaniels in Postgame Handshake

Much ado was made here and elsewhere about Chiefs coach Todd Haley wagging his finger at Broncos coach Josh McDaniels after the 49-29 Denver win Sunday (UPDATE: New video from KSCW explains what Haley said). Chiefs reporter Josh Looney told LBS that Haley may have been upset at McDaniels for leaving his starters in the game in the 4th quarter, saying that Kansas City pulled Jamaal Charles late in the Denver game last year, keeping Charles from achieving the single-game rushing yards record.

Well with a day to cool off from the disaster and after hearing about the public relations problem from the media (and potentially elsewhere), Haley was singing a different tune Monday. “I want to apologize for me not shaking Josh’s hand after the game,” Haley said during his press conference Monday. “I do believe in doing what’s right. That was not right. I let the emotions of the situation get to me too much and apologize to the fans and to Denver and to Josh.”

Issuing an apology was the right move from a public relations standpoint, but I have no problem with Haley calling out McDaniels if he feels like Josh was not displaying proper sportsmanship late in the game. I’ve maintained all along that Haley will have his chance at revenge in three weeks when the teams meet at Arrowhead Stadium. You know Kansas City will be pumped up for the contest.

Photo Credit: Joe Amon/Denver Post

Todd Haley-Josh McDaniels Postgame Handshake Was Uncomfortable (Video)

I probably shouldn’t have even labeled the postgame exchange between Todd Haley and Josh McDaniels a handshake since that never happened. Instead, Haley, upset over his team’s 49-29 embarrassing defeat in Denver, had words for McDaniels and capped it off with a finger wag. Check out the Todd Haley-Josh McDaniels handshake video if you haven’t seen it:

McDaniels wasn’t asked about the incident after the game while Haley said the matter was private. Reading Haley’s lips, it appears as if he mouthed the words “last year” during his wagging. My guess is that was a reference to the way Kansas City bounced back from a blowout loss to the Broncos in week 13 with a one-sided win of their own 44-24 in week 17. They’ll certainly be thinking revenge when the teams meet at Arrowhead Stadium in three weeks.

So what made Haley upset? Maybe it’s because the Broncos kept their starters in the game late and were still throwing the ball in the 4th quarter. You can put that on McDaniels if you want, but Haley will have the chance to shut him up December 5th.

UPDATE: KSCW via SI Hot Clicks shows the updated video where Haley is heard saying to McDaniels “There’s a lot of s*** being talked about you.”

Josh McDaniels Backs Kyle Orton on Titans ‘Dirty’ Talk

No, no, no.  Not that type of dirty talk, you pervs.  We’re talking about Josh McDaniels agreeing with his quarterback that the Tennessee Titans played dirty during the Broncos 26-20 victory over them on Sunday.  If you hadn’t already heard, Kyle Orton accused the Titans players of throwing cheap shots at his offensive lineman and called the game one of the “cheapest” he’d ever seen.

McDaniels indicated that the type of game he saw from Tennessee was the one he expected his team would be in for.  He also implied that their style of play is a product of the way their coach, Jeff Fisher, runs the team.

I was proud of our team because we knew that was the kind of game it was going to be,” McDaniels said. “You can put any tape you want to of Tennessee and there’s going to be 10 penalties. You either coach it or you allow it to happen. That’s how I look at that.

“Our guys did a great job of keeping their poise and composure and not getting drawn into a big unsportsman-like game because I know that’s what they were trying to entice us into doing.”

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