I live in Colorado, and I am barraged with Broncos coverage in my morning paper and on sports radio. I was fairly surprised when McDaniels was fired. He is an excellent coach who got a ton of production out of his players, but was given GM powers as a 32-year old rookie coach.
The Broncos probably have less talent on defense than any other team in the NFL with Elvis Dumervil out for the season, and their O-line was made up of backups and rookies outside of their pro bowl left tackle.
McDaniels brilliantly traded away Cutler for 2 #1s, a #2, a #3, and Kyle Orton...then got more production out of him than Cutler! He traded away Brandon Marshall and made Brandon Lloyd an all-pro. Peyton Hillis was a 'bad seed' in the locker room, and did not perform anywhere near that level while in Denver.
But he botched most of the draft picks. He traded away a 2010 #1 for a 2009 #2 that he spent on a safety that was cut after only a year. He traded up for Tebow, and it remains to be seen if that was a wise move or not. He did draft two really good WRs that will probably end up being good: Damaryius Thomas and Eric Decker...Thomas had a pretty good rookie season.
But on the field, he gets a lot out of his players, assuming that talent is there.
I'm a HUGE Harbaugh backer, but if he goes to Miami or Denver instead of the 49ers, McDaniels would do very well here if we don't give him any personnel powers...he should have never had such powers.
McDaniels would probably find a way to get Kyle Orton out here, and with our O-line, talent on defense, and WR corps, we will be MUCH MUCH better in 2011.
McDaniels haters do not understand what actually happened in Denver, and most of the local sports writers expected him to be stripped of his personnel powers after the season, but retained. Apparently they could not reach a deal on this, so he was released.
They're still on good terms, and I wouldn't be surprised if McDaniels got Orton for less than the 2nd rounder that they're asking for.
I consider option 2a or 2b after Harbaugh, tied with Brian Billick.