The San Francisco 49ers interviewed Josh McDaniels on Saturday, and we’ve heard numerous reports saying the two sides make sense for each other. At the same time, plenty of people are hesitant given McDaniels’ disastrous run in Denver. He was 8-8 his first season, and 3-9 in his second season before he was fired.
There are plenty of postmortems about his time there, but it is always helpful to hear from people that worked with McDaniels. It turns out, last summer, former Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams spoke to why he thought McDaniels did not work out in Denver. You can watch the video above, and I’ve transcribed it below.
Williams talked about being more prepared than he ever was, but he did not think McDaniels was the kind of guy you’d want to push even harder for. I don’t know if this is a one-size fits all opinion, considering different players have different personalities. But obviously something did not work out in Denver. Here’s what he had to say.
On why it did not work out:
I tell people to this day, I’ve never been more prepared for a game, ever, on any level of my career than being with Josh McDaniels. But, he didn’t have that extra factor that would make guys wanna run through walls. When it really gets tough, and it’s hurting, you can’t go anymore, and you just wanna stop? There are some coaches or teammates that are bigger than you, you just throw yourself in front of there, you jump on that grenade, and you just, it doesn’t matter what happens to you because this is for a bigger cause. And I don’t think, he was there with Belichick, and he got all the knowledge, and Belichick kinda seems standoffish, but a lot of guys that I know that have played with him, when it’s one-on-one with him, he’s relatable; you can talk to him. I don’t think Josh McDaniels learned that yet. I think Josh took all the knowledge and got that and came here with all the knowledge. And that’s why we were successful in the beginning and won those games. But when it hit the fan and things got tough? Guys didn’t want to go that extra mile for him. So, I honestly see Josh going down the road and becoming a head coach again. And I think his second time around, he’s gonna get it, he’s gonna understand it.
On if he enjoyed played for McDaniels:
No, I didn’t. Listen, I didn’t enjoy playing for him because it’s like, you take that course in school; it all depends on the professor. It could be the easiest class, or it could be the hardest class. If this professor wants to give you pop quizzes, randomly essays, this and that, it’s gonna be the hardest class ever. If your professor is a professor that, “hey, we’re gonna give a quiz on Friday, we’re gonna go over the subjects on Wednesday and Thursday, and talk about it,” it’s smooth. And Josh was that type of guy that to me, made football tougher than it had to be. Cuz, it’s already so tough. And what I didn’t like about him was our fun was scripted. So it’s not really fun, it’s not really enjoyable. It’s like, “hey, look at us right now, we’re enjoying ourselves, and we got ten minutes free time.” But, we knew about it a month in advance, so it’s not fun.