With every touchdown that Tim Tebow scores, Josh McDaniels cracks another smile. Tebow scored 13 times this season, each one a validation of McDaniels' decision to draft Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft—and McDaniels'ticket to return to head coaching.
McDaniels, then head coach of the Broncos, traded Denver's second, third and fourth-round Draft picks to Baltimore to move up to the first round to select Tebow with the 25th overall pick.
Neither John Elway nor John Fox would not have made that move. Former coach Mike Shanahan was just as unlikely to have selected Tebow. Draft analyst Mel Kiper panned it. "I don't think he [Tebow] can be a fulltime quarterback. I don't think he can be the quarterback of the future for you, but I do think in the third round, maybe the second round, he'll be the same as Pat White" (Source: Wikipedia, so it must be true).
McDaniels case rests on more than Tebow. Enter Kyle Orton.
MCDaniels alienated star quarterback Jay Cutler in 2009, so much so that Cutler refused to cooperate with him. That might have doomed anyone else. McDaniels made a star of Kyle Orton, Cutler's replacement, and a super star of wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Orton had the best back-to-back seasons of his career under McDaniels. Lloyd flopped in Washington and Chicago after a middling career with San Francisco, but he blossomed with Orton and McDaniels to make the 2010 Pro Bowl.
The man knows offensive talent and he can coach. McDaniels' astute move for Tebow means he will get another bite of the apple as soon as this off-season. Rumor-mongers can now start the buzz about Miami, Jacksonville and St. Louis, where McDaniels is offensive coordinator. But, McDaniels should not be trusted to lead a football organization.
McDaniels left Denver in disgrace as a loser with a 2010 record of 3-9. He, like more experienced coaches (looking at you, Jim Tressel, Joe Paterno and Jim Boeheim), was made aware of rules violations and evil doers within his organization, but failed to report it as required by the league. Controversy, demoralized fans and leadership under adversity flummoxed him. McDaniels needs a strong general manager to pull the strings and be the face of the front office. San Diego, where GM A.J. Smith rules, could be that spot.
McDaniels, the man who drafted Tim Tebow, will be in play when coaching vacancies open this off-season.