Posted by Uncle Rico 1:07 PM ET
With Josh McDaniels now gone, Denver Broncos general manager Brian Xanders is desperately trying to save his job by distancing himself from the team’s former head coach.
Xanders recently told the Associated Press that McDaniels had final say on all personnel matters. In other words, Xanders is not accepting any blame for the disaster at Dove Valley.
And in the event you didn’t get the point the first time, Xanders made it again.
“We have a 17-person personnel staff that had been going through all those processes,” Xanders said. “But [McDaniels] had final say. I’ll just say I was respectful of the organizational setup.”
Certainly McDaniels was the lead engineer of the Broncos failures, but throwing McDaniels under the bus and highlighting his limited involvement in player evaluation and decision making responsibility will not garner fan support for Xanders’ anxious pleas.
Xanders suggested to Rasizer that it’s not fair to judge a general manager without power on roster decisions that were mistakes. Then he predictably said that his plan to reshape the Broncos “would likely include a major investment on the defensive side of the ball in the draft and free agency in an attempt to get it to the top 10 level.” Likely?!? The Broncos rank dead last in the league in almost all notable defensive statistics, so overhauling the defense is a necessity, not a choice.
Of course, Mike Klis did his best hard sell job for the latest apple of his eye. Klis emphatically writes that “the Broncos uppermost hierarchy of Pat Bowlen and Joe Ellis don’t consider Xanders part of the problem” and presents three possibilities as to Xanders future role with the club, all of which include Xanders retaining the title of general manager and expanding his role and authority.
Despite NFL analysts and Broncos fans having major concerns about Xanders’ (a) lack of talent evaluation experience – he has never worked as a scout at any level and his background (subsequent to running a health club owned by the Atlanta Falcons) is in salary cap management, and (b) true involvement in the debacle that has caused the Broncos to become the laughingstock of the league, Klis urges doubters to give Xanders an opportunity because he worked his way into the front offices of the NFL by “first cleaning the pool and steam room for the Rankin Smith family.” It’s another piece of hot garbage from Klis, who similarly defended McDaniels’ arrogance, defiance and inexperience with numerous nauseating accounts of McDaniels high school football pedigree and the adversity McDaniels faced after missing an extra point while playing for his father’s Canton McKinley team in 1994.
ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio thinks that “unless the team already has decided to keep Xanders and deliberately devised this approach as a way to get the fans and the media to accept it, Xanders’ decision to publicly push for his position is not prudent. It comes off as desperate, and perhaps even naive, for Xanders to think that an intermercial will make a difference.”
If the Broncos want more of the same disgrace, Xanders will provide it. For evidence, look no further than his hollow rhetoric when asked by Klis about his goal for the future of the Broncos.
“I would say to build a team that consistently competes for championships, that has a strong foundation built through the draft, and then is supplemented with free agency. It’s matching up players that directly fit the schemes of the coaching staff.”
Wanting “to build a team that consistently competes for championships” and having the experience and knowhow to do so are entirely different. Dabbling in scouting is no replacement for the grinding that scouts do as they acquire knowledge of the nuances that will allow them to make tough decisions once they ascend into a position of authority. The Denver Broncos must hire a bona fide general manger with solid NFL scouting roots, not a glorified capologist that is unwilling to accept any accountability for his role in the epic collapse of the franchise.