Why McDaniels has to win now in Denver; more mailbag questions
I have read and heard all the talk surrounding the
The first answer is easy, and it revolves around job security. Head coaches in the NFL used to get a minimum of three years, and in most cases four or five, to turn around a franchise. Now they are lucky to make it to three if they don't have immediate success in year one or two. I think McDaniels knew he needed to win now in Denver and believed his best chance to make the playoffs in 2009 or 2010 was with Cassel running the offense. Cassel may not possess Cutler's natural ability, but his time working with McDaniels the past four years in New England would have allowed him to hit the ground running and potentially have more success than Cutler in his first year with a new offensive scheme in place.
As for the other question, if the Broncos did not initiate any trade discussions, who did? Did Detroit and Tampa just call Denver out of the blue and ask whether or not Denver would be interested in trading Cutler? I doubt it. How often do the Saints get calls from teams looking to trade for
Now, maybe McDaniels put a feeler out to New England about Cassel and the Patriots told the Lions or the Bucs to call Denver about Cutler. That's certainly possible and I guess McDaniels could then feel comfortable saying he didn't initiate the Cutler trade talk. It would still seem a bit disingenuous to act like the Cutler talk was completely out of the blue when there is no way that could be the case. Though I don't care for how Cutler is handling the situation, maybe that is the part of this deal that is frustrating him so much. The refusal on the part of the Broncos to admit they struck the match that got the fire going in the first place.
Mail time ...
There is no doubt that NFL players want to be bigger, faster and stronger. That is just the nature of the beast. My point was that, above all else, players want to feel healthy, or at least as healthy as possible, for the games. That is why so many hours are spent rehabbing or receiving treatment on various nagging injuries, either in the training room, hanging out in the cold tub or by going to chiropractors and massage therapists.
Competing in the NFL is difficult enough, but adding a broken hand or strained groin that needs to be wrapped, thus limiting lateral mobility, makes it even harder. By the middle of the season, every player usually has something that is bothering him physically, and any preventive measures that can be taken in the offseason to either eliminate or minimize the discomfort or limited range of motion caused by an injury is critical.
Your steroid example isn't really related to my column because I was talking about the player's orthopedic health during the season, not his long-term general health. You do have a point, however, as there is no doubt that a lot of NFL players fail to consider their long-term health when considering whether or not to take performance enhancing drugs or even play through certain injuries.
Not that I have heard of, Simon, but as a player I probably would not have been made privy to that information even if it was available. It is a fantastic idea, however, and I think there are so many things that could be learned if more quantitative analysis was done in the NFL on a number of issues, including the one you raise with different strength and conditioning philosophies and their injury results over time.
I can tell you that based on my time in New England and conversations with other league personnel, if anyone had taken the time to compile that type of data, it would probably be the Patriots and
The flaw with doing it as it relates to a specific training method is that a lot of the strength coaches around the league vary their methods and take a mix-and-match approach. The better idea is to simply look at individual strength coaches over time and track how many players landed on IR and how many games were missed by projected starters. The problem is that there are other variables in play, including how many two-a-day practices the head coach puts his charges through during camp and how physical the practices are during the season.
You're right, Sven, I don't have any control over the pictures. As a matter of fact, the first time I see them is the same time you do, when my article is posted live on the site. That being said, I can assure you ,the editors were not trying to insinuate he should be blamed for getting injured last year. There was a need for a picture that correlated with my column and that one got picked based on a couple of factors that had nothing to do with Tillman.
Incidentally, it is pretty timely that you mentioned
That would be a pretty tough argument to make, Patrick. The Cowboys haven't had any playoff success in the new millennium, but Jerry Jones is the same owner who got this franchise to the promise land three times in the 1990's. There are fans all over the country who would cry tears of joy if their team even made it to a Super Bowl, let alone won it. And Jones has won three. So despite your frustrations, you really have it pretty good being a Cowboys fan.