Josh McDaniels screwed a lot of people this week.
He screwed the fans.
He screwed Jim Irsay.
He screwed Chris Ballard.
He screwed each and every player in the Colts locker room.
He screwed the men he convinced to come to Indy to work with him.
He screwed those men’s families, their wives, their kids.
The part that is really hitting me hard in all of this is the fact that we should have known. We should have known this is who he is. I, like most of you out there, was excited to be bringing in someone with as much football acumen and past success as McDaniels. I was excited to see the kinds of plays he would design for Andrew Luck to execute. I was excited to see how he would use Marlon Mack. I made excuses for why he failed in Denver. “He was young.” “He had too much control.” “He’s grown as a man.” “Ballard is running personnel so it should be fine.” I made all of the same excuses so many of us made. I even went on the record in 2016 that I wanted him to coach the Colts in 2017.
The thing is, I should have known.
I can’t say anything about Josh McDaniels that others haven’t already said. Almost every other contributer here at Stampede Blue has weighed in on him and you’ve all commented how you feel about the guy. I feel the same way that most of you have said you feel. Instead I would like to say how disappointed I am in myself as a fan.
I was willing to trade integrity for success. I was willing and excited to welcome in a guy who treated his staff poorly because he designs plays better than almost anyone else who coaches football. I was willing to overlook his failure, not just as a coach but his failure as a man, because I thought it would lead us back to prominence.
I would rather suffer 4-12 seasons for the next five years and have a coach who treated people with respect. I would rather go 3-13 than have a coach who was okay with uprooting other people’s families but not his own. I would rather go 2-14 than have a coach who only looked out for number 1. I would rather go 1-15 than have a coach who destroyed several men’s careers because he was a coward. I would rather go 0-16 than have a coach too afraid to leave the comfort of being on the staff of the greatest coach of all time.
McDaniels would have failed in Indy, not because he isn’t brilliant as a play caller, (please don’t convince yourself that he isn’t) he is still, a brilliant play caller. He would have failed here because he lacks the intestinal fortitude to lead other men into and out of difficult situations. He was unable to look Robert Kraft in the eye and tell him he had made his decision. He was too weak to honor his word. His time in Denver should have taught us that, but we didn’t want to listen.
I’m pretty sure you could walk up to Tony Dungy on the street, punch him in the mouth and in response he would let you know that he was praying for you and this is what he had to say about Josh McDaniels:
Haven’t read the article but I can tell you there is NO excuse big enough to justify this. It’s one thing to go back on your word to an organization. But having assistant coaches leave jobs to go with you then leave them out to dry is indefensible. For COMFORT?? https://t.co/hlsYviDC9l— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 7, 2018
Josh McDaniels screwed a lot of people. Fans, friends, coworkers, players, entire families. Most importantly, Josh McDaniels screwed himself. He showed his true colors once again. This was his second chance and he blew it in the most public way possible before he even signed his contract.
Take solace in that. Most of us were wrong about McDaniels but no NFL general manager will ever be tricked again.
He dug his grave.
His career outside of Boston is over.