Josh McDaniels notes

January, 12, 2009
1/12/09
10:00
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here are some random thoughts on Denver's hiring of New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels:

The Broncos became a passing team in 2008 partly because quarterback Jay Cutler emerged into a Pro Bowl player and the team had major injury issues at running back. Thus, Mike Shanahan, perhaps the premier running head coach in NFL history, slowly changed his team's approach.

Under McDaniels, it is very likely the Broncos will stay a throwing team.

His background is in the air and he has had great success with Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. The team is excited about Cutler's development under McDaniels.

It is being reported that former San Francisco coach Mike Nolan will be the Broncos' defensive coordinator. Dom Capers and Sean McDermott have also been mentioned for that job in Denver.

Nolan would be an interesting choice. Despite his issues as a head coach, he is a noted defensive coaching star and he is experienced. Like Capers, he'd be a help to McDaniels. The Broncos have had one of the league's worst defenses in recent years so an experienced coach is needed on that side of the ball.

McDaniels isn't the first branch of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. But can he have success? Two former Belichick assistants, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini were just fired from NFL jobs. Charlie Weis has been under fire at Notre Dame. Can McDaniels buck the trend? We'll see.

The Broncos may have indirectly stolen McDaniels away from Kansas City. The Chiefs are talking to New England's Scott Pioli about being the general manager. There was speculation that Pioli could take McDaniels to Kansas City with him. Now, if Pioli ends up with the Chiefs, he'll be division rivals with his former co-worker.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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