McDaniels is his own man

April, 29, 2009
4/29/09
3:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

You have to check out Elizabeth Merrill's profile on new Denver coach Josh McDaniels.

McDaniels is quickly becoming one of the most fascinating figures in the NFL.

Three months ago, McDaniels was interesting because he was a 32-year-old coach and he was a Bill Belichick protégée. Now, he is interesting because no other coach has been under so much scrutiny this early in his career.

That's the result of the Jay Cutler fiasco. But there's so much more to McDaniels than the Cutler episode. What strikes me most about McDaniels is that he is doing things his way. He is either going to make or break his head-coaching career on his own.

McDaniels raised some concern with his first draft. He took running back Knowshon Moreno with the No. 12 pick despite major needs on defense. He loaded up on running backs and defensive backs but added just one player to the front seven on defense, Denver's area of greatest need. He also traded Denver's top pick next year to take a player at No. 37 this year.

Still, don't expect McDaniels to apologize. He is going to build his team the way he wants to build it.

I commend McDaniels for bringing good citizens to Denver. The last few years of the Mike Shanahan regime in Denver was stained by several character issues. McDaniels said adding "good people" is his plan. The five draft picks Denver introduced Sunday were all impressive.

McDaniels, himself, is an engaging sort. Don't expect a Belichick-like robot. McDaniels may be a branch off the Belichick tree, but he's his own man.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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