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The Breakdown: Thanks, McD

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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Although anyone who’s read my columns in the past would certainly know this already, I think I should preface the rest of this story with an important fact: I am in no way – and never have been at any time – a fan of the Denver Broncos.

It’s not that I disliked them in any way over my 23 years, but my allegiances just lie elsewhere. (I’ll give you a hint: It’s where the Broncos shipped their disheveled, one-time franchise-savior of a quarterback.)

That being said, as a general fan of the NFL, I have a whole new appreciation for the Donkeys of Denver.

And it’s all because of Josh McDaniels.

Since the 25th selection of Thursday’s first round in the NFL Draft, I pretty much haven’t stopped talking about the Broncos. Sure, it’s driving my wife crazy and it may have more to do with the fact the Bears had only one pick in the first two days of the draft (thanks, Jay), but McDaniels’ pick of quarterback Tim Tebow – roughly a day before anyone thought he’d be drafted – has me excited for the implications, not only for the Broncos but for the NFL.

Let’s go over an obvious fact here: According to 98 percent of people who consider themselves “NFL analysts,” Tebow was the riskiest pick of the draft – especially since he went in the first round, you know, the part of the draft where players either become the sure things they’re pegged to be or the guy who drafted them has to start drafting a new resume.

So, with picking up the highly scrutinized, former Heisman winner, McDaniels could legitimately be putting his career – at least as the Broncos’ head coach – on the line for this pick.

So why does this get me excited?

It’s not because I like seeing people risk their careers. Well, at least not directly.

The reason I’ve enjoyed this so much is because McDaniels has changed, in just one pick, the perception of the people who make team’s decisions in drafts. That is to say, he cares far more about the success of his team than his job security.

While there were at least two true pro-style QBs still left in the draft – Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy – McDaniels went with whom he feels will be better, contrary to all the different opinions out there.

It’s a stark contrast to pretty much every single person who makes personnel decisions for any other team. For Bronco fans, you have to like a guy who seems to care as much about how the team does as you do.

Sure, every coach and GM wants to win, but they also don’t want to risk their jobs to do so. That’s why you pick up an offensive tackle here or a defensive end here and only take a QB in the first round if he’s a sure thing.

For the record, I think Tebow is going to be a very good NFL quarterback. He may not play this year or even in 2011, but when he finally does get under center, I guarantee he’ll be beating more opponents than he will Bibles. And that’s saying something for a guy who said the words “God” and “blessed” about a dozen times in his minute-long ESPN interview after being drafted.

But most people won’t agree with me, and that’s what makes McDaniels’ pick so risky. Taking that chance, though, is the great part about it.

I don’t think it’s enough to make me change allegiances. After all, who couldn’t be excited about Cutler throwing to a former cornerback with terrible hands (Devin Hester)? Ugh, at least Chicago has better hot dogs.


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