Broncos’ owner: ‘We had no other choice but to trade Cutler’

In an interview with Denver Post columnist Woody Paige, Denver owner Pat Bowlen discussed a variety of Broncos-related topics, including how Jay Cutler left the team no choice but to trade him.

“Honestly, I still don’t know what happened with Jay. I don’t want to throw him under the bus, but I made two phone calls (and there is proof, Broncos executives claim) and left voice mails with my cell number and asked him to call me, and he didn’t,” Bowlen said. “I don’t do e-mails. If Jay had called and said he thought the coach was (not a nice person) and he wanted out of here, I would have said, ‘Let’s work this out.’ But I heard nothing directly from him.

“Pick up the phone! That’s where we got off the rails. We had no other choice but to trade him. If (the trade talk) was the reason Jay left, he should have left.”

I feel for Bowlen because he was stuck in the middle of Cutler and new head coach Josh McDaniels during their feud. I think Cutler wanted out the moment Mike Shanahan was fired and he saw an opening when McDaniels attempted to trade for his former quarterback Matt Cassel. Cutler was trying to baby his way out by refusing to deal with the situation like a grown up and McDaniels’ ego wasn’t about to allow him to let a young quarterback bully him around in his first gig as a head coach.

So I believe Bowlen when he says Cutler never returned his phone calls and thus he had no choice but to trade the QB. What was Bowlen supposed to do? He had just hired McDaniels and I’m sure the new coach was telling him that the team could win without Cutler. In the end, he was forced to make a trade he didn’t want to make and now he just has to hope that everything works out in the end.

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Woody Paige blasts McDaniels’ hire of Nolan

Woody Paige of the Denver Post isn’t too big on Josh McDaniels’ choice of Mike Nolan to fill the Broncos’ vacant defensive coordinator position.

Mike NolanIt must be downright discouraging and demoralizing for somebody who has served as a defensive coordinator, then head coach, for 14 1/2 seasons — with five different teams — yet reached the playoffs only TWO of those years, won more than 10 games just once, had a losing record in eight seasons (and only four or five victories four times), was fired several times and, in the biggest game all his teams played, saw the defense reduced to ashes (44 points).

Say hello again to Mike Nolan, your new defensive coordinator.

He is Josh McDaniels’ first hire.

The Broncos’ most critical need was an extraordinary defensive coordinator, and they get an offensive coordinator, who brings in, for the Broncos, another ordinary defensive coordinator. The Broncos selected a baby-faced coach, and he selects a second-hand coach.
It’s inexplicable.

Nolan was named the 49ers’ head coach in 2005. He won fewer than half his games, and did not make the playoffs, before being fired after seven games (2-5) this season. In San Francisco Nolan’s defenses ranked, in points allowed, Nos. 30, 32, 20 and 23. They permitted 30 points or more 18 times.

The future of McDaniels and Nolan will depend on the 3-4, tried and trashed by the Broncos temporarily last season, but they have to depend more on exceptional unrestricted free agents and a No. 1 pick on defense who can step in immediately. The Broncos, despite a plethora of linebackers, could use one more who can stop the run (Channing Crowder), and they must find a starting safety (oft-injured Mike Brown) or two, another corner (Nnamdi Asomugha) and two defensive linemen (Julius Peppers, Bertrand Berry).

And Mike Nolan has to prove why Broncophiles should not be down- wrong discouraged and demoralized.

It’s hard to argue with Paige because Nolan did absolutely nothing to restore the 49ers’ defense, even though they added key pieces in Patrick Willis, Nate Clements, Michael Lewis and Justin Smith during his tenure there. It’s also a bit premature at this point to trash any coaching hire (after all, look at the ’08 new coaching class of Tony Sparano, Mike Smith and John Harbaugh), but I fail to see how McDaniels/Nolan is better than Mike Shanahan at this point.

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