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Josh McDaniels Gets Nuked From Orbit by a Former Broncos Player Who Accuses Him of Dumping Peyton Hillis Because His Wife Had a Crush on Him

Allen Kee. Getty Images.

You may not remember former Broncos wide receiver Nate Jackson. And for that, you can be forgiven. He was a career depth guy from 2003-08. He went undrafted out of that notorious football factory Menlo, one of just three Oaks to ever play in the NFL. And after six seasons and 27 career receptions, he was unceremoniously dumped by new Denver head coach Josh McDaniels. 

But whatever skills brought to the field, when it comes to holding a grudge and channeling his resentment into great literary art, Nate Jackson is a first ballot Hall of fucking Famer. 

I've mentioned that the trashing of McDaniels would begin soon enough. And it has. And has. But when it comes to mercilessly savaging the man, no one has gone scorched Earth like Jackson:

Source - Josh McDaniels is a bad football coach. This is an objectively defensible statement. …

Mark Davis recognized the problem wasn’t the players—it was Josh. It was always Josh. Everywhere he has gone, other than New England, the problem has always been Josh and that jockstrap he carries around in his back pocket. The one he’s never washed. The one he stole from Tom Brady’s locker before leaving Foxboro and striking out on his own. The one he tossed to anyone who ever questioned his football acumen. Smell it, he’d say. Any questions? …

Ding-dong, the witch is dead. …

Of course I'd say Josh McDaniel is a shitty coach: He cut me. My time as a Denver Bronco ended at his hand, like that of so many of my friends.  …

Josh had immediately butted heads with Denver's most talented young offensive players, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Tony Scheffler. They were [Mike] Shanahan guys, and they made him uncomfortable, so he sent them packing. My old teammate, Tyler Polumbus, who played for both Shanahan and Josh, relayed this story to me: After trading Cutler, Josh addressed the entire team and said, “Fellas, don’t worry about the quarterback situation. I can turn a high school quarterback into an All-Pro.” 

Then after recounting the scandal where Denver was caught taking video of a 49ers walk through, Jackson switches his phasers from Stun to Kill:

McDaniels's ego wasn't only fragile on the field. He famously shipped out running back Peyton Hillis because, rumor had it, McDaniels thought his wife was attracted to Hillis. 

Then, things get personal:

I found out my Broncos career was over from a message left on my parents' answering machine. … When I tried to contact Josh for an explanation, his secretary told me he was in a meeting and that he’d call me back. He never did.

Next comes a critique of McDaniels' coaching methods. Beginning with the way he'd start off each day with a "bad football" reel, highlighting everyone's mistakes from the previous day's work:

Many of his (de)motivational tactics were Bill Belichick knock-offs, like putting slogans and mantras in big block letters around the building, then calling guys out in meetings, making them stand up to recite them, and cussing out those who couldn’t.

Then Jackson broadens his field of fire to target every former Belichick protege:

McDaniels and [Eric] Mangini are not the New England football robot factory's only outputs who laid waste to professional football teams. Matt Patricia. Romeo Crennel. Brian Flores. Joe Judge. Brian Daboll. All of them have losing records as NFL head coaches. Only Bill O’Brien has a winning record. All of these slapdicks put together have only two playoff victories as NFL head coaches. Two. For context, every single one of Shanahan’s former assistants who took a top job has a winning record in the NFL; they have three Super Bowl trophies among them.

Then it's back to putting the red laser dot on his original target:

Can Josh design a good play? Sure. Can he make his players care about running that play? He cannot.  …

If you don’t have the respect of your team, it doesn’t matter how clever you are on the fucking whiteboard. Coaching is about connecting with other humans. It's about paying attention to what they are going through and responding to it. It's about listening to what they tell you. It's about putting them in positions to succeed, challenging them to be their best, and respecting the effort they give you. Honoring their sacrifice. Believing in them. Showing them that you love them, not just as players, but as people. …

He always believed he knew better and was better, but he never did, and he never was.

For I am become Death. The destroyer of worlds …

Giphy Images.

Here's the terrible truth for Josh McDaniels. In the end, it doesn't matter how much of this is just one man's opinion or needs to be taken as the perspective of a disgruntled former employee who hasn't gotten over how his career ended, even 15 years later. In a situation like this, perception becomes reality. 

If the rest of the NFL becomes convinced you got rid of a future Madden cover model:

Mike Stobe. Getty Images.

… because of your own personal insecurity, that's a damned near impossible narrative to come back from. And for the record, the Peyton Hillis story sounds wildly farfetched to me. I'm not buying it, at all. It's so on the nose it strikes me as the kind of thing that gets started as a joke by people trying to undermine the boss because they hate working for him, and it takes on a life of its own. But as the lawyers say, you can't unring a bell. 

I mean, you could if you had a great track record. Winning will cover up a lot personality flaws. But alienating your players, coming across as arrogant and aloof, being accused of dumping a future 1,100-yard rusher because you're wife found him desirable, finding yourself as just another branch off a dead coaching tree and being under .500 is no way to go through NFL coaching life, son. 

It's only been a week and a half since McDaniels was fired. Now it's a matter of waiting to hear from the next disgruntled former player. The question is whether there will be anything left of the man to rip after this brutal hit piece.