How much credit does McDaniels deserve for Tebowmania?

Small world, the NFL. Next weekend, Josh McDaniels will return to the Patriot sideline as an offensive assistant to take on Tim Tebow and the Broncos. McDaniels, of course, was Denver's head coach when the organization drafted Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft (along with overtime hero Demaryius Thomas). How much credit does McDaniels deserve for the Broncos' amazing run this season?

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  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • McDaniels deserves some -- not all -- of the credit

The reality of the situation in Denver is that the run game and the defense have really carried the day, and that part of the Broncos' game pretty much is diametrically different to what it looked like under Josh McDaniels.

Having said that, you have to tip the cap to what Tebow and Thomas are doing. The miracle finishes and wild plays have captured imaginations across the country, and McDaniels absorbed no shortage of abuse for both picks when he was there. So you've gotta credit him now.

Thomas couldn't stay healthy, but his ability was abundant and the physical package is exactly what you look for in a wideout. The knocks on Tebow were well-documented and many of them still ring true, but the kid is a winner, if nothing else.

So yeah, as much as many Bronco fans rejoiced when the coaching change was made, a few of you might want to buy him a beer if you ever bump into him down the line and thank him for his role in this season of destiny.

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  • Steve Wyche
  • Give Fox credit for his creativity

Not much. McDaniels showed the faith in Tebow and Thomas to draft them in the first round, but based on what McDaniels likes to do -- throw the ball -- Tebow might not have become what he has been this year under John Fox and his staff. McDaniels believed there was something special in Tebow, and for that, he was right. However, would he have changed what he likes to do for Tebow, or would he have forced Tebow to fit his scheme? Props to Fox and his staff for adjusting to Tebow. Credit goes to where credit is due.

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  • Jeff Darlington
  • Final judgement still to come

While it might sound sappy, corny or overstated, McDaniels at least deserves credit for recognizing that Tebow's potential extended beyond his skill set. When the two first met during a team interview at the scouting combine, Tebow clearly felt impacted, later saying that he "didn't even want to visit another room" because there was so much chemistry and passion. So yes, McDaniels deserves credit for taking a risk based on an immeasurable gift, especially as it pertains to this year's success. But as with any first-round draft pick, particularly at quarterback, a full judgment of the decision to draft Tebow as high as McDaniels did still will require more evidence and more time.

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  • Adam Rank
  • Broncos' offensive coordinator is the real star

Well, Josh McDaniels certainly deserves some credit for discovering Tim Tebow, much in the same way Allan Coffman deserves credit for discovering Motley Crue. I mean, it's nice to claim, "I knew him/them when," but the true credit goes to those who actually push people to the next level.

So give credit to offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for designing a game plan tailored to Tebow's strengths. And also give some credit to John Fox and John Elway for their begrudging endorsement. Those two play like the perceived evil professor in your average college flick who pushes the protagonist to newer heights -- at least that's what they should claim.

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  • Elliot Harrison
  • McDaniels created negative culture in Denver

Very little. The jury still is out on whether Tebow was a good first-round pick. As famous as he is, did he play better than Andy Dalton or Cam Newton this year? No way. Secondly, McDaniels created a culture in Denver that wasn't a positive one. Although he might not have intentionally done so, there's no question that the energy and environment around the organization changed for the better with John Fox's arrival. Too often McDaniels was the story in Denver. That's rarely a good thing.

Fox is not the story, rather, he seems to be part of the solution. Besides, the Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller draft picks help this club win every bit as much as Tebow and Thomas. Moreover, if we really want to get into the coaching aspect ... What are the chances that McDaniels would've tailored his offense to a zone-read format the way Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy have?

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  • Pat Kirwan
  • Both McDaniels and Fox deserve props

McDaniels was the man with the vision for what Tebow, Thomas and Eric Decker could become. I had a close friend on the Broncos staff at the time, and he often spoke to me about what the 2011 season would look like once they got Tebow and company prepared to play. McDaniels deserves some real credit for selecting the players, and of course John Fox deserves just as much for having an open mind about playing a quarterback he didn't draft who had such drastic issues as a passer.

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  • Bucky Brooks
  • McDaniels didn't develop Tebow

McDaniels doesn't deserve any credit for the Broncos' amazing run. Although he drafted Tebow and Thomas, he didn't play a significant role in developing either guy, so the credit should go to the current coaching staff. I will give him credit for his initial vision on both players, but the implementation of an option-based offense that has allowed each to thrive is a John Fox and Mike McCoy creation. They are the ones worthy of the praise.

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  • Dave Dameshek
  • Broncos fans owe McDaniels a solid

Timmy Tebow's heroics on Sunday make it difficult to criticize the draft pick, but McDaniels almost certainly didn't have to burn one of the team's first-rounders on a guy whose football future was considered dicey. Then again, three slots before he reached on Tebow, McDaniels used the 22nd overall choice on a Georgia Tech receiver named Demaryius Thomas. So yeah, for giving them at least one glorious wild-card Sunday, Broncos fans owe McDaniels a debt of thanks.

(P.S. I still think the Broncos would've been better off in the long term with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, but heaven forbid I come off as a curmudgeon after Sunday's miracle.)

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