Josh McDaniels' mouth has been getting him in trouble lately -- first after he reportedly told Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips "We own you" prior to a horrific 32-3 loss, and then when NFL Network cameras and microphones caught him fulminating to his players on Thursday about "winning the motherfucking game" against the New York Giants -- which they did, handily.
Yesterday, McDaniels felt compelled to explain these situations to ESPN -- and in the first case, he definitely didn't do himself any favors.
Here's how McDaniels described the Phillips situation:
"I was two or three steps out of the tunnel when Shaun Phillips raced up to me with his helmet off and said, 'I'll kick your [expletive] ass, too,' " explained McDaniels. "I'm not saying I felt physically threatened but that's exactly the way it went down. It surprised me in a way but we played them a lot when I was in New England and he's always been that kind of guy.
"I wasn't out there trash-talking their players, going through their drills. This guy has been doing this since I've been in the league and, because they won, he takes the liberty of telling his side of the story. I didn't swear at him or threaten him. What I actually said was, 'I've heard the same thing from you for four or five years now, and when I was in New England, we owned you.'"
The Broncos coach added, "Now, I'll apologize for that but it was nothing like [Phillips] portrayed."
Although Phillips subsequently confirmed this account, more or less, that doesn't mean McDaniels came out looking better than before. A coach should simply ignore the sort of blather Phillips spat, not try to justify it with a lame rationalization like "I'm not saying I felt physically threatened, but..." For McDaniels to even go there is downright embarrassing.
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Not so his Def Comedy Jam-style tirade, which he (rightly) took much more lightly; as he told ESPN, "I'm not going to apologize for coaching the game but I apologize that people had to hear that."
He shouldn't. I loved receiving that message, if only because it distinguished McDaniels from his mentor. He's been portrayed over and over again as a miniature clone of Bill Belichick, right down to his fondness for hoodies and providing the bare minimum amount of information about injured players. But his crazed ranting showed him to be a lot freer emotionally than his uptight, publicly monosyllabic role model, delivering the sort of youthful passion the Broncos desperately needed after too many years of Mike Shanahan's studied coolness.
Not that getting baited by dipshit opponents like Phillips is a good idea. But when you're on your own sidelines, he should feel free to let the f-bombs fly. During this up-and-down Broncos season, the team requires some verbal kicks in the ass to go along with the verbal kind, and Coach McF is just the man to deliver them. Now go to Kansas City on Sunday and win another motherfucking game.