Watch the press conference live here.
4:40 p.m. MST: So, sitting in the team meeting room for the press conference announcing Josh McDaniels as the new Denver Broncos Head Coach, it seems like it might even be a little bit more of a circus than the last time the media was gathered here.
The room is pretty crowded, and there are media members here that even our acclaimed media relations intern Brad Gee doesn’t recognize. That shows the wide-spread interest in the event.
4:49 p.m. MST: I count about 25 video cameras and about a dozen still photographers. Almost every seat is full in the meeting room, and Broncos staff members are lining the walls — so far it’s mostly the PR staff.
We’re about 10 minutes away from the conference.
4:55 p.m. MST: Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos and Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich Tuten have arrived, and Vice President of Football Operations/Player Personnel Jim Goodman and Assistant General Managers Jeff Goodman and Brian Xanders are in the room as well.
The room is growing silent as the press conference should begin shortly — the crowd is still growing as more Broncos staff members make their way into the meeting room.
5:00 p.m. MST: Vice President of Public Relations Jim Saccomano is addressing the crowd — he says President and CEO Pat Bowlen will address the crowd first, followed by new Head Coach Josh McDaniels.
The owner and coach have just walked into the room.
5:01 p.m. MST: “I’m ecstatic, I’m excited, I’m ready to introduce the new coach of the Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels,” Bowlen says and gives McDaniels a handshake.
“I’m excited and looking forward very much to the opportunity to lead this team,” McDaniels says.
5:04 p.m. MST: McDaniels thanks a number of people, including Bill Belichick, who he says provided his foundation in the National Football League.
“This is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often. I know I’m coming into a place where winning is the most important thing. That’s been very clear to me during this process.”
“I want this team to be tough, smart and prepared to play well under pressure. The evaluation process of how to get this team to that point is going to start today and it’s going to be ongoing. Everybody here in this organization is going to be held accountable to do their job — their piece of the puzzle to make this team a competitor for a championship every season.”
5:05 p.m. MST: McDaniels is now taking questions.
“My age has never been a factor, and it never will be a factor. It’s about performance…It’s about doing your job to the best of your ability and that’s what I’m going to do.”
“When the job came open, certainly it was something I had to look at very seriously — it’s a great place with a great history and a great tradition. The culture is about winning — you don’t have to create it.”
5:06 p.m. MST: “This is definitely a dream come true to have an opportunity to lead this team and this organization is something I couldn’t imagine would come up, but once it did it was certainly something I had to jump at.”
5:07 p.m. MST: “Not making the playoffs allowed me to get into this process right away as soon as the season ended. I’ve spent a lot of time and preparation over the last year getting myself more ready to go in case this opportunity did present itself … I feel the timing is right.”
McDaniels says he has not spoken with Jay Cutler, but he will shortly. “There’s a lot of people I would like to reach out to shortly — players, coaches here on the staff.”
On if he has thought about assistant coaches: “There are some people that I’ve spoken with — the process today and tomorrow will start picking up.”
5:10 p.m. MST: McDaniels is asked about working under Nick Saban, Bill Belichick and Charlie Weiss, and how his style differs from theirs: “I hope I’ve taken all the good things from them. The way I coach and the way I try to lead is by being more prepared than everybody else. Trying to do that on a daily basis. Because I think that’s what players respond to.”
On if he’s a tough coach like those three: “At times. When it has to happen, of course. I don’t think you do it unnecessarily, but I like to believe I’m a teacher. I believe that I can communicate — that’s a very important word for me. When you need to get your hands dirty in this game, you’ve got to be willing to do it, and I thinnk the players respond to that.”
5:12 p.m. MST: On achieving his dream and growing up in Canton, Ohio: “It’s been a long road with a lot of great influences for me. When that conversation took place, I was very eager to accept that. Growing up in Canton is a very important part of my life. Football is next to nothing. The people in Canton love this game. They cherish the weekend that they really get to shine in August. I’ve been going to two-a-days since I was five years old. I know it sounds silly since I’m 32, but for 27 years I’ve been going to practices in August until now.”
5:14 p.m. MST: On how he will shore up the defense: “I’ve coached offense in the past, but I’m a football coach that has been built to understand defense. That’s where I learned my foundation. Defense is important to how we will attack people offensively. So as much as I can say I’m proud ot have worked with the offense the past four or five years, I’m a football coach and I want the opportunity to affect the kicking game, the offense and the defense — all phases of the game…There are areas where this team can improve offensively, defensively and in the kicking game…We’re going to evaluate the people, we’re going to evaluate the scheme and we’re going to evaluate the coaches.”
“As somebody who has played against this team quite a few times in the past few years, the scheme has changed here a few times. We want to bring some consistency to that and make sure that we try to improve whatever that system and that scheme is from day one.”
5:15 p.m. MST: McDaniels says that he will be the play-caller on offense.
5:16 p.m. MST: On if he is a little more approachable with the fans and media than Belichick and Saban: “I try to focus on all the positive things that those people have given me the opportunity to see. But I think you’ll certainly see me bring a little bit of a different vibe. I’m going to have a lot of energy. I can smile. I think there are some things that people will like and get used to, but I think the personality of the coach comes through over time. You’ll get an opportunity to see how I differ from them — it’s hard to describe that right here.”
5:19 p.m. MST: On his father, growing up in a football family: “He’s very proud. I’m sure he’s very, very proud today. My father, I’ve had the most opportunity to witness him, because I started very young. I’ve had more years around him obviously than any of those other coaches I’ve mentioned…I think the one thing about my father that I know that I do take every day into this job is his passion. There’s nothing about this game that’s unimportant to him, and I would say that’s true about myself. That’s how I’ll approach this job every day, and I think everyone will see that show through.”
5:22 p.m. MST: On evaluating players in house: “I think that’s the first place that you want to start — evaluate what you have here.”
“I haven’t had the opportunity to sit at my desk yet, but I’ll be looking forward to that.”
On the team: “This is a team that won eight games, and I think any time you win eight games and fall short of your goals and your expectations, there’s a lot that needs to be improved.”
On if he will retain any of last season’s assistant coaches: “I don’t know most of them. I have a relationship with one or two of them, cordially, but I haven’t had the opportunity to work with them…I think that’s a decision that will be made over the next couple days.”
On Jay Cutler: “Jay’s very talented. I’ve had the opportunity to watch him a number of times on film and once in person this year. He’s got a lot of ability. He’s a very intelligent person, very intelligent player, does a lot of things well, and I think Jay’s going to enjoy playing in this system, this offense. It’s very quarterback friendly once you get accustomed to using all the tools…I can’t wait to get started working with him.”
5:25 p.m. MST: McDaniels says he’s looking forward to joining an organization that’s very similar to the one he left — it’s all about winning.
On if his age is helpful: “I’ve coached older players, I’ve coached younger players — I don’t think age is a factor. What they care about is what I’m saying, and if it’s going to help them win. That’s the most important thing to me and it’s the most important thing to the players.”
5:27 p.m. MST: On what he thought when he saw the Broncos on the schedule as an opponent: “A hard team to beat…every time you see their name on the schedule, you know it’s going to be a 60-minute game, they’re going to be well-prepared, they’ve got good players and it’s going to be a dogfight. I’m excited to be on the other side of that now.”
On facing the Patriots in the 2009 season: “That will be great,” he says with a sheepish smile. “I don’t think any coach is afraid to go coach against a team he was a part of for a long time. That will be exciting for me…It’s not about that, I just think they’re a competitive team and we’ll look forward to the challenge.”
McDaniels says the process of building a staff has begun already, and he would hope that it would be sooner rather than later, but it will take however long it takes to build a successful staff. He says he has not talked with Dom Capers yet, not that he wouldn’t, and he has talked to Mike Nolan, though nothing is official.
5:30 p.m. MST: On the offensive talent on the Broncos: “The list goes on and on — they’ve got a lot of talent. I think the biggest thing is to get the players to understand the system that we’re going to utilize this year, and to have a great spring. That’s the goal here, to accomplish a lot between spring camps and training camp. That’s the most exciting thing to me.”
5:32 p.m. MST: McDaniels talks about working closely with personnel in New England and coaching both offense and defense.
“The thing that I’m most excited about is that I can affect more than just the offense.”
5:33 p.m. MST: On what weaknesses he saw on the Broncos when he was studying film on the other side this season: “Certain games it’s going to be about the scheme, certain games maybe you can pick on a player. I’m not going to stand up here and say what our plan was, but we had success there and I’m glad we did then, but now I hope to reverse that trend.”
On if he will wear a hoodie on the sideline: (Laughs) “Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to see my hoodie.”
5:34 p.m. MST: McDaniels is at the podium with his wife posing for a few pictures as the press conference comes to a close.
DenverBroncos.com will have more coverage coming later this evening.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com