After Further Review ... "Collapse of Distinction" is a new book by colleague Scott McKain, subtitled "Stand out and move up when your competition fails." While this book is about the business world - NOT sports - the title and its impact are intriguing. I thought about the "collapse of distinction" when I learned about the impasse between first year Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels and Broncos star quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Denver Broncos have always distinguished themselves as an outstanding NFL franchise. However, the firing of Head Coach Mike Shanahan by Broncos owner Pat Bowlen at the end of the 2008 NFL season, did not sit well with the Broncos players and/or fans. Shanahan, whom I've known since he was hired as Broncos Quarterback Coach, has distinguished himself as a top NFL Coach. He is only one of six NFL coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls (XXXII and XXXIII); but when the Broncos went 7&9 (2007) and 8&8 (2008), Bowlen believed a change was needed.
Enter McDaniels, who inherited Cutler as his starting quarterback. Cutler is rated by most experts as a quarterback with a strong arm, but, coming from Vanderbilt University, had not much big-time experience. This issue, however, is not about how Shanahan and/or Cutler performed. This is about new Coach McDaniels arriving on the Broncos scene and wanting to trade Cutler. Cutler's feelings were hurt.
McDaniels wanted New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, but he was quickly snapped up by the Kansas City Chiefs. The "hurt" Cutler failed to report for a voluntary program, which McDaniels asked of all current Broncos players. Cutler then expressed his unhappiness to the press, and asked to be traded. None of this is unusual in the business of Pro Football -- business is the operative word. Professional sports are in the business to win. One NFL Head Coach said to me, "As Head Coach, you don't get paid to coach, you get paid to win." McDaniels came to the Broncos to win, and thus was taking charge to resurrect the Broncos winning record.
Trade issues happen on every team on a regular basis. What is important is that when issues like these occur, they need to be resolved internally,and not in the press. Neither side wins in the press. Issues debated in the press, collapses the distinction of the T.E.A.M. Let's hope McDaniels and Cutler can resolve their family squabbles by settling them in one-on-one meetings.
Will you strive to resolve disputable issues internally to keep distinction from collapsing?
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