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Sports

January 17, 2014

McDaniels tries to stick another dagger in Denver

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For a brief time, Josh McDaniels was a celebrity in Denver and he played the part with gusto — running to the corner of the stadium after his first signature win and pumping his fists at the crowd to celebrate.

“This doesn’t mean a whole lot unless you can share it with somebody,” McDaniels said that day. “Sometimes, you’re allowed to have fun.”

The fun ended almost as quickly as it began.

And less than five years after that big win over New England vaulted the Broncos to an unexpected 5-0 record, the name “Josh McDaniels” stirs up far more angst and anger in Denver than those of the men he beat that day, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

“I ain’t got nothing to say about him,” says Broncos defensive lineman Robert Ayers, a first-round draft pick during the two-year McDaniels era that Broncos fans would love to forget.

The man who gave the Broncos a videotaping scandal and a league-worst defense, who alienated fans and left the franchise holding the bag on the Tim Tebow experiment, returns Sunday to try to deliver another dagger to Denver.

He’s now working as New England’s offensive coordinator and will try to devise the game plan to send the Patriots to the Super Bowl and keep his old team, the Broncos, out of it.

A 33-year-old coach with a thin resume and a lot to prove, McDaniels got another victory after the New England win in 2009 to extend his tenure-opening winning streak to six games. He followed that with 17 losses over the next 22 games and got fired with four weeks left in the 2010 season.

“Obviously, his time here was a little shorter than he probably hoped or expected, but that’s in the past,” said Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, a third-round pick in McDaniels’ second draft in Denver.

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