Denver only the next opponent for McDaniels

Denver only the next opponent for McDaniels
October 2, 2012, 5:32 pm
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Josh McDaniels sounds neither sentimental nor conflicted about the Patriots' upcoming matchup with Denver.
The offensive coordinator left New England to become head coach of the Broncos in 2009. Though this isn't the first time his current and former teams have clashed -- his first year as Denver bench boss started with six straight wins that included a Week 5 overtime victory against the Patriots -- it will be his first time facing the Broncos since coaching them.
On a Tuesday conference call, McDaniels kept focus on the Patriots.
"It's the next game. It's an important game for our team," he said in a verbal shrug. "I think there's a lot of times over the course of the season where either coaches or players on either team have had experience, or been a part of another organization or team, and I think that happens rather often, I would say.
"It's a big game for us because it's the next one, and we're trying to build on some of the things that we did well in the last game, and really emphasize trying to play well at home."
McDaniels keeping current didn't sound like bitterness, despite his Denver tenure coming to an ugly end. The early six-game win streak ended in brutal fashion; the Broncos went 5-17 from November 2009 into December of the following season and McDaniels was fired before 2010 was over.
He remained gracious when asked about the experience.
"I think anytime you take on another role or another position, there's always a lot of things that you learn. It's hard to really pinpoint one thing over another. But they gave me a great opportunity. I think it's a great organization, it's a great owner. You go out there and try to do the best you can with what you know, and the things that you're capable of doing," McDaniels said.
"You learn a lot of different things on all different levels because you're involved in so many different aspects of the organization as a head coach. Hopefully, all of those different experiences will pay off and make me a better person, coach, going forward in the future."
You'd imagine some of those lessons could be applied to New England's effort on Sunday. During a week's preparation McDaniels usually focuses on the opposing defense, but considering the inside track he has on Broncos he once oversaw all over the roster-- Brandon Stokley, Champ Bailey, Ryan Clandy -- it stands to reason he'd be an excellent resource.
Or not.
McDaniels countered the idea with New England's two wins over Denver in 2011. He said head coach Bill Belichick and staff are perhaps more recently familiar with the Broncos than he is now.
"I'm sure they did a lot of homework there and really studied and analyzed those players strengths and weaknesses. If there's anything that I can help with, I'm sure I will. But I'm pretty sure and confident that everyone here will do a great job of analyzing the things we need to do in terms of evaluating personnel."