“He’s our quarterback, we want him to be our quarterback, we made that very clear to him and we hope he feels the same way.” – Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels
Below are quotes from NFL Network’s Scott Hanson’s exclusive 1-on-1 with Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels:
Scott Hanson: What’s the latest on the Jay Cutler situation?
Josh McDaniels: We’re working through that. Jay and I will have an opportunity to talk more as we go here. I know it’s been a very public issue and this is something that I think happens more than people realize. We have a relationship, nobody knows where it stands right now, but it’s going to get better. It will continue to get better, I believe that. I think it’s something that both parties have to work toward a solid resolution. We have a good nucleus of players there that are looking forward to seeing him back at the facility and working with him. It will get to that point at some point in the near future.
Hanson: Do you see him as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos?
McDaniels: Yes. He’s our quarterback.
McDaniels: He’s our quarterback. Period.
Hanson: Future-tense? He will be your quarterback?
McDaniels: He’s our quarterback. We can’t predict the future. He’s our quarterback, we want him to be our quarterback, we made that very clear to him and we hope he feels the same way.
Hanson: (Cutler) has asked for a trade and he says he wants to leave. He’s still under contract with Denver, so is the door open in your mind for him to still be the (Broncos’) quarterback?
McDaniels: Sure. Absolutely. He’s under contract as you mentioned and we’ve made it clear that we want him to be back here (in Denver) and lead our football team.
Hanson: But your job is to make the football team as good as it can be, and that sometimes includes changing personnel. Is that still on the table? A trade?
McDaniels: Every decision we make is based on trying to do what’s best for the football team in order for us to win and improve. That’s always going to be the way that this job is. This was just a very highly-publicized situation that was brought to the forefront. (Cutler) is obviously one of our better players, our best players. He’s a good leader and we’re looking forward to having him back here with us.
Hanson: You really feel that the relationship is not irreparable?
McDaniels: I absolutely feel that it is not irreparable.
Hanson: Is it a lack of communication? Have you been able to put your finger on what’s gone wrong so far?
McDaniels: It’s just a situation that came up. I think there are some things out there that are not necessarily true, and there are some other things that are definitely true. We have to work through those things are make sure that the lines of communication stay open. I think that’s the biggest thing, in terms of getting over any kind of an issue that a player may have with an organization or a coach. It’s the same thing that (the organization) has to do when there is an issue with a player. We want to come directly to (the player) and work through it and communicate to find a common ground that we can start going forward and working toward a good resolution.
Hanson: What’s not true? You stated that there were some things (in the situation with Cutler) that were not true. We can clear that up right now.
McDaniels: There are just things that I think have been out there that make for good stories. Was there something that occurred right at the beginning of free agency? Sure, there was. There were conversations and that’s really where it kind of ends. There wasn’t anything that came across (Pat) Bowlen’s desk, there wasn’t anything that we were trying to push hard to get through. It never even got to (Bowlen). Conversations were had and we’ve never denied that, but at the same time it’s our job to look at every opportunity that we can to see if it’s something that could improve our football team and that’s what we were doing.
Hanson: You have talked to (Cutler) since then. There are reports of a conference call and a face-to-face meeting. Can you confirm that?
McDaniels: Yes, we have.
Hanson: Do you feel that Cutler understands where you and the franchise are coming from right now?
McDaniels: I hope so. We haven’t held anything back. I think the big thing is that we need to continue to communicate and I’d love to have the opportunity to continue to meet with Cutler face-to-face. I think that’s the best type of communication at this point to try to work toward a resolution.
For more on the conversation with McDaniels and today’s other news from the NFL Annual Meeting, tune into NFL Total Access tonight at 7:00 PM ET