Broncos hire McDaniels; Schwarts gets Lions’ job

Published 4:44 am Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Josh McDaniels, the man behind the New England Patriots’ scoring machine, inherits an offense in Denver that needs only an oil change.

The defense? That needs an overhaul.

McDaniels signed a four-year deal with the Broncos to replace Mike Shanahan, the only NFL head coach to get fired by a team he led to consecutive Super Bowl wins.

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Of course, that was in the 1990s. Shanahan won just a single playoff game in the decade since John Elway retired, and team owner Pat Bowlen fired him Dec. 30 after the Broncos missed out on the playoffs for a third straight season. He had three years and $21 million left on his contract.

McDaniels is a baby-faced 32-year-old whiz kid who is younger than many of his players.

He’s been around football fields since he was a toddler hanging out at the high school in Canton, Ohio, where his father coached, and said his young age shouldn’t matter to anybody.

‘‘My age has never been a factor. It’s never going to be a factor,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s about performance. It’s about what you’re capable of getting the players to do.’’

McDaniels guided an offense that had led New England to 18 straight victories before a stunning loss to the New York Giants in last season’s Super Bowl. That team scored an NFL-record 75 touchdowns and 589 points.

Lions hire Schwartz

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions put Jim Schwartz behind a podium to answer questions from reporters as part of their second interview with the Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator.

If it was part of his evaluation, he seemed to pass it.

Schwartz cracked one joke when asked what he would do with the No. 1 pick in the draft and his potential boss got a kick out of his answer.

‘‘It’s probably time to find a replacement for Bobby Layne,’’ Schwartz said, showing he knows at least a little about the history of perhaps the NFL’s worst franchise.