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Insider

No big changes in Denver

10/31/2010

No matter how unhappy some Broncos fans are after last Sunday's 59-14 loss to Oakland, Denver has no plans to fire head coach Josh McDaniels, according to league sources.

For starters, McDaniels has two more years remaining on his contract after this season at roughly $3 million per year. Plus, Denver still is paying its former head coach, current Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, through the 2011 season. There's next to no chance that Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is going make a change and pay three head coaches next season, especially when there could be a lockout and owners could be losing even more revenue. McDaniels' job is safe, even as fans express their unhappiness.

Notables

• No Lions player needed last week's bye any more than rookie running back Jahvid Best. Everyone knew that Best has been battling turf toe on his right big toe since Sept. 26. What was far less known was that Best had been battling turf toe on both feet. The rookie injured his left big toe against the Philadelphia Eagles, and has played through the turf toe on each of his feet since, but he clearly was not the same back the past three games compared to the first three. During the Lions' first two games before Best was injured, he scored four touchdowns. During the past four games, as he's battled his turf toe, Best has not scored.

• Some people around the league believed it was only a matter of time before 49ers coach Mike Singletary turned to quarterback Troy Smith. During the season, Singletary privately has compared Smith to Broncos backup quarterback Tim Tebow, telling some within his organization that the two quarterbacks have similar qualities. "Probably the number one thing I like about him, and it's a current theme with anyone that I talk to, whether it's here, whether it's Baltimore, whether it's Ohio State, whether it's former teammates, and that is leadership," Singletary said about Smith this week, after he named him San Francisco's starting quarterback. "That is his ability to get everybody on the same page."

The 49ers believe Smith can impact them the way the Broncos think Tebow can one day impact the Broncos. It's interesting and notable that San Francisco and Denver have lost some luster with their performances this season, but each boasts a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. And the 49ers think they have their version of Tebow starting Sunday.

• For all the speculation about Wade Phillips' future, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters this week that the NFL's uncertain financial future without a new collective bargaining agreement could well impact whether teams keep or fire head coaches. "Certainly you aren't going to see a lot of coaching changes as we go into next year," Jones told reporters. When asked if he meant the Cowboys or other teams, Jones said: "I mean just what I said. As we go into next year, I don't see a lot of coaching changes. Period. That's about it. I'm not going to go into why. I'm just saying that I don't see that you're going to see a lot of that."