McDaniels doing damage control in Denver

Josh McDaniels during a press conference at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

New coach Josh McDaniels faces a divided Broncos locker room, according to a newspaper report. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

New Broncos coach Josh McDaniels already has lost his franchise quarterback. His next priority is making sure he doesn’t lose the confidence of his other players.

A Denver Post report cites division in the Broncos’ locker room over the ongoing drama between McDaniels and QB Jay Cutler, whom the team announced it intends to trade. While Broncos players (other than Cutler, that is) have said all the right things publicly, the newspaper says “there is concern of a split between players recently signed by McDaniels and the holdovers from the Mike Shanahan era.”

“A lot of people are upset with him,” said Alfred Williams, a former Broncos defensive linemen who co-hosts a daily sports talk radio show. “They just don’t know him, and that’s the bottom line.”

McDaniels’ next step, the paper writes, is to speak candidly and honestly to the remaining players on his roster — a pattern he might want to start today when he addresses the 83 players on-hand for voluntary workouts during a scheduled team meeting.

(Update: NFL Network’s Michelle Beisner later confirmed that the team meeting already has taken place.)

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