Broncos fire Vance Joseph after first back-to-back losing seasons in more than 40 years
Denver is going in a different direction and will have an interesting coaching search on its hands
The Denver Broncos are a proud football team that's been on a really rough stretch the last two years and to no one's surprise, they decided to fire Vance Joseph after just his second year running the team, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN and other reports.
Joseph finished 6-10 this season, running his record with the Broncos to an unimpressive 11-21 over his two years at the helm. He hasn't been given the easiest set of circumstances, of course, with the Broncos having questionable quarterback situations in each of the last two years.
PRESIDENT OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS/GENERAL MANAGER JOHN ELWAY
"I spoke with Vance this morning and thanked him for all of his hard work as our head coach. Although we decided to make this change, I believe Vance is a good football coach who has a bright future in this league.
"Vance made a lot of strides and deserves credit for how hard and competitively the team played this season. There's always going to be a high standard here-The bottom line is we need to win more football games. We're excited about the foundation that's being built and look forward to putting in the work to get the Broncos back on the winning track."
But there have also been a pile of red flag moments for Joseph, including the attempted field goal against the Browns a few weeks ago when facing a fourth down near Cleveland's end zone. It was quintessential Joseph and you could see John Elway cringe in the owner's box when it happened.
Denver's defense has been good, but not great, and with Joseph's background as a defensive coach, seeing the Broncos slip down the defensive ranks after winning a Super Bowl can't sit well with anyone in the front office.
Plus, there's pressure on Elway to win and to follow up his 2015 Super Bowl. It's not going to happen regardless of the coach if they don't figure out the quarterback situation.
But they're probably rolling with Case Keenum in the future, at least for 2019. The issue might be what's going on around him. Emmanuel Sanders is likely a cap casualty. Demaryius Thomas is already gone. So it's DaeSean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in the backfield. That's a good, young nucleus that could make the job attractive, but the struggles on defense could also make things tough for the next coach.
Also tough -- the ownership situation. Elway basically has full control of the roster and football ops right now, but the Bowlen family is involved in a frequent tug-of-war between various heirs about taking the team over. No one knows how that ends and it could make the interest from coaches a little bit tricky.
PRESIDENT & CEO JOE ELLIS
"Vance put his heart into coaching this team, and I appreciate the way he represented the Broncos with such professionalism. On behalf of our organization, I thank Vance, his wife Holly and their family for everything they did for our team and community.
"While we've made progress, we still have a lot more work to do and need to get better in all areas. In talking with John, I believe we're headed in the right direction and am confident in him leading our coaching search. John has my full support in making whatever changes are necessary to improve our team."
Denver is a blue-chip job in name, but there are certainly questions about the viability of the Broncos right now.
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