This is not the season John Elway had in mind for the Denver Broncos. In 2015, first-year head coach Gary Kubiak took them to a Super Bowl victory. In 2017, first-year head coach Vance Joseph has taken them to 3-9.
It’s the worst season they’ve seen in years. They could be heading for one of their highest draft picks ever. Does that mean Elway is going to fire Joseph the way the New York Giants – who beat the Broncos – just fired Ben McAdoo? Not so fast.
“We’re gonna finish the season out with this staff,” Elway said on Orange and Blue 760. “Obviously, we know the expectations of the Denver Broncos. I’m embarrassed about it and gonna do all I can to fix it.”
It’s important for Elway to admit to being embarrassed. He built this team and hired this staff. A lot of the blame goes his way. Admitting that is the first step toward fixing it, and he’s happy to take it.
The implication is that Joseph will likely be fired after the season. Elway technically said “this staff” but they already fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He’s willing to fire assistants if he thought that would fix it. He’s not willing to fire his head coach mid-season. He may also have seen how the McCoy firing didn’t change anything, so there’s no point in trying to find the weak link now. They just need to wait until the season is over and then assess everything from the top down.
Elway also pointed out that the 2017 season feels different because the team is not just losing. They’re getting embarrassed, and it’s happening every week.
“The thing I remember [from previous losing seasons] is it felt like we were in the hunt,” he said. “And even if we weren’t in the hunt, we played like we were because of the expectation.”