Where to now? Coaches, players & schemes

Well, whatever else may be the case, the Josh McDaniels era is over in Denver. Left in its wake is a team in the middle of a multi-year rebuilding process that has been interrupted for a second time, a process that could create as many issues as it solves. I watched Eric Studesville’s press conference, and while I’m uncertain that he could be a long term solution (I believe that a coach with experience is essential), he’s an engaging and obviously bright, passionate individual.  I enjoyed watching him.

When the news came down, I found myself more interested in the future than the past. There are no shortages of articles from every conceivable viewpoint on what McDaniels and Brian Xanders did - and didn’t - do over the past 21 months; the members have done a remarkable job of putting together the history of the events accurately. Rather than chewing old soup, I’d like to talk about some basic issues for the future. Where the team goes from here is going to be dependent on going on from here to developing success.

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Gut Reactions: Action without action

Forgive me if I'm not blown away by Joe Ellis' press conference today.

Although I understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, I ended up missing most of the meaning.

Let me see if I can get this straight.  Ellis admitted that the organization burdened Josh McDaniels with too much responsibility;  he admitted that the organization had not intended to give McDaniels so much power, but that it somehow had "evolved" to that point;  he admitted that McDaniels would end up being an excellent and successful head coach in the league; he admitted that McDaniels was in the top of the league in game-planning; he admitted that the organization needed to do more to help McDaniels with all the responsibilities that came with being a head coach.

So the best course of action was to send the guy packing.  

I guess Ellis was correct when he said, "We don't have a plan for moving forward."

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Joe Ellis/Eric Studesville presser Open Thread

Joe Ellis and Eric Studesville will meet with the press today at 1PM ET/11AM MT. Watch and listen live at the official site; discuss it here.

Firing squad Lard 12-7-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans. Let's hope today will be better than yesterday was in Broncosland, although it should be simply by default. In case you've chosen this to be your first visit after a 14-hour blackout, well thank you very kindly. Unfortunately, we've got some wild news for you - Josh McDaniels has been fired by the Broncos, just 28 games and 23 months into his (unannounced) rebuilding process. There's even some talk that the team could attempt to withhold the balance of McDaniels' contract under the cover of a morals clause following the recent taping incident. RB coach Eric Studesville has been named the interim head coach, while rumors are flying that Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier, Air Force coach (and former Mike Shanahan/Gary Kubiak assistant) Troy Calhoun, and possibly even Kubiak himself, are the leading candidates. Meanwhile, there is plenty of speculation that Pat Bowlen will look to John Elway to fill some sort of front-office role; the two reportedly dined last night at the legendary QB's namesake steakhouse.

Broncos COO Joe Ellis and Studesville will speak to the press today at 1pm ET; the press conference will be streamed live via the team's official website. We'll provide an open thread at that time for your discussion. Frankly, I have a lot of thoughts about what happened yesterday, most of them not good. But it's probably best to reserve judgment until after today's presser and more details emerge. Oh, and it's late. FWIW, I"d love to see Jeff Fisher ride into town...

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Report: Broncos to approach Elway; McDaniels releases statement

Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network is reporting that the Broncos will speak with John Elway about a potential position within their front office. According to Lombardi's sources, current Texans coach and former Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak (also Elway's longtime backup QB) would be Pat Bowlen's first choice to replace Josh McDaniels should Kubiak be relieved of his duties in Houston.

McDaniels, who was fired earlier today, released the following statement:

I am very grateful to Pat Bowlen and the Broncos' organization for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach of such a proud franchise. I would like to thank all of the people who helped us over the last two years. I am especially appreciative of the efforts of every player, coach and member of the personnel department who worked so hard every day. I wish Pat Bowlen and the Broncos' organization nothing but the best in the future.

UPDATE 12:15AM ET According to Denver's 9NEWS, Bowlen and Elway dined Monday night at the local restaurant bearing the latter's name. No word on what they discussed...

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Eric Studesville named interim head coach

Everyone and their dog is now reporting that running backs coach Eric Studesville has been named interim head coach for the rest of the season.

I'd give a long bio of the guy, but to be honest,  the story isn't about a guy who is going to be around for 4 more games.

It's about where the Broncos go next.  With all due respect to Studesville, he is simply filling a gap.

Here was some measured perspective (link corrected) from Michael Lombardi on what the Broncos might be thinking.

Let the speculation begin.  Gruden?  Cowher?  Kubiak?  Patches O'Houlihan?

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Josh McDaniels fired as Broncos coach

Within the last five minutes, 104.3 The Fan is reporting, along with Adam Schefter, that Josh McDaniels has been fired as coach of the Denver Broncos.

Details are sure to emerge soon.

This certainly doesn't come as a surprise to Broncos fans.

While I could certainly cite all of the statistics for why he was let go, perhaps Alfred Williams said it best (I'm paraphrasing):

"Pat Bowlen wasn't going to let this organization continue like this for one more day." 

UPDATE: 5:25 PM (MST)

Adam Schefter is reporting that Broncos running backs coach, Eric Studesville, will be interim head coach.

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Losing season Lard 12-6-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans. In case you were still hanging on, there's now nothing left to hope for except for pride and the Broncos' standing in the 2011 Draft. They are now 3-9 on the season and three games deep into last place in the West. Denver lost in Kansas City 10-6 by managing only 13 first downs and 247 yards of offense - 175 of which were provided by not as tough as Peyton Hills first-round bust emerging star/three-down back Knowshon Moreno. Kyle Orton turned in his worst performance ever of the year, managing an eye-poppingly bad 9-of-28 for 117 yards without a touchdown or interception. He did, however, have a fourth-quarter fumble and took four big sacks for a whopping 31 yards lost (although the last one was questionable). Denver was again atrocious on third downs, going 3 of 12 as they possessed the ball for a measly 22 minutes and 46 seconds. There'd be more irritation and sarcasm here, but fortunately I didn't see the game...

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Gut Reactions - Week 13, Broncos-Chiefs

ash

Trapped in Kansas City.  

Surrounded by evil.  

Low on gas.

On a day in which the Broncos could have used his arm, Kyle Orton had nothing in the tank.  

Arrowhead Stadium in December can do that do a guy.

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Week 13 Open Thread

Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos - Beat the Chefs!!!!!

2014 Offseason

Offseason coverage