Kubiak’s decision could be influenced by reluctance to make staff changes

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The story of Sunday morning (which if you regularly read PFT was the story of Saturday morning) is that Broncos coach Gary Kubiak could be resigning after the meaningless Week 17 game against the Raiders.

The popular reasoning is that Kubiak would be calling it quits due to health reasons. But there could be something more to the decision.

If he stays, Kubiak likely will be expected to make some changes to his coaching staff. His loyalty to those staff members, who helped the team win a Super Bowl a year ago, could contribute to the decision to leave after only two years in Denver in lieu of firing assistant coaches.

The Broncos definitely want Kubiak to stay. But John Elway, who runs the football operations, surely is dismayed about the performance of the side of the ball in which Kubiak is an expert. While it could be fair to argue that some of the blame falls to Elway for failing to put together the kind of offensive line that Kubiak needs to get the most out of the unit, this year’s non-playoff team isn’t dramatically different from last year’s team.

Unless, of course, quarterback Peyton Manning deserves a lot more credit than he ever has gotten for his contributions to last year’s team. Dubbed “sub-optimal, near-replacement-level” quarterback by the team’s website as the franchise moved on from Manning and Brock Osweiler in March, there was nothing sub-optimal nor near-replacement-level about Manning’s brain and his leadership qualities.

His decisions helped the Broncos get to the Super Bowl (specifically, his decisions to check out of bad play calls in the divisional round), and his ability to hold teammates accountable and in turn to get the most out of them are things that the likes of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch aren’t yet able to pull off — and may never be. Which could make Elway very inclined to pursue another older quarterback who brings to the table qualities that simply aren’t part of the package for a young quarterback.

26 responses to “Kubiak’s decision could be influenced by reluctance to make staff changes

  1. Tony Romo could win a super bowl with Denver.
    If he takes a lower salary, like 18MM, it could work out well for both sides.

  2. Elway obviously had no post-Peyton plan on the offense.
    That O-Line and dud QBs have no chance under any coach.

  3. Sorry, Kubes, but there HAS to be changes after the season the Broncos had – especially changes on the offensive side of the ball.

  4. Lets be real.
    The Broncos just lucked itself to the Super Bowl with Manning.
    Big head, arrogant Elway will drive the franchise into decay.
    The Donkeys will not win the division again for at least a decade because the Kansas City Chiefs own it for the forseeable future.
    John Dorsey is 10x the GM that Elway is.

  5. Hey Elway, you’re the brain surgeon who ran the QB out of town….maybe that’s the answer, look in the mirror and see who’s pointing their finger back at ya…DOH!!!

  6. I think we’ll see Elways as HC next year.

    3 10

    Ah Capt. Clueless starts the year off with a bang. Elway likes where he is at presently and the power that goes with it …Baby Shanahan sounds more likely.

  7. Tony Romo could win a super bowl with Denver.
    If he takes a lower salary, like 18MM, it could work out well for both sides.
    =============
    Tony Romo hasn’t played all 16 games since 2012. His body is breaking down. Near zero chance anyone could get a full season out of him next year.

  8. I swear these Bronco haters lie awake at night waiting to pounce, crazed with saliva dripping from extended fangs, and long sharpened finger nails. I imagine their eyes bugged out and breathing heavily while they type.

    Sorry Kubiak has health issues, seems like a decent man.

    He’s not a good HC, which has been proven over several attempts at it.

    Denver needs to make the next hire a solid one, not sentimental…. and definitely not like the QB decision process went. Denver was hosed whether Brock stayed or went. Poor Poor job of success planning.

  9. iamsmarterthanall says:
    Jan 1, 2017 9:19 AM
    Lets be real.
    The Broncos just lucked itself to the Super Bowl with Manning.
    Big head, arrogant Elway will drive the franchise into decay.
    The Donkeys will not win the division again for at least a decade because the Kansas City Chiefs own it for the forseeable future.
    John Dorsey is 10x the GM that Elway is.
    _________________________________________

    Ya. You keep on keeping it real. The Broncos have 4 SuperBowl appearances and 3 wins with Elway behind center or in the booth. They’re one of the top 3 or 4 franchises in the NFL, judging by sustained excellence over time. Only the Patriots and Seahawks come to mind as being better run franchises. The Chiefs do not come to mind at all.

  10. MD says:
    Jan 1, 2017 10:23 AM
    iamsmarterthanall says:
    Jan 1, 2017 9:19 AM
    Lets be real.
    The Broncos just lucked itself to the Super Bowl with Manning.
    Big head, arrogant Elway will drive the franchise into decay.
    The Donkeys will not win the division again for at least a decade because the Kansas City Chiefs own it for the forseeable future.
    John Dorsey is 10x the GM that Elway is.
    _________________________________________

    Ya. You keep on keeping it real. The Broncos have 4 SuperBowl appearances and 3 wins with Elway behind center or in the booth. They’re one of the top 3 or 4 franchises in the NFL, judging by sustained excellence over time. Only the Patriots and Seahawks come to mind as being better run franchises. The Chiefs do not come to mind at all.

    Actually he’s been a qb or gm of 7 Super Bowls, with 3 wins.

  11. Sorry but Elway rode the Manning train just like every other coach and GM before him.

    It’s Elway’s team now and you’re seeing what life is really like. Kubiak a offensive genius? Where are all his rings from heading up the Texans?

    The big problem was Elway’s ego got massive while Manning was running the show. He suddenly thought he was Bill Belichick and didn’t need to pay players and they were simply lucky to be a Bronco, if they didn’t see it that way he let them walk.

    Watch, this team is going to lay on the floor today against the Raiders and that’s a problem

  12. The Jets have won a super bowl more recently than the chiefs. The jets. Keep your mouth shut until you win something in your lifetime dirt people.

  13. The Broncos won the Superbowl last year. And many of us who don’t believe they were anywhere close to being the best team with all the stats that Belichick ignores to prove it, can post till our fingers fall off and it won’t change a thing.

    Just like this season’s result support the notions that:
    1) the Patriots are the best managed team in the post-free-agency era
    2) free agency and draft status certainly aids the parity goal (at least at the 2nd tier level ie Cowboys and Raiders, this year)
    3) injuries are a much bigger influence on parity than either free agency or draft status
    4) the majority of owners are either dolts, only care about revenue or both
    5) team managements have still not adapted to what’s required to compete year after year
    6) the NFL Head office is a joke
    7) Trump needs to drain the NFL Head office/ownership swamp

  14. The conversation for sustained excellence over time begins with the Packers and the Steelers, FOLLOWED by the Patriots SOLELY for the Brady-Belichick era, and then FOLLOWED by the likes of the Ravens, the Cowboys, the Giants and the Broncos.

    Everything else is recency bias.

  15. After Elway “won” his 2 SBs, we found out that the Broncos had been cheating the salary cap by $30M. There was no way they could have kept both Elway and Davis without those secret payments. The League turned a blind eye because it wanted badly for Elway to get a SB win(s). We all remember the cry, “This one’s for John!” The league waited for Elway to retire before penalizing Denver. For the most egregious violations in NFL history; violations that are the only reason Denver won those 2 SBs, they were fined $950K and a 3rd round draft choice.

    In comparison, NE lost a 1st rounder and $500K for having a single camera just a few feet out of position for about 20 minutes. They lost 2 picks, $1M, and Brady for 4 games because they played outside in the cold. Remember, Indy played with deflated footballs during that same game, but received no penalties despite their long history of cheating.

    Last year, Goodell tried to cover up Manning’s PED use and even manipulated the choice of refs for the AFCCG and SB. Those refs, Hochuli and Blakeman, had never allowed the Broncos to lose on their watch. A perfect 15-0. As insurance, the League placed a rabid Broncos’ fan as the replay official for the SB. You can Google the social media posts his wife was making all game. Don’t forget that all replays for the game were made by the booth and not the Blakeman. The game turned on a blown call. Newton made a beautiful pass to Cotchery. Replays all showed a clear, clean catch. Despite that, it was ruled incomplete. On the next play, Newton fumbled. Not the fumble where turtled.

    It doesn’t matter who the coach is in Denver. The NFL isn’t going to bend and break rules, or ignore incredible violations for Simien. However, if Romo goes to Denver, the cheating and special treatment will be back with a vengance!

  16. snowdood163 says:
    Jan 1, 2017 10:36 AM
    The Jets have won a super bowl more recently than the chiefs.

    Nope.

    Jets won SB3 16-7 over the Colts.
    Chiefs won SB4 23-7 over the Vikings. 65 toss power trap, baby!

    More recently, you might be thinking of any of Rex Ryan’s multiple (self-declared) off-season championships…

  17. First of all I think the craziest notion I’ve ever heard is that Peyton Manning wasn’t the reason the Broncos won last year. There are a lot of people who hate Manning and a lot of people who hate Brady. There are a lot that hate Belichick or Roger Goodell or anyone else who’s super successful. It just makes us feel good to hate people who are doing better than we are. So Kubiak probably doesn’t think his coaches were to blame for the team not getting back to the super bowl. They drafted a young stud QB, but they wanted to try to win back to back, so they went with the more experienced guy. There’s just too much pressure on the coach. I think the coach’s health and his commitment to his staff go hand in hand. It’s stressful to fire good coaches, especially if they’re also good friends.

  18. Kubiak’s decision could be influenced by reluctance to make staff changes – Florio, NBC

    I think that is very likely, as he has stacked the Broncos coaching staff with his good friends and family over the past two years. It was clear Kubiak was delegating a lot of the play calling and game planning to his underlings, who seem far less capable and knowledgeable than himself. Simply put, Kubiak is just too nice to admit the shortcomings of his friends and players and will “double down” on a poorly performing subordinate. Elway simply could not have been satisfied with the Offense that Kubiak fielded in 2016 and has probably demanded changes. It is likely a point of pride that Kubiak will not throw his people under the bus. The sad thing about Kubiak’s retirement is that it will likely cost Wade Phillips his job as collateral damage and the one aspect of the 2016 Broncos team that worked right, the elite denver defense, will be undone.

  19. I love the romo hasn’t played 16 games since 2012 argument. Up until he got hurt last year he played 116 out of 128 games since his first full season as a starter. If you add 2006 when he came in at halftime week 6 then the percentage is even better. Plus the argument is invalid because he missed only 2 games in the period you’re talking about. I’ll take a 4 time pro bowler that only missed 2 out of 46 games until a big injury. People just live to hate on him. He looked pretty dang good to me this past Sunday. Denver fans better hope you get my boy.

  20. My bad 15 not 12 games missed. Still the numbers don’t lie. He doesn’t miss as much as people make him out to. 115 out of 132 games until the injury.

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