Elway shouldn’t avoid accountability for Denver’s demise

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The players supposedly have gotten a little soft, and at times non-competitive. An offensive coordinator who previously coordinated the offense apparently has been deemed insufficiently suited to continue coordinating the offense. A coach who previously didn’t coach the team eventually could be deemed insufficiently suited to continue coaching the team.

Through it all, John Elway will continue to run the Broncos football operations, without any meaningful accountability to ownership.

Elway enjoys a unique set of circumstances. Ownership of the Broncos currently is held in a trust, which means that there is no single owner who can or will ask Elway tough questions about the construction of the roster and other decisions regarding the football team. Ownership will continue to be held in a trust, supervised by a trio of trustees, until one of the children of Pat Bowlen is deemed to be ready, willing, and able to assume responsibility for the team.

Until then, Elway will have the job essentially for as long as he wants it, especially in light of the Super Bowl that the team won two years ago and the new contract he signed earlier this year.

That doesn’t mean Elway will get a free and clear pass. Fans and media can ask tough questions about, for example, the failure to have an effective quarterback plan since the retirement of Peyton Manning. Players can, too.

“Everybody in this organization is accountable for how we are playing right now,” cornerback Chris Harris Jr. told reporters on Sunday, in response to Elway’s remarks about his perception that the team has gone “a little bit soft.”

Harris is right. Despite efforts to blame the players and, as of Monday morning, to blame offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and possibly to blame coach Vance Joseph, responsibility for the six-game losing goes to every layer and level of the organization, and the buck ultimately stops on Elway’s desk.

Even if there’s no one in the organization who has the ability to ever tell him to clean it out.

24 responses to “Elway shouldn’t avoid accountability for Denver’s demise

  1. Elway has always been an entitled born loser ever since Stanford and when he demanded where he’d play when drafted.

    He then was embroiled in the greatest cheating scandal in NFL history by taking deferred payments in order to show more cap space to be able to sign all the premier free agents available at that time.

    WHo knows if he know about Peyton Manning’s PED program and the effect that PED use had on his signing Manning in the first place?

    The football gods have been watching. Oh, yes they have.

    See ya in Minny.

  2. Elway has a lousy draft record, he can’t trust a coach, the only good move he made was bringing in Peyton and Wade Phillips. Those two leave and the Offense and defense go down the tubes. Should have paid Wade.

  3. Elway has been mediocre in the draft but great in free agency. The real problem though has been his coaching selections. John Fox was not a good pick and Vance Joseph was an even worse one. Anyone who watched Miami get steamrolled in the playoffs last year could see the undisciplined, unprepared, poor schemes coming this year. Not to mention dumping Wade Phillips was insane—why shake up the coaching of the top unit in the league the last couple of years? It all starts with coaching and Elway has done a terrible job there.

  4. Just think, if he would have stepped up and signed Colin Kaepernick when he wanted him and had the chance, but low balled him (once a car dealer, always a car dealer) the protest thing might have never happened.

  5. Let’s see how the “Don” rights the ship without a hall of fame q.b falling into his lap.

  6. No fan of Elway, the Broncos or their fans, but in Elway’s defense, it seems to me he did have a plan. It just hasn’t worked out so far. They still had the Championship D in place. He drafted Lynch, the 3rd QB taken in a draft that produced Goff, Wentz, Prescott and Brissett. He probably counted on a transition yr w/Siemian, then move forward w/ Lynch. But, they can’t get him on the field. The D is completely demoralized because the offense can’t score. They’ve broken 20 pts once in the last 8 wks. I agree his coaching choices have been questionable, at best. The HC has lost that team this yr.

  7. Jaguars fan here- whatever the Patriots did with the UNPROVEN deflategate charges pales in comparison to Elway and Davis taking money under the table to get the Broncos around the salary cap during their Super Bowl years. Both this titales should be vacated.

    Undermining the salary cap goes to the integrity and the foundation of the league. The cap allows teams like Green Bay and Jacksonville to compete. Look at MLB, what a joke that league is.

  8. If I were owner of the Broncos, Elway would be on notice.

    He’s been excellent in free agency and deserves credit for assembling a championship team in 2015 with one of the best defenses of the past decade. However, an NFL general manager is the ultimate “what have you done for me now” profession, and quite frankly, beyond Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, and a few other quality players, Elway hasn’t drafted nearly well enough since becoming Denver’s GM.

    I’d also be remiss to mention how thoroughly he has botched Denver’s QB position. All the Broncos needed in 2016 to be a repeat SB contender was a solid starting QB, and Elway makes the disastrous decision to draft the mother of all projects in Paxton Lynch. That decision alone has set the Broncos back significant.

    And then now publicly calling out most of the same exact players who won a championship for you as “soft” and meddling with your coaching staff?

    As deserving of criticism as Vance Joseph and his staff, as well as certain players, are – and they merit plenty – Elway creating an environment of fear and volatility through his comments and actions is no way to run a healthy organization.

    This season is not a good look for Elway in any way, shape, or form.

    The 2018 offseason should be his last opportunity to rectify the QB position and find a capable HC. If Elway falls short again next year, the Broncos must part ways with him.

    The way he has botched the prime years of one of the most talented defenses in recent years is professional malpractice.

  9. He wasn’t great in free agency either, most of those players came to play because Peyton gave them their best chance at winning a super bowl. If Peyton wasn’t on the team most of those players wouldn’t have came.

    stealthjunk says:
    November 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    Elway has been mediocre in the draft but great in free agency. The real problem though has been his coaching selections. John Fox was not a good pick and Vance Joseph was an even worse one. Anyone who watched Miami get steamrolled in the playoffs last year could see the undisciplined, unprepared, poor schemes coming this year. Not to mention dumping Wade Phillips was insane—why shake up the coaching of the top unit in the league the last couple of years? It all starts with coaching and Elway has done a terrible job there.

  10. “Through it all, John Elway will continue to run the Broncos football operations, without any meaningful accountability to ownership.”
    Here is the sentence many in the stands see taking place: “Through it all, Rodger Goodell will continue to run the NFL, without any meaningful accountability to ownership.”
    Why not? If a GM can do it why not the commissioner? That’s what’s wrong with the NFL today. Just like in most of society, “it’s not my fault” and “I didn’t do it” seem to be catch phrases. Lack of personal responsibility is everywhere.

  11. The biggest mistake they made was letting Wade Phillips leave for the Rams. Maybe if they kept him and asked him which bright, young coaching prospect they should hire, the Broncos could have gotten Sean McVay as their HC.

  12. “Just like in most of society, “it’s not my fault” and “I didn’t do it” seem to be catch phrases. Lack of personal responsibility is everywhere”.

    People bemoaning a lack of personal responsibility usually are offended because society has moved past their outdated ideals. As much as you may not like it, women can now work and vote, and our schools are integrated. It may be time to join the enlightened crowd.

  13. Whatever his track record, calling out his players the way he did was wrong. That puts him in the same class as Ryan Grigson who blamed Andrew Luck for his inept personnel decisions. Elway has control of the roster AND the coaching staff. Ultimately, he should be the one responsible but as the article mentioned, there’s no chance of him getting fired any time soon. Maybe he should spend more time on fixing the problems instead of blaming everyone else for it.

  14. Elway himself in interviews does not speak with the same command he had before winning the superbowl. Even when Fox got let go, it was “we have to win” rhetoric. Now it seems like something different, like that fire is gone. I do not believe it is, but I think winning the superbowl really made everyone feel better than they are.

    Its not just QB thats a problem, the D line has not been too terribly sharp. Meaning the interior linebackers have to cover guys, and they cannot cover a lick.

    Will be an interesting offseason.

  15. The Broncos and half a dozen other teams have no one to blame but themselves considering Kap is still waiting to be signed, and is a far better QB than almost any other backup QB currently starting around the league.

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