The Denver Broncos stand one loss away from the franchise’s first consecutive losing seasons since 1971-72. And that apparently will be enough to get G.M. John Elway to make a change.
Unless Elway changes his mind (which is always possible), coach Vance Joseph’s tenure as the head coach is expected to end after only two years, per a league source.
Elway reportedly considered firing Joseph and hiring Mike Shanahan a year ago. The fact that the story emerged two days after the Broncos picked up their eighth loss of the season could be regarded as a sign that it was deliberately leaked now as an indication that Elway once again is seriously contemplating a new coach.
The next coach will be the fourth coach hired by Elway since arriving in 2011 to assume control of the football operation in Denver. John Fox took the team to a Super Bowl. His successor, Gary Kubiak, won a Super Bowl. After Kubiak retired for health reasons, Elway hired Joseph, who had been a finalist when Kubiak got the job.
But Joseph has struggled, generating a record of 11-19 through 30 games. And now Elway, who benefits from an unsettled ownership structure that has no specific owner in place and in turn no traditional oversight or accountability from above, will need to hire someone else.
Maybe Mike Shanahan.