December 6, 2010

Josh McDaniels Fired

Head Coach Josh McDaniels has been let go by the Broncos as Pat Bowlen has relieved him of his HC duties. The search for a new coach is officially on and the Broncos have named an interim coach to coach out the rest of the year.'s Steve Wyche reports McDaniels was surprised by the announcement, according to a source close to the coach. Owner Pat Bowlen was said to be gracious in his dismissal but the timing of the move caught McDaniels and some close to him off guard, the source said. In 28 games as the head coach of the Broncos, McDaniels accumulated a record of 11-17.

Players didn't know of McDaniels' firing when they left team headquarters after a conditioning run ended at 3 p.m. Shortly after that, McDaniels met with Bowlen and was fired with two years left on his contract. "I think losing has been weighing heavy on us, if anything," Orton said. "Our level of play hasn't been all that great right now. It's been frustrating." Orton said after playing Santa for a fund rising event. "From a personal standpoint, I'm disappointed because he was not only a head coach but a play caller," said Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton. "I did really like him as a play caller. I think he's a good coach. The players have to be held accountable, too. The way we've played is on us. You never want to see somebody fired."

While McDaniels' losing record — the Broncos have dropped 17 of their past 22 games since a 6-0 start to the 2009 season — questionable personnel moves and emotional swings didn't help, it's the integrity assaults the organization has taken in the aftermath of their recent videotape violation that has owner Pat Bowlen and chief operating officer Joe Ellis searching for new leadership in their football operations department. He also had plenty of off-the-field issues, too, including the videotaping violation and linebacker D.J. Williams' drunken driving charge that caused him to get stripped of his captaincy. Before he was fired Monday, McDaniels said he was reticent to turn to rookie Tim Tebow even though the Broncos (3-9) had been eliminated from contention with a 10-6 loss at Kansas City, their seventh loss in eight games.

McDaniels had nearly $7 million left on his contract, and Bowlen is still on the hook for millions more he owes Mike Shanahan, whom he fired last year. That means he'll be paying three head coaches next season. However, since the videotaping incident, the team has researched whether it could fire the coach "for cause," in which they would not owe McDaniels the balance of his contract, according to team and league sources. The Broncos have sought to clarify with legal counsel and the NFL management council on whether the words of chief operating officer Joe Ellis would hurt the team's case on a "for cause" firing of McDaniels, the sources said. Ellis had stated in a conference call on Nov. 27 that he did not consider the videotaping incident a "fireable offense."

Broncos interim coach will be RB coach Eric Studesville. In his 14th season in the league, Studesville has been a running backs coach for 10 of them, guiding four individuals to a total of seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His running backs have registered 34 individual 100-yard rushing efforts, a total that includes 14 by Willis McGahee, 12 by Tiki Barber and two by Knowshon Moreno. Studesville is a good coach that has been in the league for a long time but it will be interesting to see how the offense works on Sunday without McD calling plays.

Although the Broncos must conduct a thorough search process to conform with the NFL's Rooney Rule that states a team must interview a minority candidate for head coaching opening. Rumored replacements are Jon Gruden, Urban Meyer, Brian Billick, Wade Phillips, Bill Cowher and Troy Calhoun.

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," Bowlen said in a statement. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts. In the end, I was not satisfied with the results and the direction this team was headed. The decision to make a change was extremely difficult but one that needed to be made for this organization and our fans."

Studesville becomes the fourth interim head coach in team history, and the 13th head coach of the Broncos.

"I am very appreciative of the trust that Mr. Bowlen and the entire Denver Broncos organization have shown in me," Studesville said in a statement. "Although the circumstances that this opportunity resulted from are unfortunate, I am excited to lead this football team. We have a great group of players and coaches who are committed to finishing the season on a promising note and making our fans proud of this team."

"Everyone, myself included, is accountable for our disappointing season and is now responsible for restoring the culture of winning that has been established by this franchise," Bowlen said. "Our entire organization is completely focused on returning to the level of prosperity that our fans expect and deserve from the Denver Broncos."

With thousands of empty seats at their last home game, the Broncos didn't announce actual attendance but only paid attendance, which at 72,736 was the lowest since Invesco Field opened a decade ago. By the time the Broncos' fourth-quarter rally fell one drive short in their 36-33 loss to St. Louis, most of the seats were empty.

Statement by McDaniels: "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."

From, and

That is all I got ~Aussie Out!


  1. And I was just saying the play of the Broncos yesterday may have saved McD job, I guess Bowlen had other ideas.

  2. Not a fan Jazzy? I think it was the right move, but the wrong time.

  3. I wonder what princess is going to say when she gets back?

  4. yeah, I am a fan of the decision. I don't know much about the interim. I was thinking they could have just handed the job over to Tebow. But yeah, with the spygate deal and us sucking, I was getting tired of coach. I know he didn't look at the video. But he brought the guy who recorded in NE, to Denver. Bad judgement and very embarrassing for the whole cit of denver and the fans. I want gruden or even kubiak if he becomes available. But preferably gruden. It would be nice to have a GOOD coach who already has a man-crush on Tebow. But the whole NE style, I am not a fan. Denver has their own style. With a good running game, not just a spread offense. I was ready to turn the page. I didn't feel like McDaniels gave much hope for the future.

  5. Yeah me too, was tired of the style, thought it would have been better to have been after the season but oh well.

    I do and don't like Gruden, I think he is a good coach and loves Tebow, but he won a superbowl with a ready built team and then alienated everyone in his locker room that outed him.

  6. I think it was a bad decision. I wasn't a fan of McDaniel's after his dismantling of a young explosive offense. However I do believe that he made all the mistakes a young coach could make to become humble. If he does become a head coach again, he won't make the same mistakes twice. It's too bad another team will benefit from his growing pains. I believe a humble McDaniel's is twice as dangerous as a cocky McDaniel's.

  7. When we hired him he was meant to be the second coming of Shanny and I think he will be. Fired from his first role only to come back and dominate it. I think next year McD is an O coach and then catches on somewhere and goes places. May even win a few superbowls.

    But for our now it probably was the right choice, I was happy to see one more year out of him, but I think Bowlen was pissed about the video taping incident.

    He made some good and he made some bad choices.

  8. Well,
    I don't see much hope for the rest of the season, so best case scenario, we get a top 5 pick, beef up our D, and get a coach who can build a good defense next year.

  9. Yeah need a defensive minded head coach that brings in a good OC.

  10. Sources close to the Broncos told NFL Network's Michael Lombardi that the team is expected to approach former Broncos Super Bowl hero John Elway for a front-office position and that if Gary Kubiak were available, he would be the team's first choice to coach the team next season.

  11. Question is where do we go to now? There is no clear path to what we were going to do. I was going to start putting together a draft big board and then a mock draft or two, but now I have no idea, who or what is involved with the team or how the roster will be made up. At the moment lacking some form of direction.