Posted Tue Jan 11th by Ian Henson
Jim Harbaugh is out, Leslie Frazier is out, Jason Garrett is out, Gary Kubiak is out, Ron Rivera is out.
Mike Mularkey postponed his interview with the Denver Broncos until after the Atlanta Falcons are finished with the playoffs.
That leaves two of the original five expected to interview for the Broncos head coaching position: Eric Studesvilles and Perry Fewell. If you’re keeping count that’s a total of three former Buffalo Bills (if you count the recently self removed Gregg Williams) head coaches and two former interim coaches along with John Fox who has yet to interview, but is on the list as soon as the snow cooperates.
Now we have former Broncos offensive coordinators Rick Dennison and Jim Fassel (hopefully) thrown into the mix, Dennison is thus far the only coach in that group to have interviewed for Denver’s previous coaching vacancy which championed Josh McDaniels. For the most part the other coaches who interviewed for the position that the (forced) departure of Mike Shanahan created have ended up on their feet: Steve Spagnuolo (St. Louis Rams), Raheem Morris (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Frazier (Minnesota Vikings), and Garrett (Dallas Cowboys). It seems as if McDaniels was the only one of the group to not make his team better.Or was he?
There had been whispers and gripes amongst fans during the season that at some point Pat Bowlen handed over control of the team to Joe Ellis creating quite the side eye and near irrational demands amongst fans that led to an abrupt third quarter of the season seizure of the control of the team by Ellis/Bowlen from McDaniels. Was it McDaniels that failed or was he just allowed enough rope to hang himself with in order to make a larger point? On January 5th, 2011 Ellis’ role switched from Chief Operating Officer to President (formerly held by Bowlen) officially.
Enter John Elway.
Elway, like McDaniels was, is a winner.
Elway, like McDaniels was, is untested and unproven.
Is Elway, like McDaniels a further reiteration of a point that’s yet to be made?
The Broncos; unlike in 2008, are lining up coaches that really have no business being first options. Officially there has been no mention of Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden (staples in all recent off-season coaching hunt suggestions), the only real clue given is one by Elway who stated that the team was looking for someone with head coaching experience, whether it be in college or the NFL. Hello everyone on the entire potential coaches list (except Dennison)!
I guess, a more advised (and more hopeful) statement would have been to say that the Broncos were looking for a proven winner. Ellis let fans know that money was not the issue and with money not being the issue then why aren’t Gruden and Cowher on the plate for interviews? Old friend Marty Schotenheimer, Brian Billick, heck Bill Parcells even? Is the team really looking for a cure or merely a band-aid that they can cross their fingers and be hopeful that it will actually heal the wound instead of add another scar this time? I don’t see the problem in handing over control of a team if the person is proven. It makes far more sense than keeping it with someone who has no experience in personnel decisions.
I digress, the search goes on and there will be more surprise announcements. Some of the list will thin, there will be new additions and as the Super Bowl commences hopefully the team will have someone hired. Yes, with Elway involved there is always hope, but with this new era it’s hard to have. This whole thing feels more like the new Broncos than the old Broncos. The one thing that should be observed is that amongst those teams with coaching vacancies heading into the off-season (Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers) is who gets the more desired head coach, because a year or two ago there would have been absolutely no question who the more desired franchise to work for would be and unless something has happened that fans are unaware of publicly then that choice franchise would still be Denver.