Vance Joseph to Return as Broncos Head Coach Despite 5-11 Record

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2018

Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos reportedly decided to keep Vance Joseph as their head coach for the 2018 season on Monday, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer.

Per Breer, general manager John Elway took the night to sleep on it before settling on retaining Joseph.

The move came as somewhat of a surprise, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Joseph was facing "increasingly longer odds" to return.

Elway posted the following messages to fans Monday on Twitter:

John Elway @johnelway

To all our fans: THANK YOU for your tremendous support and sticking with us through a tough year. This wasn't the season anyone expected, but we'll learn from it and be better because of it. Our 2018 season starts today.

John Elway @johnelway

Vance and I had a great talk this morning about our plan to attack this offseason and get better as a team. We believe in Vance as our head coach. Together, we'll put in the work to improve in all areas and win in 2018.

Denver posted a disappointing 5-11 record in its first season under Joseph in 2017, highlighted by the inability to settle on a starting quarterback, as Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch were all used in that capacity.

The Broncos hired Joseph after previous head coach Gary Kubiak resigned on the heels of a 9-7 2016 campaign.

Denver won the Super Bowl under Kubiak's guidance at the conclusion of the 2015 season, but life after quarterback Peyton Manning has proved difficult for the Broncos.

The 45-year-old Joseph was the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator in 2016 after stints as a defensive backs coach with the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals.

Prior to his coaching career, Joseph was a quarterback and running back at the University of Colorado, and he went on to play two years in the NFL as a defensive back for the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.

Joseph's hiring by the Broncos raised some eyebrows since he had no experience as a head coach at any level.

Also, Joseph had just one year of experience as a coordinator under his belt, which led to questions regarding whether he could handle a top job.

The Broncos' 2017 season actually started off promising at 3-1, but they fell off significantly after that and were a non-factor in a relatively weak AFC.

Even though Denver failed to make the playoffs in 2016, it still ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense, and fourth in points allowed.

The Broncos still ranked third in total defense this season, but they dropped to 22nd in scoring.

Despite the Broncos taking a significant step back last season, Joseph will be given the opportunity to right the ship in Year 2.

Denver will return to the drawing board this offseason with Joseph remaining at the helm, and finding an answer at quarterback may be priority No. 1 for Elway in his attempt to guide the franchise back to the playoffs.


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