A week of bad press, a weak show of support.
Team President Joe Ellis didn’t seem very confident in Vance Joseph during the week after the loss to the Jets. On the radio, John Elway commented that there’s not a lot of major adjusting that can be done during the season. Not exactly ringing endorsements for a head coach that has struggled to lead the Broncos.
As we mentioned here, leadership within the organization has taken a huge hit with the loss of Pat Bowlen’s voice. It’s almost as if the organization is looking to the roster to fill the void left in Bowlen’s absence. That’s a lot to ask, Bowlen has been perhaps the premier NFL owner in his time.
So, while we’ve given Vance Joseph a pretty wide berth, there are still expectations that the Denver coach is not meeting. We’d like to point out that Kyle Shanahan, Bronco fan’s go-to “guy we shoulda got” is 1-5 in San Francisco and was embarrassed on Monday Night Football, going full prevent and allowing Aaron Rodgers another unlikely comeback. A head coach is still handcuffed by the quality of his roster. Pointing out that Shanahan lost his QB still puts him in the same position he’d be in were he the Broncos coach.
Emmanuel Sanders‘ taunting penalty is an example of a play that can be directly attributed to culture and culture is one of the places where the buck stops at the head coach. Sanders is enjoying a productive season, he’s been, after Lindsay, the Broncos best offensive player. That makes the chip on his shoulder and the necessity to get in the face of the Rams back all the more curious. If Sanders is tired of losing or tired of bad press surrounding the Denver offense, a 15-yard penalty that turned seven points to three is hardly the way to express that.
There weren’t any bad timeouts or glaringly poor plays to point to. The defense performed better with Joseph taking responsibility from the beleaguered Joe Woods.
There was the disparity in run/pass playcalling but from a coaching standpoint, this game was head-and-shoulders better than any performance the Broncos have put on the field this season. Against most teams, against the Jets, this effort produces a victory.
This is where we are at, for now, needing to see who this team will become under this regime. Maybe the Broncos are rebuilding and we just didn’t know it.