Swift Reaction to the Vance Joseph Hire

Well, John Elway got his man again. Former Dolphins Defensive Coordinator and Colorado Back-Up Quarterback and long time assistant coach in the NFL is now the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos. Joseph is the first full time African American Head Coach in Denver Broncos history (Eric Studesville was interim HC after Josh McDaniels was let go). Joseph (44 years old) reportedly aced his interview two years ago and it took John Elway’s best friend Gary Kubiak to prevent him from getting the job.

The Miami Dolphins defense that Joseph lead last year was a big reason for the Dolphins making the playoffs in 2016. Joseph overcame injuries, (4 of his defensive players were placed on injured reserve) to help former Broncos Offensive Coordinator and current head coach of the Miami Dolphins Adam Gase lead the Dolphins to the playoffs. Though the Dolphins ranked 29th overall, stats don’t always tell the entire story. The Dolphins were +2 in turnover ratio, but with a Quarterback like Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore, there’s only so much you can do. They beat teams such as the Steelers in the regular season, who are an offensive juggernaut, and the Cardinals who despite having a down year are also a very well run offensive team under Head Coach Bruce Arians.

My Thoughts:

My initial thoughts are that the Broncos got there guy. As an executive with the Broncos, John Elway has gotten very little wrong, all three of his head coaches have arguably paid off and until 2016, they made the playoffs and won the division every year. Elway has made great deals, and is a good judge of people. Elway has the advantage of being a former player and recognizing what works and doesn’t work as a leader and because of the team of interviewers, it’s safe to say that Joseph checked a lot of the boxes they were looking for. Though Joseph’s success is likely out of his hands for some of it, if the front office gives Joseph the tools, it’s tough to see him not succeed.

What now?

Well the offseason is fully under way for the team, the Broncos are going to start looking towards free agency and the NFL Draft, but perhaps most importantly and most relevant to the immediate future is Joseph’s coaching staff. There’s conflicting reports on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips returning, but Phillips did a recent interview with Mile High Sports Gil Whitely where he didn’t see an issue with Joseph leading the team and retaining Wade Phillips and indicated if Joseph is hired he could be the Coordinator. Internally, *Joe Woods who is expected to get some looks as a head coach in the future and looks as a Defensive Coordinator elsewhere this season, is also high on that list to be promoted. More importantly than the defense, who is going to head up the offense? Mike McCoy, Bill Musgrave, are on the watch list, no internal candidates have been discussed to be the Offensive Coordinator but it’s safe to say Rick Dennison is 95 percent gone. Greg Knapp the Quarterback Coach is expected to stay.

Remaining Questions:
What will Joseph do with the Quarterback situation? 
Who will for sure be his coordinators? 
What schemes will they be running?

Joseph was likely a smart hire, i’ve seen a lot of reactions that don’t care for the pick, want Wade Phillips retained, and are concerned because of the major question marks on offense. Many were pounding the table for Kyle Shanahan, and that’s understandable.

At this point Broncos fans, you need to give Vance Joseph your support and welcome him BACK to the community. The reality is it doesn’t matter what your opinion is, the Broncos have an obligation to win, and was hand picked by the beloved Captain Comeback. At the end of the day maybe that’s all we need to know.

It’s time to remember “In Elway we Trust”.

*Update: During the course of writing this column 9News Broncos Insider Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) tweeted “ Joe Woods to anchor defensive coaching staff. Some Def-coaches loyal to Wade Phillips but all have 1 year left on contracts. #9sports” He also tweeted that Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis is likely to be retained.