Vance Joseph can’t say he didn’t see it from 5,280 feet away.
“Obviously, the first year winning five and winning six this year, by the Broncos’ standard is not good enough,” he admitted after Sunday’s merciful season finale, a 23-9 no-show loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Broncos ultimately held Joseph responsible for sullying their standard, firing the head coach Monday following two years on the job, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The team has yet to formally announce the move, though it is (and has been) among the league’s worst-kept secrets.
Hand-chosen in January 2017 by general manager John Elway to replace Gary Kubiak, despite only one year as an NFL coordinator, Joseph’s tenure will be remembered as an epic failure littered with personnel mismanagement, in-game lapses, and several great weeks of practice. From virtually his inaugural contest, Joseph appeared to be swimming, unable to handle the innumerable responsibilities of being the main man.
His rookie campaign was marred by a historic eight-game losing streak and several double-digit losses. The Broncos were non-competitive and lacking talent, resulting in a 5-11 record and Joseph coming thisclose to a one-and-done stint. Elway ultimately fell on the sword and shouldered responsibility for the team’s deficiencies. He retained Joseph and allowed the longtime defensive mind to assemble his own staff, as well as lend a louder voice during the roster-construction process.