DENVER – The Broncos have fired coach Vance Joseph following two disappointing seasons in the Mile High City.
The news comes following the Broncos 23-9 loss Sunday to the Los Angeles Chargers in Denver, which was Denver’s fourth straight loss to end the 2018 season.
Joseph, 46, compiled an 11-21 record in his two seasons as coach of the Broncos, going 5-11 and 6-10 in 2017 and 2018. Neither of his teams qualified for the postseason.
The Broncos released a statement with quotes from both GM John Elway and team President Joe Ellis.
“Vance made a lot of strides and deserves credit for how hard and competitively the team played this season. There’s always going to be a high standard here — The bottom line is we need to win more football games,” Elway said in a statement. “We’re excited about the foundation that’s being built and look forward to putting in the work to get the Broncos back on the winning track.”
“Vance put his heart into coaching this team, and I appreciate the way he represented the Broncos with such professionalism,” Ellis said in a statement. “On behalf of our organization, I thank Vance, his wife Holly and their family for everything they did for our team and community.”
A statement from Vance Joseph: pic.twitter.com/qloKBbdFoy
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 31, 2018
Following week 12, it appeared that the Broncos had a chance at securing a wild card berth in the postseason with a 6-6 record. However, injuries to stars Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders derailed that effort, causing Denver to stumble to the finish line for the second straight season.
Multiple NFL insiders reported that Joseph narrowly avoided being fired following the 2017 campaign, which saw the 2017 Broncos win four fewer games than the previous year. However, Elway ultimately stuck with him for the 2018 season.
Joseph’s time in Denver was largely defined by the lack of a franchise quarterback. The Broncos started three different quarterbacks in 2017 with Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler. In 2018, the Broncos started Case Keenum all 16 games at QB, but the results were largely the same, as Keenum ranked near the bottom of the league with an 81.8 passer rating for the season.
Despite playing quarterback for the University of Colorado, Joseph specialized as a defensive coach in the NFL prior to his time in Denver. Joseph spent one year as defensive coordinator in Miami in 2016. He served as the defensive backs coach for the Bengals, Texans and 49ers prior to that.
From this point forward, it’s unclear who the Broncos will target to be their next head coach. Former Packers Coach Mike McCarthy, former Lions Coach Jim Caldwell and current Ravens Coach John Harbaugh are hot names on the coaching market.