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Vance Joseph responds to bombshell report regarding Broncos’ head coaching position

Zac Stevens Avatar
December 17, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The same day the Denver Broncos were officially eliminated from the playoffs, a bombshell report came out detailing that John Elway and Mike Shanahan had serious talks about the former head coach rejoining his former organization in the same capacity after the 2017 season.

But Joe Ellis, the team’s president and CEO, shot the idea down, according to the report, instead giving Elway two options: Bring current head coach Vance Joseph back for the 2018 season or fire Joseph and have a comprehensive coaching search that wouldn’t include Shanahan.

Clearly, Elway chose the former option, electing to bring Joseph back for one more year.

After a 6-8 start to the 2018 season, and losing back-to-back games to the 4-10 San Francisco 49ers and the 6-7-1 Cleveland Browns, the report emerged.

On Monday, for the first time since the report came out, Joseph addressed the inevitably awkward situation.

“To be honest, that’s the least of my worries, that article,” Joseph stated. “There have been worse things written about me, I’m assuming. That’s not my concern. My concern is about the football team and these coaches. We have a big game on Monday night. That’s my only concern. What’s written, what’s being said, I can’t worry about that. It’s nonsense to me. It really is.”

Despite it not being a concern to Joseph, he and Elway have discussed the report, but the head coach called it a “private conversation.”

Although the report made it clear Joseph’s boss was looking at potential replacement options for him before the start of the season, Joseph said he doesn’t think about his own future with the organization.

“It’s about my coaches, and it’s about my players. We have a great staff. It would be tough for me to find a better staff in this league,” Joseph said, standing up for his staff. “These coaches have coaches a really young team. We’ve got young guys playing at a high level because of our coaches. Our players each week, they’ve battled.

“That’s my only focus and concern, not my future. My ultimate focus is really the Oakland Raiders next Monday night. That’s where my head is right now.”

While the situation very much doesn’t look promising for his future with the team, Joseph said it’s not uncomfortable or difficult for him.

“I’m a competitor, but I do get it. It’s about winning football games. It’s not my job to hire or fire me,” the second-year coach said. “So I’m just going to work. That’s my job. We have a game next week against Oakland, and that’s my focus. As far as that report last year, it didn’t move me at all.”

When pressed about if he believes management has his back, the coach paused longer than usual. After a slight, yet obvious, hesitation, Joseph said he did believe the organization was behind him.

“Yeah. Absolutely I do. Absolutely I do.”

Since Joseph took over before the 2017 season, the Broncos have gone 11-19 and are starring in the face of back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1972.

If Denver doesn’t win out, it would end Pat Bowlen’s streak of having more Super Bowl appearances than losing seasons.

Joseph admitted he and the team have discussed how important the next two weeks are to maintain those records.

“We’ve got two more weeks to prove our worth. To finish 8-8 is better than finishing 6-10,” he said. “It’s very simple right now.”

The current head coach also made a case for himself to remain in his position after the year, saying the team has “absolutely” improved since last year.

“We have gotten better. The record is one game better, but overall when you watch our team, in my opinion, we’ve improved,” Joseph stated with confidence. “It’s been a tough year as far as wins, but as far as the teams played, I’m very proud of this team.”

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