It has taken me a few days to come to terms with the coaching move, to be honest. Over the past few days, I have written and saved a number of different thoughts on my computer this week, but they were just incoherent knee-jerk reactions, unworthy of being posted on the front page of MHR. Rather than wasting your time reading another rant, I took a few days to read, analyze and ponder the situation before writing again. Believe me, it wasn't an easy process. Thinking and pondering is hard, especially when the facts hurt and the situation is unpleasant.
I began with shock. It didn't make sense to me that Josh McDaniels was being fired during the season. Yes, Spygate 2 was rough, as was losing, but being hasty in our decision-making isn't something we should cheer, either. After some more pondering, I was reminded of a quote from the Athletic Director of Florida, Jeremy Foley.
"What should be done eventually must be done immediately."
- Jeremy Foley (Florida Athletic Director)
Perhaps Josh McDaniels would be fired at the end of the season, anyways. If that's the case, what's the difference if Pat Bowlen made the move, right away? There isn't one.
About the time I was able to wrap my mind around that, the Broncos announced that Eric Studesville would be interim coach while thousands of Broncos fans brainstormed who would be the head coach in 2010....
Then my brain went on a two part tangent.
2010 - A Season to Forget
It's obvious that Broncos fans have had a rough year.
We are 3-10 in 2010 (if you count the January 1st loss to the Chiefs). We lost our sack master, Elvis Dumervil, to a season ending injury before anyone broke a sweat in training camp. We dealt with backlash from the media (and fans) following the Brandon Marshall trade, the Peyton Hillis trade, and the Mike Nolan "firing". We drafted the most polarizing figure in the NFL Draft (Tim Tebow) instead of drafting what the fans wanted (a defense). We also endured the embarrassing Spygate 2 Scandal.
And let us never forget that we also lost Kenny McKinley. May he rest in peace...
What I'm getting at, here, is that Broncos fans have been through a lot. To be honest, "been through a lot" may be a massive understatement. Injury? We got it. Scandal? We got it. Controversial personnel decisions? We got it. Tragedy? We got it.
You name it, we got it.
Now, add to that list a mid-season coaching change and you've got a season to forget. 2010 was bad, so let's forget about it a few weeks early. We'll start 2011, right now.
2011 Head Coach Tryout
I'll be honest. I haven't paid much attention to Eric Studesville, to this point. From what I've read and seen online, Eric Studesville looks like a guy who can be successful. He appears to be an optimistic guy who works incredibly hard. He preaches effort and the players (from the accounts I have read) love him.
So, he is the interim coach, right now. He is in the building every day, doing all the things that a head coach would do. Despite that, people are already looking for Mr. Outside Hire. Why? The Broncos have stated that we aren't looking for a new coach, right now. Can't we see how this season plays out first?
Being an interim head coach is as much a tryout as it is a stop-gap. If Studesville wins 4 games, he may have just earned himself a job (if not here, elsewhere). Let me be the first to tell you, trying out for a job is great. I'm college student who is spending a semester as a co-op. Not only am I getting great job experience, but I could potentially get a job offer as an engineer, after I graduate.
Same for Eric Studesville. If he does well, maybe he gets a job offer.
Now, I'm not here to knock speculation. We don't know the future and we can't read the mind of Pat Bowlen. All we can do is speculate. What I am here to do is to encourage everyone to take a step back. There are four more games in the NFL Regular Season, any one of which could be a breakout game for the Broncos and Eric Studesville.
The players are the same. The scheme is the same. The only thing that changes is the head coach and the offensive playcalling (some of which was already being called into question, throughout the previous 2 or 3 months).
Don't sleep on Eric Studesville. He's just as much a 2011 head coaching candidate as anyone else.