Broncos COO Joe Ellis and interim Head Coach Eric Studesville will meet with the press at 11:00AM(mt) to discuss the coaching change and what comes next. While we may not get all the answers we are looking for, I am hoping to hear a few things to put my mind at ease a bit. Here are a few answers I am hoping to hear later today:
1. The Broncos Will Revamp The Front Office - The problems the Broncos have were not caused by one coach, on player. It is an organizational issues that has gone back almost a decade. The Broncos have let one man have way too much power over, well, everything. They need to go back to a traditional football hierarchy, something like the Cleveland Browns. Yea, I know, the Browns haven't been very good, but they are on the rise. They have very specific roles for everyone in the front office. Mike Holmgren is in charge of the football operation and is the voice of the franchise. Tom Heckert, who came over from Philadelphia, is the General Manager. With Holmgren around to appease the media, Heckert, a solid football man, can focus on player evaluation, contract issues and the Draft. That leaves Eric Mangini to do what he does best - coach.
It is that kind of system the Broncos need. Maybe John Elway comes in as the figure head, someone to speak for the organization. A jolt of energy into the franchise and most importantly, someone who gets what it means to be a member of the Denver Broncos. Then, the Broncos can get a strong player personnel guy. Maybe they bring in someone as purely a consultant - Ron Wolf or Marty Schottenheimer - or they get someone who is strong in personnel. There are plenty of other names, but having a clear, distinct line of authority is crucial and these people NEED to be football men. Not lawyers, not sound businessmen. Football lifers that get it and have had proven success.
2. Time To Play Tim Tebow - Is there any softer landing for Tebow than a bad Arizona team? I feel the timing of yesterday's firing had something to do with Josh McDaniels' unwillingness to get Tebow on the field, even if McDaniels thought he was doing what was best for Tebow himself. The Broncos need Tebow on the field - from a football perspective and business perspective.
From the football side, they need to see how Tebow responds to being the starting quarterback. How does he practice? How does he study. How does he play in games, make adjustments and handle a game plan. Then, more importantly, how does he handle things after the game? How does he learn from mistakes, study film, and prepare for the next game. In short - the physical and mental grind of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Will 28 days give us all the answers? Absolutely not. It does allow for proper evaluation by guys that are alot smarter than all of us - coaches and talent evaluators - that will allow a new coaching staff to make a much better decision regarding Tebow's future.
From the business side, the paid attendance last week against the St. Louis Rams was the lowest in Invesco Field history. That rings loudly in the ears of Pat Bowlen. The Broncos need to put butts in the seats and having Tebow on the field will certainly do that. As a fan, I care little about that reasoning, but we can't ignore it. Tebow leads the NFL in jersey sales and cash registers roll when he is on the field. Like him or not, he moves the dial. With the Broncos playing their final two games of the season at home, and no playoff revenue, they need all the people they can get in the stands.
There is plenty more that needs hashed out, but these are two things I am hoping to hear. It does sadden me that Pat Bowlen himself will not be part of the press conference - another concern I hope gets addressed - but with Joe Ellis seemingly making more and more decisions, perhaps it is best that he is the one to face the media - and indirectly, the fans.