Sports are a funny thing. They are so heavily structured around facts and stats that speak to pure truths on the field of play, yet most of the time our hopes and dreams as fans are based off of pure faith in team leadership to not screw things up. During the season it didn’t much matter that Phillip Lindsay put up insane numbers and quickly became a star since the head coach continued to make mind-boggling mistakes that cost the team multiple wins. When we as fans lose faith in the leadership of the coaches, front office or ownership it takes a monstrous effort by the players and their concrete actions on the field to put our minds at ease. In the offseason, however, every worry and despair becomes magnified as the stats and evidence that can give us hope are temporarily gone and we are often left with nothing but speculation and doubt.
Now that Vance Joseph has moved on to oranger pastures and we can longer blame him for the lack of success in the Mile High City, we must look to John Elway and the front office to restore our hope in the future of the Denver Broncos. The first step in that process is hiring the right coaching staff after such a failure with the last choice to lead the team. We fans want a coach that we can trust and place our faith in to not mess things up and to take advantage of the great talent already in place.
Being completely honest, the candidates to fill the head coaching position for this great franchise in 2019 are not the types to fill a fanbase with excitement and adulation. Sure, a few of them have experience, are known as “leaders of men” and are well liked around the league but not a single one is even remotely close to being a sure thing (though who is?).
Brian Flores is probably an extremely talented coach and a great person but most Denver fans don’t want him anywhere near their team. He has just one season under his belt as a coordinator, he’s from the continually terrible Belichick coaching tree and his resume bares an eerie resemblance to Vance Joseph’s. Maybe in a few years he can become the next big thing but no way in heck should he be the head coach for the Broncos in 2019.
Zac Taylor is a young guy from the Sean McVay coaching tree (is it possible to have a tree when you are younger than many NFL players?) and is a guy that teams may hope to be McVay 2.0. That is extremely unlikely as McVay is not someone that comes around often and though Taylor may be a bright, young offensive mind he is even more inexperienced than Flores and has worked only as a QB coach in L.A. There have been rumblings that he would be a fit as an offensive coordinator instead of head coach but rumor has it that McVay wouldn’t let him leave the Rams for anything other than a head coaching position.
Chuck Pagano is a known entity around the league and as a local guy, could be a nice story for the Denver Broncos. Though he doesn’t seem to be particularly beloved in the comment sections, his 56-46 regular season record as a head coach is a tip of the hat to his abilities on the NFL sideline. Yes he was gifted Andrew Luck as Quarterback and his team completely tanked without him and he at times seemed a bit clueless but Pagano seems to be a well liked and respected leader both by fellow coaches and players. If he doesn’t get the top gig here in Denver, it does seem fairly possible that he would accept a DC position if it were offered to him as it would let him stay near his home town and return to the sidelines with a good core on defense.
Mike Munchak appears to be one of the top two candidates left atop the group after the interviewing process and his head coaching experience, great offensive line pedigree and leadership skills could be a great fit with the team needs. He also played in the same era as John Elway (and we know he loves hiring his buddies), he is loyal nearly to a fault and would seem to be a guy who would likely work with Gary Kubiak on offense and perhaps Joe Woods at DC. He is not the “sexiest” of options but would perhaps bring back some stability to the franchise ala John Fox post Josh McDaniels.
Vic Fangio (my top pick from the list) is one of the most experienced defensive coordinators in the league and has been a head coaching candidate since time in memoriam. That, to most fans, is a bad sign. GMs and management clearly see something in him that they don’t like and team after team has passed on giving him the chance to take the reins. No question he could bring an awesome defensive scheme, but is a 60 year old, stubborn “Godfather type” coach the guy you take a chance on? Sign me up.
In the end, we have to ask ourselves: Do we trust John Elway and the decision makers for this team? Have they proven to be able to make these hires after going through the proper process and a thorough search based on merit rather than the gut feeling of #7 or the odd meddling of Joe Ellis?
John Elway and company have led the Broncos to two Super Bowls and one Super Bowl victory. They’ve brought us Peyton Manning, Von Miller, the No-Fly Zone, the Orange Rush and a great 2018 draft class. Now is the time that, no matter how we feel about the state of this team from ownership to the practice squad, we should once more place faith in the leadership.
The GOAT has earned our trust despite his mistakes and we should give it to him one last time. Whichever coach we end up with (hopefully Fangio) we should give him and John Elway 100% of our trust, belief and fanhood because as his contract expires in 2021, it may be the end of what has been an overall fantastic era of Broncos football and we never know what could follow if the great one rides off into the sunset.
Where is your faith level?
This poll is closed
Between 1 and an empty bottle of Jack
Between 5 and who cares
Between 9 and amen pass the plate