This week the Denver Broncos hope to avoid their first 0-5 start in franchise history, as they face the Los Angeles Chargers on the road. Following the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, it was clear that Broncos Country is embarrassed, frustrated, and angry.
I’ve never exited a Bronco game with such a deafening silence among the home crowd. Just as the Broncos absorbed their second home loss, fans felt a knockout blow for the 2019 season.
Suddenly the most relevant question in Colorado was asked in print, on air, and in conversation among fans.
Should Broncos’ General Manager John Elway be fired?
A valid question as the Broncos are (16-32) in their last 48 games. They also share the worst winning percentage (39%) in the league after winning a Super Bowl.
Not to mention, since hosting a championship parade, the Broncos have only won 20 football games.
Failures in past drafts combined with revolving turnovers in starting quarterbacks, and coaching staffs have made the Broncos a walking punchline in the NFL.
With the Broncos lack of success, should Elway be fired?
Broncos CEO Joe Ellis isn’t going to fire the most beloved Denver icon of all time. Ellis has his hands full as part of a trust in an ownership dispute with Beth Bowlen Wallace.
If John Elway were to be fired, who would his replacement be?
Many Broncos fans eagerly exclaim, “Peyton Manning.”
Although Manning seems to have interest in an NFL front office someday, its a stretch to think that he’d take over, amidst loosing seasons and ownership dispute circumstances.
Another candidate like Rick Smith, the former Houston Texans General Manager, could be a potential suitor. After all, Smith has ties with former Broncos brass Ted Sundquist and former coach Mike Shanahan.
But more times than not, most fans answer “I don’t know,” when asked about Elway’s successor.
Calling to terminate someone’s job without a new succession plan is ignorant and lazy. The Broncos are living proof that making changes for changes sake doesn’t lead to long term success.
The fact of the matter is John Elway has played a pivotal role in all 3 Super Bowl Championships won by the Denver Broncos as both a player and an executive.
Elway has also received heaping praise after his last two drafts bringing players like Bradley Chubb, Courtland Sutton, and Dalton Risner to the Mile High City. As a result, there is the perception that Elway and the scouting department are trending in the right direction with the NFL Draft.
Earlier this week, John Elway joined KOA for his weekly appearance and said, “You know what, it’s always tough. Losing does not get any easier the older you get. It actually probably gets a little bit tougher. Ultimately, this comes down to me. I’m here to get this thing figured out and we’re going to keep battling on this thing and we’re going to try to find a way to win some football games, and as I said, take it one week at a time. But no, it’s not easy. I’ve had the ups and downs my whole life, the good and bad, and this is one time — we’re 0-4. We’re a little bit behind the 8-ball but now’s the time to really put our nose to the grindstone and continue to work at this and see if we can get it figured out. And that’s what my goal is going to be and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Although John Elway shouldn’t be fired as general manager, he is directly responsible for climbing the Broncos out of the pit they’re currently in.
Wins and losses, not time, will reveal whether or not John Elway has another comeback up his sleeve.