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John Elway needs to avoid turning the Broncos into the Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have hired and fired a head coach every other year in the last two decades. It’s not a road John Elway should drive the Denver Broncos down.

NFL: Preseason-San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

You read that headline right.

The Denver Broncos are 0-4 to start the Vic Fangio regime and it sure seemed like the loudest fans on Facebook and Twitter wanted him fired. And a good chunk of those want John Elway ousted as well. That kind of talk worries me, because that turnover doesn’t always work out. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t.

I can’t blame them for any of it. The Broncos are paying for the mismanagement of Elway’s drafts from 2013-2017. This is what happens when you draft poorly for five straight years. No coach can overcome that in a single offseason - it is simply unrealistic to expect that. Add that to the fact that none of Elway’s high value free agents even played this week and two of his first three 2019 draft picks weren’t expected to become major contributors in year one anyway.

What Elway should do is look in the mirror and work harder to identify the flaws in his own front office team that have caused this dire situation where the team faces an unprecedented (at least in most of our lifetimes) string of losing seasons.

If he chooses instead to blame coaching again, he risks turning the Broncos into a version of the Oakland Raiders. Here is the list of coaches the Raiders have gone through over the last 18 seasons:

  • Bill Callahan - 2 seasons
  • Norv Turner - 2 seasons
  • Art Shell - 1 season
  • Lane Kiffin - 1.5 seasons
  • Tom Cable - 2.5 seasons
  • Hue Jackson - 1 season
  • Dennis Allen - 2.5 seasons
  • Tony Sparano - .5 season
  • Jack Del Rio - 3 seasons
  • Jon Gruden - 1+ seasons

That head coach hire/fire rate is alarmingly high. The results on the field have been equally as predictable with one winning season in 18 and that being from the only guy on that list who got three years with the Raiders.

Since the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, they are on their third head coach in four years. If Fangio ends up being one and done or two and done, then Elway will be marching the Broncos perilously close to the road the Raiders have been on for decades.

That is the worst possible outcome. The Raiders have never really addressed their organizational failures, which is why they go through so many head coaches. Will Elway be able to address his failures in time to turn the Broncos around?

I have my doubts.


Do you have confidence Elway can bring the Broncos out of this black hole?

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