Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
McCoy was informed by Joseph on Monday he has been relieved of his duties. Joseph then promoted quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to offensive coordinator. Musgrave will call the offensive plays Sunday against the Oakland Raiders – one of several NFL teams he has previously served as offensive coordinator.
“I have a responsibility to do what’s best for our football team,'' Joseph said in a statement. "Although this wasn’t an easy decision, we needed to make this change. We have to play a more efficient brand of football offensively as we begin the final stretch of our season.''
Multiple sources said one concern regarding McCoy was his play-sheet had so much volume, plays were called during game that weren't practiced during week. Execution was a problem. 17 turnovers during 6-game skid. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) November 20, 2017
Klint Kubiak, son of former Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, has been promoted from offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach to quarterbacks coach.
McCoy’s firing comes as the Broncos lost their sixth consecutive game Sunday in which turnovers were a major factor in the loss.
“I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out because this is a special organization and a great place to be,'' McCoy said in a statement. "I want to thank Vance for the opportunity he gave me and the entire organization from Mr. B all the way on down. I appreciate the hard work of our players and was proud to work with them along with the rest of our coaching staff. My family and I loved it here, and I’m very thankful for my time with the Denver Broncos.”
McCoy signed a three-year contract with the Broncos in January. It's not often a team terminates a coach before he fulfills the first year of such a deal as it leaves considerable dead money in the coaching budget. There is offset language, though, in virtually all coaches' contracts so if McCoy gets a job with another team next year , the Broncos will be off the hook for much of what they owe.
This is also another example of the Pat Bowlen-Joe Ellis/John Elway regime refusing to tolerate losing, regardless of cost. They might not have fired the right guy. But change is really the only way to let their fan base know they are not satisfied with status quo.
One thing I'll say about Broncos under Pat Bowlen-Joe Ellis/John Elway: They do not tolerate losing. If they lose, people are fired. Not sure right guy got it but at least team let fans know it isn't OK with status quo. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) November 20, 2017
Joseph and Elway, the Broncos' general manager, had become increasingly concerned McCoy had too much volume on his play sheet, and was too much about his offensive scheme, resulting in not enough execution.
McCoy first came to coaching prominence when he devised a college-type, option offense that helped passing-challenged Tim Tebow win six in a row in 2011. McCoy then stamped his offensive coordinator proficiency when Peyton Manning was his quarterback in 2012, and early in his head coaching career with the San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers.
But McCoy couldn’t bring out the best in serviceable quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler this season. Both Siemian and Osweiler have proven they can win game in the NFL, but both became turnover-prone during the six-game losing streak.
With McCoy's departure, it's assumed the next move this week will be the announcement that Paxton Lynch will become the starting quarterback. Lynch, the Broncos' first-round draft pick last year, was promoted to No. 2 quarterback last week.
Multiple players said while McCoy is a good coach and a great guy, he did have so many plays on his sheet, the offense did not practice all of them before he called them during the game.
The Broncos have committed 17 turnovers during their six-game losing streak. The final dagger may have been Osweiler’s first quarter interception into the Cincinnati end zone on a third-and-3 play from 4 and returned 100 yards to the Broncos’ 1. When the Bengals scored a touchdown a couple plays later, it was a 13-point swing that was crucial in a 20-17 loss.
After the Broncos lost five games in a row by an average of 19.4 points, Elway said Friday night he thought the team had “gone a little bit soft.’’
The team then cut No. 2 tight end A.J. Derby on Saturday and fired McCoy on Monday. The Broncos are now 3-7 and no team in NFL history has made the playoffs with that kind of 10-game start.