Vance Joseph began this 2018 season seated next to his boss, John Elway, during what was a state-of-the-Broncos press conference on the day after the 2017 season ended.
The day before, there had been a report prior to the Broncos’ final game against Kansas City that Joseph was unlikely to return for 2018. However, 9NEWS reported Elway first wanted to “sleep on it,” then decided to bring his coach back for a second season.
The indecision – and subsequent revelation Elway, the Broncos’ general manager, was flirting with the idea of bringing back Mike Shanahan to coach as part of a package deal that would lure impending free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins to Denver – put Joseph in an awkward position from the jump as he began the 2018 season.
“No, it didn’t make me uncomfortable,’’ Joseph said during his press conference Monday. “I’m a competitor. But I get it. It’s about winning football games. It’s not my job to hire or fire me.
“So, I’m just going to work. That’s my job. We have a game next week at Oakland and that’s my focus. As far as that report last year, it didn’t move me at all."
Elway’s idea of possibly bringing in Shanahan, who Broncos owner Pat Bowlen fired after the 2008 season, was nixed by Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis who said he either wanted Joseph back or a comprehensive head coaching search of multiple candidates if Elway decided to fire Joseph.
Sources told 9NEWS that Joseph will finish out the season and coach the Broncos through their final two games. If and when a new head coaching search is conducted at season’s end, Shanahan will not be among the candidates, sources told 9NEWS.
Ellis and Elway each had private meetings Monday with Joseph to speak about what transpired last year. During Joseph’s press conference Monday, he was asked about his meeting with Elway.
“I’ve spoken to John, that’s a private conversation,” Joseph said. “But to be honest, that’s the least of my worries - an article. There’s been worse things written about me. I’m assuming. But that’s not my concern. My concern is the football team, these coaches and we have a big game on Monday night. That’s my only concern.
"What’s written, what’s being said, I can’t worry about. It’s nonsense. To me, it is."