John Elway: 'My history here in Denver does not' spare him from criticism (Mike Klis, 9 News)
These last three Broncos' seasons, though, have exposed some of Elway's evaluation miscalculations. And now that he's fired head coach Vance Joseph, the target for criticism is full on pointed in Elway's direction.
"It's part of the job," Elway said in his sit-down interview with 9News on Monday. "I get that. That's my job. If we don't win, I'm as much a target as anybody else. I don't have any expectations that I should be held to any other standard than anybody else in this position and has my role.
"My path, my history here in Denver does not have anything to do with what's going to happen going forward. I get that. We won five and six games the last two years and it's my job to get that fixed."
Wait a minute. Elway doesn't get a little more benefit of the doubt because he's, well, John Elway?
"I'm just like everybody else and I have been my whole life," he said. "You (reporters) put me on a pedestal. My mindset has always been the same in the fact that I'm only as good as the people around me and people that I hire and that work together and try to get the best solution for problems that we do have. It's a great challenge for us. Disappointed about it, but it's also a new start for us.
"Vance did a nice job for us. He worked his tail off but ultimately, he didn't win enough games. Our job is to find that next guy who can get us back to the playoffs and get us competitive."
Broncos offer mixed bag for next head coach (Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press)
"Broncos country doesn't have to worry about us going 6-10 again," Sutton insisted. "Our core is going to be so strong and so tight, we're going to show up and we're going to go to work every single day, every week. And we're not going to leave it up for chance in any games."
Chubb led all NFL rookies by collecting a dozen sacks, something he said was just an appetizer.
"I'll definitely make a bigger impact" next season, Chubb said, "whether it be in the run game, the pass game, whatever it takes."
With the middling Case Keenum at quarterback, the biggest personnel attraction for head coaching candidates is the league's best pass-rushing duo of Chubb and Von Miller.
"I'd like to think that I'm a coach's dream," Miller said. "We've got a lot of big-time players here. We've got Bradley Chubb, who's coming into his second year."
Meet the candidates: Who the Broncos are considering for their next coach — plus one X factor (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)
So now Elway is on the hunt for his fourth head coach since he joined the Broncos' front office in 2011. His checklist of preferred traits — at least the ones he made public — were vague and eerily similar to the list he thought he checked off with Joseph.
"I want them to be great on one side of the ball and great at what they do — whatever that position that may be — whether it be a coordinator or whatever they've done," Elway said Monday, hours after firing Joseph. "I look for greatness on that side. For me, I look for experience. I want the guys that understand the game, they understand Xs and Os, but also have the ability to lead men. That's a big part of it in today's world. Those are two things that I look for, and there are guys we have a feel for. I think there are a lot of things that go into a head coach that it's a feel thing. We're going to try to find that guy with that 'it' factor, that can make those right decisions and also lead men. We're confident that we can find that guy."
The Broncos have requested permission to interview four NFL assistant coaches. They want to interview a "free-agent" head coach this week and are eyeing closing the top one on the market, Mike McCarthy. But there are other names and other scenarios to consider in their hunt.