Despite back-to-back losing seasons, Vance Joseph expects to return to Broncos

Vance Joseph in likely his final game as Broncos head coach. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.
Vance Joseph in likely his final game as Broncos head coach. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

Vance Joseph isn’t done coaching the Denver Broncos.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In a postgame radio interview, Joseph said he expects to return and coach the team for a third season, explaining, “We have to go back to the drawing board.”

“I do expect to come back,” Joseph said to Dave Logan.

Maybe he’s onto something. After a 5-11 season — the worst since 2010’s 4-12 year that got Josh McDaniels fired — Joseph was actually retained as the Broncos head coach after John Elway “slept on it.”

This time around, Joseph’s Broncos continued to look completely unprepared game-in and game-out. The defense had terrible lapses like the 323-yard rushing game allowed against the New York Jets and being unable to stop a single tight end all year long. The offense was even worse, overall, thanks in great part to Bill Musgrave’s play-calling and lack of adapting the offense to his players. And special teams gave up the 99-yard touchdown on the punt to the Raiders which should have been easily downed.

Oh, and Joseph’s decision to kick field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Browns’ six yard line was the worst coaching call in the history of the game, according to one analytics website.

Simply, Denver’s football team is laughably bad, thanks to Joseph. They fell to 11-21 during the Joseph tenure on Sunday, and now have endured back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1972.

Yet, Joseph believes he’ll be retained?

Ian Rapoport did report this morning that Joseph could be kept on this season and that Gary Kubiak could become his offensive coordinator if that happens. However, even Rapoport said that would likely only happen if the Broncos “won by a couple scores.”

They, of course, didn’t do that. Denver lost 23-9 to the Chargers, turning the ball over four total times to lose that battle and the offense was absolutely awful all afternoon long.

That came on a day when there were 12,000-plus no-shows at Mile High Stadium, where the Broncos have sold out every single game dating back to 1970. That lack of attendance was a message to the team that something’s got to give.

Even if Joseph thinks he’ll be retained, the odds are incredibly slim that he is. Instead, Denver should go after a coach like John Harbaugh, trading for him if need-be, even if that means giving up multiple first-round picks.

The Broncos have a ton of talent and could compete for the AFC West immediately, if they are given a head coach who knows what he’s doing.