Vance Joseph safe? John Elway says he's 'much more encouraged' by Broncos this season

The image we have of John Elway, general manager, is painted by his playing days and first few years on the job.

He’s usually described as endlessly competitive, like he was as a player, and impatient, which he was early on as Denver Broncos general manager as he built a Super Bowl champion with plenty of free-agent moves. He helps that image when he says things like, “Life’s too short to rebuild in the NFL” at this year’s scouting combine.

That’s why his comments about the Broncos on Monday were unexpected. Denver lost to the Houston Texans on Sunday to fall to 3-6. Coach Vance Joseph’s game management in both halves cost the Broncos, and even the Texans were surprised. Many Broncos fans wanted Joseph gone at the end of his first season and that drumbeat has continued in Colorado this season.

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With everyone waiting for a change, Elway said he is happy with how things are going. Didn’t expect that, did you?

John Elway wants to stay the course

Here are Elway’s comments Monday on Orange and Blue 760, a Denver station in which Elway has a weekly appearance, via host Andrew Mason.

(If you want any idea about where Denver is on this issue, just read the flummoxed, angry comments on Mason’s tweet.)

Elway specifically addressed the end of the game, when Joseph played it very conservative with 43 seconds left and settled for what became a 51-yard field goal. Kicker Brandon McManus missed and the Broncos lost, which looks like pretty close to a death blow for their playoff chances. Elway had no problem with Joseph’s strategy.

Since 1972 the Broncos haven’t posted back-to-back losing seasons, which is remarkable. They seem to be on a track to break that streak this season. Broncos fans are impatient, but Elway seems surprisingly calm.

Broncos fans aren’t happy with Vance Joseph

Elway hired Joseph, so he has a stake in his success. Every other coach hired in the 2017 coaching cycle has done pretty well, except Joseph. Joseph is 8-17.

Elway admitted he considered making a coaching change after last season, but wanted to give Joseph another shot. He admitted the Broncos didn’t put Joseph in a great position to succeed, not with an inadequate roster and poor quarterback situation (Elway’s job security is becoming a topic of conversation in Denver too, which is shocking given his status in Colorado, but that’s a topic for a different day).

It wouldn’t seem that there has been a ton of progress from the Broncos, who started 2-0 and are 1-6 since. But Elway seems to see the positives that not many others can.

Broncos general manager John Elway seems content with the progress his team has made this season. (AP)
Broncos general manager John Elway seems content with the progress his team has made this season. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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