Actions

Woody Paige: Sticking with Siemian could be Vance Joseph's downfall

Woody Paige: Sticking with Siemian could be Vance Joseph's downfall
Posted at 1:25 PM, Oct 24, 2017

There is no "O" in the Denver Brncs. There are zeroes.

The Br0nc0s have scored zero points in nine of their past 13 quarters.

They have three touchdowns in 16 quarters.

In the second game of the season, the Broncos scored 42 points. In the four games since, they have scored a total of 42 points.

The 2017 team is beginning to smell a lot like the 2010 team.

In Josh McDaniels’ second season (which lasted only 12 games before he was unceremoniously fired), the Broncos scored 20 or fewer points in nine of 13 games before Tim Tebow was inserted at quarterback by interim coach Eric Studesville. They did finish with 23, 24 and 26 points in the final games. Prior to that, under the supposed offensive wunderkind, the Broncos’ offense had games of 17, 13, 17, 20, 14, 16, 14, 6 and 13 points.

The Broncos also managed 20 or fewer points in nine of the games in McDaniels’ first season.

And in the first game the Broncos scored on an "Immaculate Deflection" – the phrase I gave to the victory in Cincinnati – and won 12-7. Later in the season, they lost 32-3 to the Chargers, barely avoiding a rare shutout.

On Sunday, they had that rare shutout – the first in a quarter century.

Is Vance Joseph the new Josh McDaniels?

Is Trevor Siemian just a common, garden-variety Kyle Orton clone?

Are the Broncos headed for another 4-12 record to duplicate 2010, or 8-8 to match 2009? McDaniels did get off to a 6-0 start, which was twice as good as what Joseph has accomplished so far.

McDaniel’s record the rest of his head coaching career (so far) was 8-20.

If Joseph has that kind of record, he may not last as long as McDaniels did.

John Fox’s regular-season record as the Broncos coach was 45-18, and he reached the postseason all four seasons, and the Super Bowl once, and he got fired by John Elway.

You think with this defense, Elway would accept a couple of 8-8 seasons and no playoffs?

Joseph’s seat got warm in a hurry.

And the heat is on Trevor Siemian, too.

Joseph said on Monday that Siemian will remain as the starting quarterback at Kansas City Monday night.

Kyle Orton dragged down McDaniels. If Joseph sticks with Siemian, they both could be headed out of town soon together.

Brian Griese almost cost Mike Shanahan his job. Jay Cutler did.

The drafting of Tommy Maddox (the last Broncos’ starting quarter to suffer a shutout before Siemian), and Dan Reeves’ effort to trade John Elway got that coach fired. John Ralston’s decision to ride with a terrible quarterback named Steve Ramsey led to his firing as coach and general manager. Even before then, Lou Saban’s love for quarterback Steve Tensi ultimately would lead to his resignation – before he was fired.

There’s proof here and everywhere else in the NFL that poor-to-average quarterbacks will speed up a coach's removal. Mac Speedie is another example. The Broncos coach in 26 games from 1964-66 (he was named coach in the middle of the first and fired early in the third) tried three quarterbacks, and none succeeded. By 1965, all three quarterbacks joined Speedie – gone.

Beware, Vance.

Unless, as some believe, Elway is the puppeteer and pulling all the strings.

After all, Elway drafted all four quarterbacks currently connected with the Broncos – Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly.  (Elway also brought in Zac Dysert and Kyle Sloter, who have moved on. Sloter was, of course, the People’s Choice in training camp in August.)

Elway and the Broncos wouldn’t be in this situation – a 12-10 record dating to the beginning of 2016 – if the president of football operations had begged Peyton Manning to return last season, and went all-in to lure Tony Romo to Denver for this season.

But the Broncos backed off on both veterans.

So, the Broncos are stuck with two hurt and unproven quarterbacks (Lynch and Kelly), one they don’t really trust any more (Osweiler) and a starter who is ranked 24th or so in the NFL among starters.

The Broncos are 26th in total offensive, 25th in passing yardage, 19th in rushing and 24th in points per game (18, helped considerably by the 42 against the porous Cowboys’ defense).

So, apparently there is no "O" in 0ffense, either, but zeroes abound for the Broncos.