Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Nov 2017

Broncos Fire OC Mike McCoy

This morning the Denver Broncos announced they had fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and he will be replaced by quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. McCoy was hired this offseason by new head coach Vance Joseph, and found generating offense much more difficult with Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler than it had been with Peyton Manning in his previous tenure with the team. The Broncos ranked 25th in offensive DVOA before yesterday's 20-17 loss to the Bengals after ranking 28th in offensive DVOA last year. No word at this time as to whether it will be this week that Paxton Lynch becomes the Broncos' third starting quarterback of the season.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 20 Nov 2017

20 comments, Last at 21 Nov 2017, 6:02pm by dryheat


by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 1:58pm

Brock Osweiler's swath of devastation throughout the league claims another victim.

by jtr :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 2:17pm

Good thing they promoted the QB coach, he's done such an excellent job getting these guys ready to play!

Seriously though, is a talent-poor offense no matter who is coaching it. What exactly can this accomplish in midseason? If Musgrave doesn't make any scheme changes, then this move is pointless. If he DOES make scheme changes, it's going force a group of QB's who are already in over their head to learn a new offense on the fly.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 5:37pm

What does this move accomplish? That's easy: it deflects blame from the head coach on to a scapegoat! Always an important goal for a head coach in over his head.

by jds :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 2:34pm

Well it is about time that they fired the guy who drafted Lynch and signed Osweiler. But kidding aside, isn't this the perfect week to start Lynch?

by dryheat :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 3:38pm

What kidding? It seems Elways most significant contribution as GM was convincing Manning to go there as a free agent.

by theslothook :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 4:08pm

I feel like I have to defend Elway. His free agent choices were sublime and his drafts were pretty good, rebuilding the team from the ash heap of of Josh McDaniels.

This collapse was sort of predictable. The defense had played at elite levels for three years. As Aaron wrote many times, it was simply unsustainable. Any slippage, and the team would face catastrophe, which it has.

The offense is hideous primarily because it was built to support a Peyton Manning style offense. Its a receiver heavy offense meant to support a qb who can compensate for suspect blocking and maintain total field vision and throw accurately. Does that sound like Brock Osweiler?

by serutan :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 5:46pm

No, but it does sound like Russell Wilson. Elway needs to engineer a trade ASAP. To Wilson, Denver's O-line would look like the Hogs in their prime compared to what he has now.
Was wr

by theslothook :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 6:52pm

The seahawks and broncos feel like the same team except for the qb. If he was traded to Denver, i"m not sure he experiences much of an upgrade.

The o lines both stink(yea the seahawk one stinks more), but denver is a massive coaching downgrade. Defensively, with the injuries, these two units are about the same give or take.

I don't think in this scenario the grass is all that greener for Wilson.

by doktarr :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 8:25pm

I mostly agree, but he's had two offseasons to re-tool and gotten nowhere - the Tight Ends are a disaster, and other teams seem to be doing more with less on the O-line. Bolles seems like a good pick, but at this point I am comfortable saying Lynch is a bust.

I'm mostly angry they went with Osweiler instead of stepping up and grabbing Kaepernick. He's just very obviously better.

by theslothook :: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 9:06pm

But it hasn't been for a lack of trying. The drafts just haven't worked and they were hoping for a lot more than what Lynch has given them. Its been a wasted first round pick essentially.

I think his biggest blunder has been this coaching staff. I simply can't understand why he felt the need to let Wade go. And I'll never understand why Vance Joseph was such an appealing hire in the first place. It wasn't like he was particularly great coordinator at Miami or with that long of a resume of success.

by rageon :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:14am

When the end result is "let Wade Phillips go," you are headed down the wrong path. Keeping him really should have been a requirement for any incoming coach (assuming Wade wanted to stay). I find it hard to believe Kyle Shanahan would have gotten rid of him, and I assume he would have taken the Denver job over San Francisco if offered it. There are plenty of others out there that make way more sense than Vance Joseph. There just wasn't a great answer to "really, why Vance Joseph?"

by deus01 :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 8:40am

I'm still not sure how the broncos started off so well. After the game against Dallas they looked really strong so I'm not sure how they managed to fall apart so badly over the by week. The definitely have a coaching problem but it's just really strange that it didn't manifest itself at the beginning of the season.

by rj1 :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 9:42am

It really was a false dawn in hindsight. Think the clear signal of "WTF?" with this team was the Giants loss.

Point from elsewhere, but looking it up, the Denver Broncos franchise has had only 3 double-digit loss seasons since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 (1990, 1999, 2010). It looks clear this year will be 4, but that is a remarkable long-term record.

As far as Wade as head coach, he was the head coach in between Reeves and Shanahan, and Elway was QB then. It didn't work out well.

by theslothook :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 1:47pm

You could have kept Wade on as a D coordinator. I know he would be expensive, but he's shown he's worth it.

I think the real mystery for me was how the defense fell apart. It's not like it's been a rash of injuries like Seattle. It's been a severe dropoff across the board. Is it coaching? A defense finally fed up with the offense or just exhausted after three years?

It's curious because it's largely the same players from the past sans Ware and Ward.

by dryheat :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 6:02pm

I think Okung has been a very underrated loss. You also failed to mention Woodyard and Jackson from the defense. The defense has turned over more than you thing. I really like the safety replacing Ward right now, Simmons, but it seems the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 5:49pm

I don't know if you can give Elway so much credit for the excellent FA signings. I felt like it happened because Peyton Manning was there, in fact that's what several of them explicitly said. They signed on because Manning signaled this was a super bowl team. Elway had a gigantic built-in advantage.

While the team's drafts have generally been good, they inherited a lot of talent too when Elway was hired. The QB drafts are especially bad. After Brockweiler was drafted, the next three QBs were Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, and Kirk Cousins. Ouch. Case Keenum went undrafted that year too, though no one should be blamed for missing on him.

I think Elway lucked into Manning, and everything else fell into place after that.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 5:15pm

And Alexander Flemings most significant contribution as a scientist was discovering penicillin.

No kidding, getting Manning was the biggest contribution...

I agree - it hasn't been great, and not holding on to Phillips is inexplicable (although you can say that about every team who's let him go. hmm.). But it was always going to be a tough task: When you have no quarterback and no obvious way of getting one (i.e. a high draft pick), you are kind of stuck.
I mean the Browns have ben looking for a decent QB for the last 50 years and found maybe one! Same for the Bears. Sure, going all in on Siemian for this year was probably naive, but with the flashes he showed last year + his miniscule salary, i feel like most GMs would've made the same dicision.

And BTW: He deserves a lot of credit for not paying Osweiler. That was a close call that he got 100% right.

by theslothook :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 5:57pm

He tried to sign him but was outbid. I dont entirely blame him...that was the market price and it takes real guts to say no. Just ask Ozzie

by theslothook :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 5:57pm

He tried to sign him but was outbid. I dont entirely blame him...that was the market price and it takes real guts to say no. Just ask Ozzie

by dryheat :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 5:58pm

Fleming, or Salk, or Sikorsky, or whomever can live off one moment of brilliance.

I assume that a football fan would not be content with making a good signing one year....then resting on that laurel for the next half decade.

The Super Bowl is buying Elway some time, as it should, but I think he's been overrated as a team architect.