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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Articles tagged: Denver Broncos

Case Keenum likely to remain Broncos’ starting QB in 2019?

Case Keenum

Case Keenum did not appear to be the answer the Denver Broncos were looking for at quarterback last season, and president of football operations John Elway will likely explore new options at the position once again heading into 2019. That does not, however, mean Keenum has played his last snap in Denver.

Keenum signed a two-year, $36 million contract with the Broncos last offseason. He struggled to protect the football in his first year with the team, throwing 15 interceptions compared to just 18 touchdowns and fumbling a whopping eight times. Despite that, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic believes he is likely to remain Denver’s starter next season.

While there should be some solid veteran options available like Nick Foles, Joe Flacco and Teddy Bridgewater, the Broncos would have to eat $10 million if they cut or trade Keenum. Jhabvala also notes that Denver has hired a new offensive coaching staff led by offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, so they could give Keenum another year in a new system.

“I see traits that we can help Case be the best that he can be,” Scangarello said recently when asked about Keenum. “That’s our job as an offense, the players around him, and to really empower him to play confident like he was in Minnesota. Continue to keep that going, and no doubt, help him be the best that he can be.”

Keenum never seemed like the long-term solution at quarterback for the Broncos, and the comments Elway made about the position recently don’t bode well for Keenum’s future in Denver. Still, the best option may be to draft a QB early and give Keenum one more shot.

Missouri QB Drew Lock says he wants to play for Broncos

Drew Lock

Drew Lock is expected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the upcoming NFL Draft, and the former Missouri star has already revealed at least one team that he would like to play for.

Lock was born and raised in Missouri, so it’s no surprise he grew up a Chiefs fan. But with Kansas City clearly not in need of a quarterback with Patrick Mahomes cemented as the cornerstone of their franchise, Lock is now hoping for an opportunity to beat the team he has always rooted for — two teams a year, even. In a recent appearance on Orange & Blue 760, Luck hinted that he would like the Broncos to draft him.

“So I was always in love with them, and once that (Patrick Mahomes) happened I knew I wasn’t going to be a Chief anymore. So I had to block that out of my brain,” Lock said, as transcribed by Sayre Bedginger of Fansided. “So I guess anyone that gets to play the Chiefs I’d be a huge fan of playing for. I think the Broncos do that every once in a while.”

Of course, Lock is not limiting his options. He also said he is “going to be so excited to get picked up by anybody,” but you can understand why he would want to play in the AFC West if he has followed the Chiefs so closely.

The Broncos currently have the 10th overall pick in the draft, and there have been indications that they might pick another QB early. Lock would be a nice fit with them, but they might have to trade up if they want a chance at landing him.

John Elway admits Broncos must find long-term QB solution

John Elway

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said what everyone knows — Case Keenum is no long-term answer at quarterback.

Elway admitted to ProFootballTalk’s Peter King that Keenum is “probably a short-term fix” and it is incumbent upon him to find a long-term answer to the Broncos’ quarterback issues and give that quarterback a stable environment to grow and thrive in.

“Obviously, we’ve got to — Case [Keenum] is probably a short-term fix — find the long-term guy for us,” Elway admitted. “When we do find that guy, we’ve got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don’t find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be, a young guy or a trade or whatnot.”

Elway doesn’t say anything about pursuing a quarterback this offseason, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that Keenum didn’t provide the boost Denver was hoping for this season. It was likely a factor in costing Vance Joseph his job. Elway seems to realize that this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Gary Kubiak reportedly backs out of Denver OC job

Gary Kubiak

After it looked like a foregone conclusion, Gary Kubiak reportedly will not be the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Kubiak and the Broncos could not agree on offensive philosophies or staffing, and the two sides have elected to go in different directions.

Kubiak as Denver’s offensive coordinator appeared to be such a foregone conclusion that they weren’t letting him interview elsewhere earlier in the offseason. After bringing in Vic Fangio as head coach, though, things have apparently fallen apart here.

In a move that may well be connected, the Broncos were linked to Pittsburgh offensive line coach Mike Munchak in some sort of offensive assistant role that could be as a coordinator.

Add the Broncos to the list of teams seeking an offensive coordinator after this abrupt shift.

Broncos hire Vic Fangio as next head coach

Vic Fangio

The 2018 season came to a disappointing end for Vic Fangio and the rest of the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend, but the defensive coordinator is moving on to bigger and better things.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano report that Fangio has agreed to a deal to become the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos had reportedly narrowed their search down to three candidates, and it seemed like they were intent on bringing in another defensive-minded coach. Fangio has no prior head coaching experience, but the work he did in Chicago speaks for itself. He has served as the defensive coordinator there since 2015, and the Bears had arguably the best defense in football this season. They ranked first in the NFL in scoring defense and third in turnover margin.

With Fangio now in charge, the Broncos are hoping their defense can return to the elite form that helped the team win a championship a few seasons ago. Now, it will just be up to John Elway to find the team’s next franchise quarterback. He’s hoping the return of Gary Kubiak will help with some of that.

Report: Broncos blocking teams from interviewing Gary Kubiak for OC jobs

Gary Kubiak

It would appear that the Denver Broncos are planning on Gary Kubiak returning as a member of their coaching staff next season.

Kubiak has been working as a personnel advisor for the Broncos since he stepped down as the team’s head coach following the 2016 reason, and there has been talk that he wants to return to coaching as an offensive coordinator in 2019. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Denver has blocked other teams from interviewing him for that position. That likely means they want him to serve as their OC.

Among the teams that have requested interviews with Kubiak are the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, but the Broncos have denied the requests. Schefter notes that the plan in Denver is to have Kubiak work with whomever the team hires as its next head coach, as long as the coach is open to it. Kubiak’s preference is reportedly to remain in Denver.

Kubiak’s stint as the head coach of the Broncos in 2015 and 2016 was his second in Denver, as he also served as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2003-2005. He’s considered one of the top OC candidates on the market, but the Broncos apparently don’t want to allow him to test said market. Judging by what John Elway said recently about Kubiak, it seems very likely that he will be a member of Denver’s coaching staff next season.

Chuck Pagano will reportedly interview for Broncos’ head coaching job

Chuck Pagano

The Denver Broncos seem intent on hiring a defensive-minded coach as a replacement for Vance Joseph, and they have added another former defensive coordinator to the list of possible candidates for their head coaching vacancy.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Broncos are scheduled to host former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano for an interview on Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

Pagano took a year off last season after coaching the Colts from 2012-2017. He was the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens for a season prior to that. Pagano’s overall record with Indy was 53-43, and he took the Colts to the playoffs three times and reached the AFC Championship Game in 2014.

Pagano, who is 57, said before the 2018 season that he wants to coach again, but it seems unlikely that he’ll wind up with the Broncos given the report we recently heard about them narrowing down their search.