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Why the Broncos fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy

Another poor week offensively has the Broncos changing direction

New York Giants v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Broncos lost their sixth-consecutive game this past Sunday against the Bengals. For the time being, the Broncos have promoted their quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to offensive coordinator, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

McCoy was brought in after being fired as the San Diego Chargers head coach. As a former Broncos offensive coordinator with success, he was expected to help fix what was once a prolific unit. But in 2017, they were average, before taking a dive into mediocrity.

Why did the Broncos fire McCoy? The Broncos’ offense has been one of the worst in the NFL this season. The team boasts the third best total defense in the NFL, but has failed to score more than 23 points in the past seven weeks, six of which have been losses.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, John Elway had been frustrated with the team’s offensive scheme and the team not being competitive in recent losses.

From Rapoport:

Mostly, the dissatisfaction comes from the offensive playbook being unwieldy. Elway has always believed in execution over everything -- simple and fast -- rather than focusing on trying to out-scheme the opponent. The belief is the offense has contained too much this year. At times, the playbook has featured more plays than even when Peyton Manning was under center in Denver, except this version of the Broncos has inexperienced QBs.

Rapoport said the scheme was planned to be simplified on Sunday, and that if noticeable changes were made, it could save McCoy. That ended up not being the case in a 20-17 loss, where Brock Osweiler went 23-of-42 with 254 yards with a touchdown and interception.

What does this mean for Vance Joseph? Perhaps not much. Elway supported Joseph saying there would be growing pains in his first year as a head coach, especially with a team with an unsettled quarterback situation.

Trevor Siemian was benched by Joseph after seven starts this season and a 3-4 record in favor of Osweiler. While Osweiler was named the starter, it was made clear that if he’s unable to help get the offense going, that Paxton Lynch could step in to try to give the offense a spark once healthy.

For now, Joseph seems safe. But there’s now not a scapegoat for Elway and Joseph to point to in the case that the offense doesn’t show some sort of life as we head towards the conclusion of the season.