The Denver Broncos may be looking for a new head coach at season’s end, and John Harbaugh could reportedly be the top target of the team.
The Denver Broncos have not fired head coach Vance Joseph, much to the dismay of many of the fans in Broncos Country who want change and want it now.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t heading for a split, ultimately.
The Broncos’ standard of winning is such that the team decided to move on from head coach John Fox after four seasons which included four division titles and an AFC championship victory over the New England Patriots with a decimated defense.
Fox’s firing was some of the strongest evidence we have of John Elway’s willingness to do whatever it takes so that the Broncos can win football games, and the last time Elway actually fired a coach he brought in the coach who helped the team win a Super Bowl — Gary Kubiak.
Elway never actually fired Gary Kubiak, who had to step down for health reasons after the 2016 season.
The Broncos’ loss of Kubiak as a head coach remains one of the most underrated losses in the post-Peyton Manning era.
One of the men who has a great relationship with Kubiak elsewhere in the league is John Harbaugh in Baltimore. Harbaugh hired Kubiak in 2014 as his offensive coordinator after he was fired from the Houston Texans, and Baltimore nearly made it to their second super bowl in three seasons as a result.
It’s no coincidence that Flacco had one of his best seasons as a starter under Kubiak in 2014, throwing a career-high 27 touchdown passes with 3,986 yards, the second-most of his career to date.
Kubiak now has a significant say in the operations of the Denver Broncos from a front office role, and the Baltimore Ravens are widely expected to part ways with Harbaugh at season’s end.
Piecing the dots together, it seems like Harbaugh could be exactly what the Denver Broncos need if/when they move on from Vance Joseph, and the change of scenery to Denver could be exactly what Harbaugh needs.
There are already reports that the Broncos would have Harbaugh high on their list.
Hiring Harbaugh would be yet another coaching coup for Elway, who has made one bad decision (Joseph) among his three choices to lead the team so far.
John Fox, despite his conservative nature hindering the team in the end, was a great choice for the job in 2011 when he was initially hired.
Gary Kubiak was a home-run hire for Elway back in 2015, and that move led to a Super Bowl. Were it not for health concerns, Kubiak would still be head coach of the Broncos in all likelihood.
The Broncos need and want someone who has staying power, and they felt Vance Joseph — a leader of men — had exactly what the team needed after losing Kubiak. As a matter of fact, Kubiak and the Broncos wanted Joseph to come over and be their defensive coordinator in 2015 but the Bengals wouldn’t allow it.
The team then ‘settled’ for Wade Phillips. Not a bad twist of fate.
Denver’s job opening doesn’t seem the most attractive on paper considering they don’t have a quarterback of the future and they aren’t likely to get the number one overall pick, but Harbaugh is the type of coach who could turn the ship around rather quickly.
He has championship clout and understands how to win in this league. He’s been around the block and back, and is very highly regarded and respected.
The Broncos’ locker room seems to feel they know better than their head coach much of the time, and they are following his lead merely because they have to. Hiring Harbaugh would change that culture dramatically as he no only reached the pinnacle of the sport but came in and beat the Broncos on his way there.
The players currently on the team who were also around in 2012 won’t soon forget that game.
There are plenty of things that need to play out between now and the end of the season but right now, the dots connecting Harbaugh and the Broncos are strong. It would be tough to argue this as not only the right move for the Broncos if at all possible, but also the best possible move.