3 worst head coaches in Denver Broncos franchise history

The Denver Broncos have been one of the winningest franchises in the NFL since the 1980s, but they have had some duds leading the team at head coach.
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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Denver Broncos worst head coaches in team history

2. Josh McDaniels (2009-2010)

The Denver Broncos started off the Josh McDaniels era in 2009 in impressive fashion. Even after a controversial offseason, the Broncos started off the 2009 season 6-0 including some shocking wins against the Bengals in Week 1 and in overtime against the Patriots where McDaniels got the better of his former boss, Bill Belichick.

Unfortunately, after that 6-0 start, the Broncos would go on to lose all but five of the next 22 games Josh McDaniels would coach with the franchise. They had a record of 11-17 with McDaniels as the team's head coach and he was fired before the end of his second season with the team. Why? Well, McDaniels embarrassed the franchise by getting caught cheating with a similar issue the Patriots had just recently had at the time, filming the opposing team and trying to use it to their advantage.

The decision to fire Mike Shanahan after the 2008 season broke Pat Bowlen's heart. They both shared tears at Shanahan's final press conference with the team and the fact that Bowlen made the difficult decision to part ways with Shanahan undoubtedly made the way McDaniels treated the head coach position all the more disgusting to him.

McDaniels was a major power trip in his time with Denver. He came in and immediately alienated Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler, trading him to the Chicago Bears before even being with the team for a couple of months. McDaniels began reshaping the roster to really put the Patriots stamp on the Broncos and some of the stuff he did was outrageous, starting with alienating and trading Cutler.

McDaniels undoubtedly knows football well, but the issue is, he's a terrible head coach. He had guys running laps constantly at training camp. He was always cussing out players and seemingly abusing his power as the team's head coach, riding the coattails of his time working for the Patriots but coming off more like a spoiled brat.

The McDaniels era in Denver is a complete embarrassment for the organization and fan base, and I struggled not putting him in the number one slot. He had such a talented offensive roster to work with in 2009 and he blew the roster up for really no good reason. All is well that ends well, as the Broncos were fortunate enough to land free agent QB Peyton Manning in 2012, but McDaniels would have had no way of knowing that could happen.

It just so happened he put the Broncos in perfect position to go after Manning.

Still, his abilities on the football side of thing keep him in the number two slot of this list.