Broncos shoulder the blame
Speaking on behalf of team owner Pat Bowlen, chief operating officer Joe Ellis said Tuesday the organization was at fault for giving McDaniels too much power at too young an age with so little experience.
“I think the responsibilities that he was burdened with, it’s fair to say that we probably burdened him with too much of that and we were unfair to him in that respect,” Ellis said. “And we certainly need to assess that and look at that moving forward.”
McDaniels, 34, was fired Monday and replaced on an interim basis by running backs coach Eric Studesville, 43, who will get a crack at the full-time job when the Broncos begin their search for the franchise’s 14th head coach next month.
“Surprised and humbled and honored,” Studesville said of his sudden ascension.
Studesville is a Verona High School graduate who went on to play football at UW-Whitewater.
Ellis said that while a new front office structure isn’t even in the blueprint stages yet, the next coach probably won’t have as much say in personnel matters as McDaniels did.
The Broncos (3-9) lost 17 of their last 22 games under McDaniels.
The Broncos don’t have a timetable for hiring a new coach.
Ellis said he still thinks the Broncos’ head coaching position is a plum job in the NFL, and Studesville will be the first one lined up for an interview.
“Eric’s got a four-week audition,” Ellis said.
While names such as Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher are being bandied about, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, a former assistant on Shanahan’s staff who could burnish the team’s tattered image, said Tuesday he has no plans to leave the Academy.