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Broncos fire McDaniels, name assistant Studeville interim coach


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It's about damn time this happened :whistle:

The Denver Broncos have fired coach Josh McDaniels, whose nearly two-year stint was marred by a recent videotaping scandal, a series of personnel blunders and the franchise's worst skid in four decades.

The team announced that running back coach Eric Studesville will serve as the team's interim coach for the remaining four games of the season.

The Broncos planned news conferences for Tuesday. A message left with Broncos chief operating officer Joe Ellis wasn't returned.

Josh McDaniels started 6-0 as the Broncos' head coach, but things quickly went south over the next 22 games.

NFL.com's Steve Wyche reports McDaniels was surprised by the announcement, according to a source close to the coach. Owner Pat Bowlen was said to be gracious in his dismissal but the timing of the move caught McDaniels and some close to him off guard, the source said.

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," Bowlen said in a statement released by the team. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts.

"In the end, I was not satisfied with the results and the direction this team was headed. The decision to make a change was extremely difficult but one that needed to be made for this organization and our fans.

"Everyone, myself included, is accountable for our disappointing season and is now responsible for restoring the culture of winning that has been established by this franchise. Our entire organization is completely focused on returning to the level of prosperity that our fans expect and deserve from the Denver Broncos."

Players didn't know of McDaniels' firing when they left team headquarters after a conditioning run ended at 3 p.m. Shortly after that, McDaniels met with Bowlen and was fired with two years left on his contract.

McDaniels then met with his assistants. He didn't return a message left by the AP seeking comment.

McDaniels had nearly $7 million left on his contract, and Bowlen is still on the hook for millions more he owes Mike Shanahan, whom he fired last year. That means he'll be paying three head coaches next season.

After winning his first six games his rookie season, McDaniels, a disciple of New England coach Bill Belichick, lost 17 of his last 22 games with the Broncos in his first NFL head coaching job.

He had plenty of off-the-field issues, too, including the videotaping violation and linebacker D.J. Williams' drunken driving charge that caused him to get stripped of his captaincy.

Before he was fired Monday, McDaniels said he was reticent to turn to rookie Tim Tebow even though the Broncos (3-9) had been eliminated from contention with a 10-6 loss at Kansas City, their seventh loss in eight games.

"Well, I think Kyle Orton's had a good year," McDaniels said of his starter.

McDaniels made a series of personnel decisions that backfired, notably trading away Peyton Hillis, who has become a power running back in Cleveland, and he also was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to report a subordinate who violated league rules by videotaping a San Francisco 49ers practice in London on Oct. 30.

A week ago, Bowlen issued a statement that said McDaniels would be evaluated at season's end just an hour after telling AOL FanHouse, "I'm not interested in making a coaching change" despite the team's slide, and the embarrassing videotaping scandal that has rocked the once-proud franchise.

There were also reports that during a confidential staff meeting last week he had minimized the scope of the Broncos' videotaping scandal relative to New England's Spygate, where an NFL investigation found systemic videotaping of opponents and levied heavy penalties.

Last week, McDaniels said his staff meetings are supposed to be confidential but that he didn't think his coaching staff was splintered and he said he thought his assistants remained loyal.

Although the Broncos haven't been to the playoffs since 2006, Bowlen has never in his 27 years as owner had a team dealing with the double-whammy of front office and on-field issues like he does now.

The Broncos have usually been competitive into December even in their down years.

The franchise was busted for salary cap violations during its Super Bowl years in the late 1990s, but while there was some outrage around the league, there were no calls for Shanahan's ouster or fans voicing their discontent by bolting the stadium early or leaving seats empty altogether.

With thousands of empty seats at their last home game, the Broncos didn't announce actual attendance but only paid attendance, which at 72,736 was the lowest since Invesco Field opened a decade ago. By the time the Broncos' fourth-quarter rally fell one drive short in their 36-33 loss to St. Louis, most of the seats were empty.

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(Post #2,000) :D

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I definitely knew this was coming, but I didn't think it would come before the end of the season.

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