There is no quick fix to Denver's disaster of a season.
The fading Broncos are closer to the first overall draft pick than playoff contention. Two years removed from sending Peyton Manning off into the sunset victorious, Denver employs three backup quarterbacks and no starter. Worst of all, this 3-9 campaign is happening in the first season of what was supposed to be a new era under Vance Joseph.
The disappointment in the Rocky Mountains extends to the highest reaches of the Denver front office, which might be considering a few changes this offseason.
"We're gonna finish the season out and, you know, obviously we know the expectations of the Denver Broncos," Broncos president of football operations and general manager John Elway said Tuesday in a radio interview with Orange & Blue 760. "And this has been a tough year. It's not what the Broncos are about. I'm embarrassed about it, the fact that this has happened, and will do my part to hopefully get this thing turned around next year, and the expectations of Broncos fans should be for us to get this turned around."
How Elway intends to get his franchise back on track remains to be seen. Denver is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak and its first losing season since 2010, when second-year coach Josh McDaniels was fired mid-season. Elway was hired the following offseason and had overseen five straight postseason runs, including two Super Bowl appearances and one championship before the Broncos missed the playoffs and Gary Kubiak retired last year.
Elway hired his guy, Joseph, then the Dolphins defensive coordinator for one season, to replace Kubiak. Less than one season into the coach's tenure, there are rumblings he could be one-and-done.
Joseph said earlier this week that regardless of the team's tumult and rumors regarding his job security that no one in his locker room has "given up."
"We don't want to just survive this next month," Joseph said following Sunday's loss to his former team in Miami. "We want to push forward, keep working, keep studying, keep pushing details. And trying to win football games, we don't want guys just showing up to work and just checking boxes."
Elway has borne the brunt of the criticism for how 2017 has gone. His draft selections have not panned out and his staff hires have so far underwhelmed. The only questions now are whether a full-blown housecleaning is in order and if such a move is the quickest shortcut for Elway and Co. to meet future expectations.