Denver is hoping that the promotion of former RB coach Eric Studesville to interim head coach will begin the process of restoring the team's integrity following the unsuccessful 28-game tenure of Josh McDaniels. And it's unlikely the team will give its next permanent head coach the wide-ranging power that it had ceded to McDaniels.
That was the gist of a Tuesday press conference in which Studesville and chief operating officer Joe Ellis addressed the media.
"Everybody in our organization recognizes that we have a lot of work to do to restore the integrity of our organization and the trust the fans have in our organization," Ellis said. "... What will do that is action. That is what we intend to take, and that starts today."
The decision to promote Studesville, according to Ellis, came in large part because of the excitement and enthusiasm he carries with him on a day-to-day basis.
"He brings a lot of passion, a lot of energy, a lot of positive attributes to the job," Ellis said. "He'll have the support and trust of his players, his fellow coaches, and he'll do his best to make this organization proud, and make our team and our town proud, for the next four weeks."
Studesville, who is now in his 14th NFL season, joined the Broncos prior to the start of the 2010 season. He had coached the Bills running backs from 2004-09 and held the same position with the Giants for three years prior to the Buffalo job.
While Studesville was a strong believer in what McDaniels was trying to do in Denver, he made it clear that things won't be exactly the same. He has already handed the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, a responsibility McDaniels previously assumed, and has said he will manage the team as a whole on game day.
"I'm going to manage the entire structure and function of what we're doing," Studesville said. "I'm going to be all over, but my eyes will always be on the running backs."
But don't expect any drastic changes, either. Studesville put an end to any talk of Tim Tebow taking over when he announced Kyle Orton as his starter. He did say, however, that he would use whichever players — in whatever role — he felt gave the Broncos the best chance to win.
"We're going to evaluate everything," he said. "If there's a place for any player on this team where we feel he gives us the best chance to be successful this weekend in Arizona, then we're going to do that. We're going to evaluate every player and every situation as we go forward. "
Owner Pat Bowlen made the decision to fire McDaniels on Sunday night, following the Broncos' 10-6 loss to the Chiefs. After the team had dropped its seventh game in its last eight tries, and with the London video scandal still looming large, Bowlen decided to make a change.
Ellis said the organization was partially at fault for McDaniels' failure, as it allowed the 34-year-old to have final say on all football matters. That will change with the Broncos' next hire.
"We started out with that not being the intent, but it ended up being that way," Ellis said. "We have to evaluate that. ... The plan is, very likely, that we will not empower the next head coach."
One issue the organization will face moving forward is the amount of money the Broncos still owe to former coaches. Both Mike Shanahan and McDaniels are still on the books, and Denver may need to pay a big-name head coach to keep the fans happy.
"If we have to pay eight coaches, too bad for us," Ellis said. "We have to get it right."