After spending Sunday night deliberating, John Elway is bringing back Broncos head coach Vance Joseph in 2018, ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported Monday.
"Vance and I had a great talk this morning about our plan to attack this offseason and get better as a team," Elway tweeted Monday. "We believe in Vance as our head coach. Together, we'll put in the work to improve in all areas and win in 2018."
PFW spoke with a team source early Sunday afternoon who indicated Joseph would be fired following a 5-11 campaign.
But reports out of Denver state that Broncos players went to bat for the defensive-minded Joseph, 45, who had success on his side of the ball — No. 3 in total defense, No. 2 on third downs — but struggled to get the offense figured out while starting three different quarterbacks.
It's possible Elway realized Joseph's hands were tied with one of the NFL's worst situations behind center — which was Elway's doing — and an offensive line that didn't make the necessary strides after being rebuilt last offseason.
Once again the club's top initiative, then, is attempting to fix the problem at quarterback that's persisted since Peyton Manning retired following Denver's Super Bowl 50 triumph. Week 1 starter Trevor Siemian fizzled out, posting just a 73.3 rating — down nearly 10 points from 2016 — and a 12:14 touchdown-interception ratio in 11 appearances.
Paxton Lynch, whom Elway traded up to select in Round One in 2016, dealt with injuries and continued slow development in his second season and likely enters a make-or-break campaign in 2018 — assuming he's back at all.
Joseph and Elway must decide if interim offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who replaced fired Mike McCoy in November, is the right guy to develop a youngster and/or free agent likely to come aboard this offseason.
In addition to holding the fifth overall pick, and Elway and top lieutenant recently scouting first-round prospect — Wyoming's Josh Allen — at the Idaho Potato Bowl last week, the Broncos could tap into a potentially deep free-agent class, whose options could include Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor and possibly Eli Manning, among others.