The fallout of the Denver Broncos 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs continued today, as news broke this afternoon that the Broncos and head coach John Fox have mutually parted ways - with the news coming less than 24 hours after the loss to the Colts.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise considering that Fox said on Sunday that he had every intention of returning to the Broncos, but there was plenty of chatter out there about him possibly being out should the Broncos lose. Something must have changed in the past 24 hours, and reportedly John Elway and John Fox met today and then decided to mutually part ways.
What is more surprising than Fox's departure, however, is this report from Vic Lombardi tonight:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>NEW INFO: Entire Broncos coaching staff let go. Not just John Fox. All assistants gone according to several players.</p>— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) <a href="https://twitter.com/VicLombardi/status/554772586442133504">January 12, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Of course, the biggest question when it comes to the Broncos' coaching situation is about the situation with offensive coordinator Adam Gase - one of the most sought after head coaching candidates in football this season. Does Lombardi's report include Gase? If so he'll definitely have another job (as a head coach), but it also brings up the possibility of the Broncos promoting Gase to their head coaching position.
I think the direction the Broncos take might be able to give us an idea of Peyton Manning's future with the team. If they promote Gase, it will probably be a sign that Manning is leaning toward coming back (or at least the Broncos think he is), while if the Broncos go another direction it would be a sign that we might have seen Manning's last game as a Bronco. We all know that Peyton Manning hates change, and he even mentioned yesterday how coaching changes might factor into his decision on whether to retire or not this offseason.
It turns out that John Fox's last game as Broncos head coach was a 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. In four seasons as Broncos head coach, he won four AFC West titles and made it to the Divisional Round in each season, including taking the Broncos to the Super Bowl last year. His greatest accomplishment was likely getting a Tim Tebow-led team to 8-8 and a division title, plus a playoff win. But now, after their loss to the Colts, the Broncos and John Fox are going different directions.