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Broncos Lack Interim Options for an In-Season Coaching Change

If the Broncos made a coaching change at any level, the team would need an interim option and there isn't one.

There are calls for the Denver Broncos to fire head coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. While those calls are justified, they're likely falling on deaf ears at Broncos HQ for a few reasons — the biggest and most obvious reason being the lack of interim options. 

When a team fires a coach during the season, it needs someone on the coaching staff it wants to audition as a potential candidate to keep the job. This was the case when the Broncos fired Josh McDaniels back in 2010 when RBs coach Eric Studesville took over down the stretch. It's also why Denver hasn't fired a coach during the season over the last few coaching regimes. 

Part of the problem is the fact that no one on the coaching staff is safe beyond this year. GM George Paton's arrival in the front office made this year an audition for all of the coaches to keep their current positions. It was a change at the top, and the guy who hired the current coaching staff is no longer the decision-maker (*cough* John Elway).  

That plays a part as to why someone like venerated O-line coach Mike Munchak isn't being considered. There is also the factor of, does the interim option even want to step in as the interim? That isn't always the case, as some coaches don't want the added responsibility or are just comfortable in their position. 

If the Broncos make a change with any of their coaches during the season, it will be because of the new NFL rule change regarding hiring coaches. The new rule change states that in the final two weeks of the season, a team can interview a candidate as long as it has permission from the current employing team and the head coach who started the season has been fired or made aware he won't be retained. 

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So the Broncos could fire Fangio to fall in line with the new rule, though Paton doesn't have to in order to get the drop on early coaching interview requests. Denver could make it known internally that Fangio will be fired and go ahead with interviewing candidates as long as the team has permission. 

That's the more likely scenario as there is no one else to turn to and no reason to make wholesale changes during what has become a lame-duck season. The simple fact is, Fangio was given this season to try and show Paton why he should keep his job. 

That wasn't for just part of the season — it was meant to cover the entire season. Paton loaded the bus for Fangio and let him drive it where he might, and it just happened to careen right into a wall. 

There's little doubt that a new coaching staff will be brought in after the season. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.

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