Skip to main content

Broncos STC Tom McMahon on Possibility of Firing: 'I Go Game to Game'

He knows, but he doesn't know.

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway confirmed Thursday that most of the team's coaching staff will return in 2021.

"Most" being the operative word.

Obviously, if head coach Vic Fangio is safe, which he is, then so is his right-hand man, de facto defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. And it's a good bet, with Elway stressing continuity, that embattled offensive coordinator Past Shurmur gets another year, likely with Drew Lock as his quarterback.

But, because the Broncos suffered through its fifth-straight playoff-less campaign, there must be a scapegoat. There's always a scapegoat; the 2019 version was Shurmur's predecessor, Rich Scangarello.

What happens next for the Broncos? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second and sign up for our free newsletter and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!

The 2020 version assuredly will resemble McMahon. Who knows, but doesn't know. The writing is on the wall, but he chooses to shield his eyes and la-la-la it away.

“No, I'm focused just on this game. I go game to game," McMahon said Thursday when asked about returning next season. "Really, I'll be honest with you, how I look at my career is I go to the next game, go to the next moment, and eventually that moment—if you keep winning moments—you’re going to be in that Super Bowl. That's exactly how I approach every single week. I don't worry about tomorrows, I just worry about todays. We got a great team we got to play against in these Raiders, and they got great special teams. I just focus on trying to win this game, and I just worry about the players. I never worry about myself.”

Scroll to Continue

Read More

In fairness, his potential termination is for cause. The Broncos' special teams are annually among the league's worst, according to DVOA rankings, and if you watch them on any given week, you'll see why.

What began with the Marquette King calamity in 2018, when McMahon was hired by Denver to replace the similarly-disastrous Brock Olivo, is ending with Diontae Spencer continually bungling kick-offs and ace kicker Brandon McManus shanking extra points. 

The cherry atop the crud sundae was McMahon's Week 15 decision to trot out ex-XFL kicker Taylor Russolino in place of McManus. Russolino missed a 51-yard field goal and two XPs as the Broncos were disemboweled by the Bills. What's worse, rather than actually scout a kicker himself, McMahon brought in Russolino on the recommendation of former Colts punter-turned-podcaster Pat McAfee.

“Taylor was terrible. He had a bad day," McMahon blurted to reporters after the game. "It got a little big for him with the wind—he didn't handle it right."

Much of the above quote applies to McMahon, except that he didn't simply have a bad day — he's had a bad three years.

And he might end up paying for it with his job.

Follow Zack on Twitter @KelbermanNFL and @MileHighHuddle