Update: The Denver Broncos have now released a statement from owner Pat Bowlen about the firing of Coach Josh McDaniels, as well as confirming that running backs coach Eric Studesville will serve as interim skipper for the remainder of this horribly lost season.
Details below from a release posted on DenverBroncos.com:
Look below the Broncos' announcement for our original item on McDaniels's sacking:
McDaniels Relieved of Duties
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On Monday, Broncos President and CEO Pat Bowlen relieved Josh McDaniels of his head coaching duties.
In 28 games as the head coach of the Broncos, McDaniels accumulated a record of 11-17.
Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville will serve as interim head coach for the remaining four games of the season.
"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," Bowlen said in a statement. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts. In the end, I was not satisfied with the results and the direction this team was headed. The decision to make a change was extremely difficult but one that needed to be made for this organization and our fans."
Studesville becomes the fourth interim head coach in team history, and the 13th head coach of the Broncos.
In his 14th season in the league, Studesville has been a running backs coach for 10 of them, guiding four individuals to a total of seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His running backs have registered 34 individual 100-yard rushing efforts, a total that includes 14 by Willis McGahee, 12 by Tiki Barber and two by Knowshon Moreno.
"I am very appreciative of the trust that Mr. Bowlen and the entire Denver Broncos organization have shown in me," Studesville said in a statement. "Although the circumstances that this opportunity resulted from are unfortunate, I am excited to lead this football team. We have a great group of players and coaches who are committed to finishing the season on a promising note and making our fans proud of this team."
With Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos dropped to 3-9 in 2010 and were eliminated from playoff contention.
"Everyone, myself included, is accountable for our disappointing season and is now responsible for restoring the culture of winning that has been established by this franchise," Bowlen said. "Our entire organization is completely focused on returning to the level of prosperity that our fans expect and deserve from the Denver Broncos."
Broncos Chief Operating Officer Joe Ellis and Coach Studesville will be available to the media on Tuesday at 11 a.m. MST, and it will be streamed live on DenverBroncos.com.
Original item, 4:47 p.m.: Moments ago, the Denver Broncos' website posted a simple message: "McDaniels Relieved of Duties." The link connects to a brief item that reads, "Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen has relieved Josh McDaniels of his head coaching duties. Details to follow on DenverBroncos.com." That was enough, though, to satisfy Broncos' fans who've been angered and frustrated about what's happened to one of the NFL's great franchises.
Just this morning, we shared our take on one embarrassing visual from the Broncos' 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday: McDaniels' father Thom appearing to stand over his son's shoulder as the team flopped. As we note in the updated item linked above, the person ID'd as Thom McDaniels by CBS wasn't actually McD's papa. Still, the image, fair or not, practically shouted that the young coach was out of his depth, as has the rest of the season to date.
The past few weeks have been positively filled with disasters, including the debacle against the Raiders, which prompted our list of the Top 10 ways Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Denver Broncos; the defeat in London to the woeful San Francisco 49ers -- an embarrassment that became even more acute when it was linked to a video scandal that resulted in fines for McDaniels and the team; and another gag-worthy performance against the St. Louis Rams.
The lead story on the Broncos website today.
Shortly thereafter, owner Pat Bowlen, who sources say is no longer the Broncos' major decision maker on key matters, gave McDaniels a vote of confidence he almost immediately retracted -- never a good sign.
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Fortunately, the decision to bring the hammer down now rather than wait until season's end for appearance's sake was the right one. Over the course of a month, even observers who'd been certain McD would be given a third season to prove himself were backtracking -- so why wait to do the deed?
Now, fans have a reason to pay attention to the rest of a lost season, not to mention some hope for the future.
More from our Sports archive: "Josh McDaniels: Top 10 reasons Broncos fans want Coach McD to be fired."