It’s tough to avoid awkwardness when you fire someone you hired and proceed to publicly acknowledge that hiring that person was a mistake.

Denver Broncos general manager and legendary quarterback John Elway is quoted in Peter King’s Football Morning in America column as saying he doesn’t want to offend Vance Joseph – fired by the Broncos after two seasons as the team’s head coach – but that he “was wrong” to have hired Joseph and “things didn’t work out.”

“The key thing I learned in the coach-selection process: Cover your bases thoroughly and get the best candidates that you can and don’t make your mind up going in. Don’t draw any conclusions before you go into the coaching interviews. Take each interview in the moment and do not pre-draw it. Don’t combine it with the other ones and don’t make your mind up when you walk out. Be as thorough as you can and try to find the right guy that fits your job at that point in time. So that’s what I learned. I’ve probably pre-drawn my thought process going in before. I talked to [Vance Joseph] before the process a couple of years ago, and knew him, and going in, I had an idea that he was kind of our guy. I admit it. I was wrong on that one. I don’t like to say it out loud because I don’t want to offend VJ, who is a good football coach. But things didn’t work out.”

Joseph is the Arizona Cardinals’ new defensive coordinator under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the team announced Friday.

Joseph also was considered a defensive-coordinator candidate for several teams that recently have filled head-coaching vacancies, including the New York Jets.

Joseph was the defensive backs coach in Cincinnati in 2014 and 2015 before spending 2016 as the Miami Dolphins’ defensive coordinator under new Jets head coach Adam Gase and becoming the Broncos’ head coach in 2017. The Broncos fired Joseph after having completed their first back-to-back losing seasons since 1971-1972.

Multiple media outlets reported that Joseph’s hot seat grew hotter during the Broncos’ four-game losing skid that followed their 24-10 win against the Bengals in Cincinnati on Dec. 2.

LOVE THE BENGALS?Subscribe today to get access to all of our coverage’s Adam Schefter reported before the season ended that Joseph was expected to emerge as a candidate for the Bengals’ defensive coordinator job and potentially even their head-coaching job.

Marvin Lewis and the Bengals parted ways at season’s end, and the Bengals reportedly are waiting to announce Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as their new head coach.


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