Something is rotten in Denver.

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Note: On NNR yesterday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Divisional NFL Playoff games including the issues of calls and the Bills naming a coach. The podcasts are on

The loss by the Broncos was a wake up call for the team, team ownership and their Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning. Some difficult decisions will have to be made over this off season by both Peyton and team management. The biggest problem for the Broncos is that those decisions will be made by John Elway.

Elway’s first order of business was to get rid of a coaching staff that took the defensively challenged Broncos to the Super Bowl last year and won four straight division titles. But why was the team defensively challenged? Elway felt that bringing in Manning would solve all the issues of the team. But the neglected D allowed the Seahawks to blow out the Broncos. This year Elway did add some better players on D but the O line was thin. When injuries occurred the O line became the problem. An already fragile 38 year old QB suffered an injury that ended the Broncos season.

On Peyton’s side the issues were about how he feels and what are the risks of playing in 2015. But now with the dismissal of the coaching staff, he has very little incentive to return. On the Manning Mystery Tour in the 2011-12 off season, the attraction to Denver was in large part the coaching staff. Now that group is gone and Elway will want Manning to take a HUGE pay cut from the 19 million that his contract calls for. It will be interesting to see how Elway and the Broncos do with a new coaching staff and the gangly Brock Osweiler under center.

Fox will have a job as soon as his plane lands in Chicago. The Bears appreciate extended playoff runs.

So the decisions of Elway will be interesting. Bronco owner Pat Bowlen would not have dismissed Fox so quickly. But with his illness, it is Joe Ellis, the Broncos’ team president, and Elway are in control. With a likely 5-11 season next year with out Manning and Fox, I suspect that Elway may find his way to the hot seat.

Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes for winning the national championship. The Bucks win proved that the Oregon clothes do not make the man. By the way, ESPN, IT IS 8 TOTAL TITLES NOT 6. Get it right.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on

He also edits

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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