Schefter: Kubiak not expected to retire, to be with Broncos in 2017

Dec 26, 2016, 5:48 PM | Updated: Dec 27, 2016, 5:23 am

By this time next week the NFL will likely have several head coaching vacancies, whether forced or voluntary, but don’t expect to necessarily see one with the Denver Broncos.

Joining “The Drive” on 104.3 The Fan on Monday, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter said from what he’s been told he believes there’s no indication that Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak intends to retire this offseason and he’ll be back with the team in 2017.

“No. I just don’t,” Schefter said when asked he believed Kubiak would retire. “I’m sure people talk about that with the health issue, but, again, I’ve asked people that. And the answer I’ve gotten back was the answer I just gave you, that that’s not an issue.”

Schefter cautioned that he’s relaying information based on what he’s been told by people with knowledge on the issue and said Kubiak may think it over and come to a different conclusion, but he does expect the longtime head coach to be calling the shots for Denver in 2017.

“Now, maybe I’ll be surprised and wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. But no, I think that he will be back as the Broncos head coach next year based on what I’ve been told from various other people who often are right,” Schefter said.

The question comes on the heels of a disappointing championship defense in 2016 after a victory in Super Bowl 50 in February for the Broncos.

Heading into Week 12 coming off a bye week, Denver sat at 7-3 with a chance to control its own destiny regarding postseason play. Since then, the Broncos have gone 1-4, including two losses to the Kansas City Chiefs, one of which eliminated the team from the playoffs on Sunday.

Both after the game and in his Monday press conference, Kubiak reflected on that Week 12 game, also against the Chiefs, in which the Broncos led by 8 points late and ended up losing in overtime.

“It’s been disappointing since then, but we were in pretty good shape at one time. But that’s this league. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. I know we’ve all heard that one before,” Kubiak said. “Over the long haul, we just haven’t been good enough.”

Denver will finish the season no worse than .500, but it will be the first time since John Elway became a team executive that the Broncos have missed the playoffs.

Before Elway, Denver had been mired in a string of five mediocre seasons, finishing near .500 in each campaign since going to the AFC Championship in 2005 except for a 4-12 record in 2010.

The following season, the club hired Elway, hired head coach John Fox, drafted linebacker Von Miller at No. 2 overall and signed as a college free agent Chris Harris Jr.

They’d go 8-8 in 2011, winning the AFC West with Tim Tebow under center, before spouting off a streak of double-digit-win seasons with Peyton Manning, culminating in last year’s Super Bowl win.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.

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