Vance Joseph needs a nickname and nine victories.
Practically all of the Broncos’ head coaches have sported nicknames.
The five with the highest overall winning percentages were: John “Foxy’’ Fox (.690), Gary “Koobs’’ Kubiak (.686) Robert “Red’’ Miller (.627), Mike “Mastermind’’ Shanahan and Dan “The Unwanted Cowboy’’ Reeves (.596).
The seven lowest, not including “interim’’ coaches, were: Mac Speedie — his real full name, although both sound like nicknames — (.250), “Flingin’ Frank’’ Filchock (.268), Jack “No Nickname’’ Faulkner (.297), Lou “Half A Loaf’’ Saban (.331) and Josh “McKid’’ McDaniels (.393).
John “Dale Carnegie’’ Ralston (.507) and Harold “Wade’’ Phillips (.485) were tweeners.
Then, there’s Vance Joseph, with five victories — worst of the 13 all-time coaches — and a .312 winning percentage. Joseph must win two games to pass Speedie, five to pass Faulkner and seven to pass McHoodie. He’ll also have to coach in 13 more to surpass “Goodbye and Good riddance’’ Josh.
But that’s not a sure thing for Vance.
Does Joseph move from precipice to playoffs?
During minicamp last week Vance said he “will do better, and I can do better,” then: “What I’ve learned, I don’t know yet ...’’
Uh, and duh.
Some coaches might have listed four or 12 lessons learned from a disastrous rookie season. What we learned is that Joseph doesn’t know what he learned.
However, he did offer this self-appraisal: “When you lose that many games in a row (eight), my job is to fix it quicker. ... Hopefully, we don’t have those kind of losing streaks again, but if we do have some adversity, it’s my job to fix it quicker. ... I know I have to fix it quicker, and that’s my job.’’
What we learned three times is Joseph must be a quicker fixer-upper, and that’s his job.
So, his nickname has to be:
He should put that designation on his T-shirt.
The original Joe Fixit was a fictional character in Marvel Comics — an alias used by The Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner.
What Joe Fixit should have learned in 2017:
• The Broncos can’t lose at home to the pathetic Giants and the pitiful Bengals.
• The Broncos cannot lose two games to the Chiefs and one each to the Raiders and the Chargers, and expect to be a factor in the AFC West.
• The Broncos must not be blown out in back-to-back weeks by 28 and 25 points and by future Super Bowl adversaries — the Eagles in Philadelphia and at Mile High Stadium by the Patriots.
• The Broncos can’t be shut out by another new coach who is a former Broncos’ running back (Anthony Lynn), and beaten by two ex-Broncos’ offensive coordinators (Rick Dennison and Adam Gase) and a recent Broncos’ defensive coordinator (Jack Del Rio). And don’t plan to lose this year to the other finalist for the Broncos coaching position.
• The Broncos’ can’t have only two victories in the last three months of the season – against teams (Colts and Jets) that won seven of their other 30 combined games.
• If a punt returner fumbles once, it’s acceptable. If the rookie returner fumbles twice, four times or, heaven forbid, on a half dozen plays, he can’t be extolled, ever placed in that role again and must be exiled. Obviously, Joe Fixit did not learn from his mistake. Isaiah McKenzie is a candidate to become the returner this season. Does anyone on the team or in this country of Broncos fans trust McKenzie?
• If a player tapes a play in practice and puts it on the internet, shouldn’t said player be scolded somewhat in public by the coach rather than having the stupid trick treated like a head cold?
• If any assistant coach is not fixing his job quickly, shouldn’t he be dismissed and replaced instead of letting the ineptness persist for weeks. Hello, Brock “Oh-No’’ Olivo, Mike “Unreal’’ McCoy and Jeff Davidson.
• No fake punts.
• If you are on the sideline, don’t fold your hands in front of your chest and look clueless.
• Don’t repeat three times you will fix it. Do it.
If Vance Joseph doesn’t repair the broken Broncos quickly, he will have many nicknames, and no job.