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Struggling Broncos fire head coach McDaniels

DENVER (Reuters) - The Denver Broncos fired head coach Josh McDaniels on Monday after the team fell to 3-9 this season, making him the NFL's third coaching casualty over the past month.

McDaniels was shown the door a day after the Broncos lost their third consecutive game, a 10-6 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly. I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement.

"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."

The Broncos, who play the Arizona Cardinals next week, said running backs coach Eric Studesville would serve as interim head coach for the team's remaining four games of the season.

McDaniels, who was hired in January 2009, is the third NFL coach to get fired this year. The Dallas Cowboys fired Wade Phillips in early November and the Minnesota Vikings fired Brad Childress two weeks later.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)