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Published on 05/19/2008 at Mon May 19 08:04.
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Very soon there will be a new flood of information and video of our 2008 Denver Broncos… And I simply can’t wait!!!

So, as our Broncos begin their first official day back to field work, I thought I’d list off some of the things I’m interested in watching as we start seeing coverage of Denver’s OTA Days….

And let me start things off with the coaches:

Rick Dennison enters his 13th season with Denver this year. He learned his trade under The Great Alex Gibbs and for 11 years has coordinated our O-line. But starting last year Dennison began assisting with the OC. This year Dennison will have much more to think about. He is our stand-in for Offensive Coordinator this year (with Mike Shanahan really calling the shots), and his work load will be even heavier. So, this begs the question will Shanahan have Dennison spending his time coaching our revamped O-line which will include rookie Ryan Clady, or will Shanahan have Dennison splitting time with both our O-line and the leg work of an OC? I look forward to seeing how hands-on Dennison is in these early camps along the line.

So, Pat McPherson does a superb job of making a good Jake Plummer look great (until, of course, his playoff meltdown). He also helps Cutler transition into the starting job. However, last year McPherson was moved over to coach TE’s. Jeremy Bates joined the Broncos last season and learned our system under Dennison. It’s hard to tell, but it appears he split time with both the O-line and the QBs (having been a QB coach for the Jets in 2005).

Now, unless someone can fill me in with better info, it doesn’t seem like we had a seasoned QB coach devoted to Cutler like McPherson was to Plummer or Kubiak was to Elway and Griese.

Am I going out on a limb to ask if this had something to do with no one catching on to Cutler’s physical condition last year?

I’m trying to think about what Kubiak would have done if he witnessed Elway, Griese or Plummer drop that much weight during the end of a season. And beyond that, I can’t imagine Kubiak not noticing his QB’s overall mental drain and/or fatigue that Cutler described in recent interviews. I know I’m comparing our coaching staff to a top flight QB coach and OC (and now Head Coach), but I’m a bit concerned that no one was directly assigned to coach such an important element of our team.

If Shanahan thought he would just fill that role himself last year, he has really gone off his rocker. He needs to call his son and re-learn something about quarterbacks and their personal coaching needs.

This year Young Bates has been named Wide Receivers/Quarterbacks Coach. Will this allow him to exclusively work with Cutler? Does he have the experience (either player or coaching) to provide Cutler with what he needs? Why was McPherson not tapped to take on this role (our winning percentage was pretty darn good the years Jake was under center)?

These first OTA Days might give us a clue. We’ll be watching…

Former Broncos WR Steve Watson is entering his 7th season as a Broncos coach. Most of that time he’s been working with the wideouts. But this year’s he’s been named Associate Head Coach…. What the heck is that? ‘associate’? In my field we’ve just retitled our location management operations chart. We did this to further define the difference between a top-level assistant manager from a lower level manager. The bottom tier managers are called ‘associate managers’. So, what will Steve Watson being doing in his new position you ask? According to the Denver Broncos official webstite “he will work closely with Head Coach Mike Shanahan.” Wow… thanks for all that insight! (man, we miss Andrew Mason)

Bobby Turner is entering his 13th season as the Denver Broncos’ running backs coach. Turner, who entered the NFL’s coaching ranks when he joined Denver’s staff in 1995, also worked for 20 years as a college assistant and has 35 combined years of coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels. In other words… He’s THE MAN!

What magic will he work this year? What new talent will he dig up? All that drama starts today!

So, Bob Slowik is a DC again. After spending three seasons coaching our DB’s, and 2007 assisting Jim Bates as the DC, he now will be running the show. He has a crap-load of experience (29 years of coaching – 16 seasons coaching NFL). He has has worked as an NFL Defensive Coordinator for Green Bay (2004), Cleveland (1999) and Chicago (1993-98) before coming to Denver to coach our backs.

So, how will he do in his new/old position? We’ll get our first good look this week as we see what he’s working on with the guys out on the field. We’ll also get to hear from the players, so listen up for anything they might drop in interviews this week.

Scott O’Brien is still our ST Coach… You all know I wanted his head on a platter beside Jim Bates, but we all have our burdens to bear and this one’s mine. He does bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table including 17 seasons in the NFL (14 coaching ST). He will be partnered with one of my favorite former players, Keith Burns, again this year. Keith was a great ST player and I think he can bring a level of excitement to the field, that we sorely need.

So, my hope here is to have O’Brien prove me wrong. I hope O’Brien can create an awesome returner in Royal and improve our kick-off/punt return coverage quite a bit. If not, it’s going to be a very long year filled with many angry posts about special teams… and no one wants that, right? :)

Well that covers some of the coaching issue, concerns or questions I have right now. I can’t wait to see what you all have to say! Chime in and let me know what you think of our new and/or old coaches!

  • inrodwetrust

    I feel the most important issue we have with our coaches is consistency. We have been playing musical coordinators of late, and our team will pay the price till the music stops. There does however seem to be plenty of potential for this year. Bates sounds like he has some innovative ways to get the ball to the playmakers. O’Brien has some new young talent to work with, as opposed to last year when we didnt have the depth of position special teams needs (hence Champ playing on ST) to be succesful. Speaking of Champ “To tell the truth, I think this is a year too late,” Bailey said at the Pro Bowl. “Nothing against (Jim) Bates, but Slowik is the right fit for this defense.” Considering the addition of Boss and others in the front 7 we may have nucleated the chemestry on defence we’ve missed since Al Wilson got the business end. As well our run game under Turner could become league leading once again, given some time, with our revamped and healthy O-line, All aboard……Torain train.

  • Kyle

    Loved all your comments. It’s too bad Marshall won’t be there to get a feel for the Jeremy Bates passing scheme. Having Cutler and BMarsh together learning would have been much better.

  • azbronco7

    nice post jonathan. I think jeremy bates is the passing coordinator, right, so basically the QB coach?

    and where the hell is everybody?

  • Kyle

    I was wondering the same thing myself actually az… lol…