Posted Fri Jan 23rd by Jonathan Douglas
So, new Denver Broncos Head Coach, Josh McDaniels, has put together much of his core assistant coach staff. He’s hired from within, hired from our rivals and even hired a former head coach. Let’s take a look at the coaching team McDaniels has assembled…
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mike Nolan
A former Bronco LB coach that Dan Reeve’s brought in (1987-92). After that he worked as a defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. Most recently he failed to impress as the HC of the 49ers (having his best season at 7-9 and finishing 3rd in his Division). He’s a 3-4 guy, so chances are that’s where we’re heading this year.
QUESTIONS: Will the failed Head Coach work well with the up-and-coming 32 year old McDaniels? If he was really THAT good, why couldn’t he put it together as HC in San Fran? Can we acquire all the pieces we would need in order for Nolan to take us into a 3-4 defensive for the 2009 season, or will he have to wait and slowly convert?
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR (Quarterbacks): Mike McCoy
McCoy also has Broncos experience – he was drafted out of University of Utah by Denver in 1995. After his playing days, he spent the last nine coaching with the Caroline Panthers. His claim to fame has been his work with Jake Delhomme.
QUESTIONS: How much of the offense is Mike going to run… I mean our 32 year old head coach is the offensive guru and awesome QB coach isn’t he? So, what does that leave McCoy? It will be interesting to see who’s calling plays on gameday.
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR: Mike Priefer
KC’s old ST coordinator is now our ST coordinator. Yes, yes he worked with Dante Hall, but I could care less about returners. I want somebody that can COVER kickoffs and punts. If Priefer can do that I’ll be happy as a clam.
QUESTIONS: Sure, Eddie Royal is drooling over the idea of getting to work with the guy that helped Hall become feared throughout the league, but can he fix Denver’s broken kick/pun COVERAGE units?
SECONDARY COACH: Ed Donatell
He began his NFL coaching career with the New York Jets in 1990 he joined Mike Shanahan in Denver as our Backs coach in 1995 and helped the team win back-to-back Super Bowls. For those of you that barely remember this fact, our secondary was ranked DEAD LAST in the NFL in 1994. And thanks in large part to Donatell, he kept us in the top 10 all five years he was in Denver. In the last 13 years he has coached 12 players who have earned Pro Bowl recognition.
QUESTIONS: What do you get when you match a very good position coach with an uber talent like Champ Bailey? Hopefully, very good things! :)
LINEBACKERS COACH: Don Martindale
Don has 23 years of coaching experience on the defensive side of the ball. His last five years have been with Oakland where his linebackers have excelled. His unit finishing first in the league in interceptions in 2007 and in 2006 he helped the Raiders finish first in the NFL in pass defense and third in the league in total defense. Despite these accolades, he still looks a bit like an angry Philip Seymour Hoffman to me… ok, that’s off topic. :)
QUESTIONS: We seem to have some good position guys, but they’re all new and I wonder if it will take a year for all the new coaches to gel with each other?
DEFENSIVE LINE COACH: Wayne Nunnely
I think we can agree that San Diego’s D-line was strong. Now we’ve stolen their position coach. Which might result in two positives: We get better & SD gets worse.
QUESTIONS: Although Nunnely coached a 4-3 system, it was over 7 years ago. The last six seasons he’s been running a 3-4 system. Again, the question is whether or now we can get the personnel necessary to make that work this year.
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH: Rick Dennison
Hurrah! Dennison stayed in town! I’ll saying it again for Bobby Turner, but these two guys staying in Denver speaks volumes for incoming HC McDaniels judgment. It also points to us keeping our zone blocking scheme.
QUESTIONS: Can Rick and Bobby make the transition from Shanahan to McDaniels? Will there be any tension since Dennison wanted the HC job as well?
RUNNING BACK COACH: Bobby Turner
Double Hurrah! Bobby Turner is a RB guru and it’s comforting to know he’s going to be helping the team through this coaching transition.
QUESTIONS: um… I got none. Bobby’s the best. period.
RECEIVERS COACH: Adam Gase
He’s been a QB coach for under Mike Martz… He also seems to have been on the same Michigan State coaching staff with McDaniel. I’m not sure how this makes Gase the best choice for a star wideout program, but I guess we’ll see.
QUESTIONS: Why him? Wasn’t there someone else out there that could lead Marshall and Royal along their development? And where in all this is Rod Smith? Will he be involved in the post-Shanahan era team?
TIGHT ENDS COACH: Clancy Barone
With experience that includes Pro Bowlers Alge Crumpler and Antonio Gates, I think this was a solid position coaching pick. This is another steal from the Chargers, so let’s hope it’s a double win (helps us, hurts them).
QUESTIONS: Scheffler will obviously benefit from his move. What about Graham? And with Shanahan gone, will that be the end of Nate Jackson’s career in Denver?
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH: Rich Tuten
Up until last year, I would be ‘hurrah’-ing this former Broncos coach as well as Dennison and Turner, but I have to be honest about last year… We had players go down all over the place. Now, I’m not BLAMING Tuten. I’ve always considered him ‘The Man’ when it comes to strength training. But on the CONDITIONING side, I think there remain some questions.
QUESTIONS: What can we do to avoid the string of injuries we suffered last year? Were they ALL random freak accidents, or do we need to do something differently during our ‘conditioning’ period?
Over all, I’m very happy with McDaniels’ choices. They all seem strong and have good backgrounds with success at their positions. I’m looking forward to our OTA’s and before that our Draft.
Now it’s time for you all to speak up! Give us your run down on which assistant coaches you like and which ones you disagree with. What positions will be better coached this year? And where could we use some additional help? Let’s hear it BroncoNation!