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Published on 01/26/2011 at Wed Jan 26 15:59.
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New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen talks with safety Usama Young (28) during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints defeated the Seahawks 34-19. (Photo: Derick E. Hingle)

New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen talks with safety Usama Young (28) during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints defeated the Seahawks 34-19. (Photo: Derick E. Hingle)

Six years. Six different defensive coordinators.

Zero playoff appearances.

Dennis Allen has accepted the most dangerous coaching job in the NFL: Denver Broncos defensive coordinator.

Larry Coyer, Jim Bates, Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan, and Wink Martindale didn’t get another year to fix their mistakes. For one reason or another (Coyer was fired after several years as DC; Nolan left; the rest were one-and-done), the position of Broncos D.C. is more fluid and unpredictable than a Tim Tebow red zone scramble.

And the Broncos’ defense has gone from bad to worse.

That is why it is absolutely imperative the Broncos do everything in their power to retain Allen in 2012. Hiring a new defensive coordinator every year isn’t just shooting themselves in the foot; it’s shooting themselves in the face. 

Surely John Elway and John Fox feel the same way. Surely they feel they “got their guy,” short-term and long — but when have the Broncos not felt that way at this point in the offseason? Not once in those five prior instances did the Broncos expect to be hiring another defensive coordinator in twelve months’ time. So why should we expect the hiring of Allen to be any different?

The Broncos’ best bet is head coach John Fox himself. Fox has the patience, smarts, and defensive background to stick with a plan for the long haul, even if it isn’t paying immediate dividends.

Taking a look at Fox’s track record with defensive coordinators confirms this. In his nine-year tenure with the Panthers, Fox hired three defensive coordinators: Jack Del Rio (one season), Mike Trgovac (six seasons), and Ron Meeks (two seasons).

More importantly, he’s never fired a single one.

Del Rio had such success he left to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars after he and Fox’s first year.  Trgovac mysteriously left of his own accord, part of an assistant Panthers coach exodus in 2008. According to reports, every Panthers assistant who left that year was not under contract in 2009 — it’s possible Trgovac’s decision had everything to do with ownership and little to do with Fox. Finally, Fox’s last D.C. hire in Charlotte, Meeks, maintained enough clout with the team and players to remain on staff as secondary coach, with Sean McDermott taking over as defensive coordinator. Not a bad hire out of the bunch.

Furthermore, his hires of Ron Milus as secondary coach and Richard Smith as linebackers coach will only fortify the likelihood Allen remains in 2012. These are experienced assistants who know Fox and know the Broncos. Allen is set up for success.

Simply put, John Fox isn’t going to let the Broncos go through a seventh defensive coordinator in seven years.

Unless, of course, he and Allen produce the type of one-year defensive turnaround that lands Allen a head coaching job next year. Knock on wood.

  • Richard

    Lets hope he does! http://sports-glory.com

  • areferee

    There is an air of stability that has swept over the Broncos starting with the installation of John Elway, that has continued with the hiring of John Fox.

    There may be some that are not excited by Fox's record, but stability must come first, along with a re-installation of an Orange Crush defense.

    Fox is known as an orchestra leader that lets his coaches coach. Therein lies the youth and excitement. We may not reach the Big One next year, but it's going to be much better than the last two years. You can just feel it.

    Pride has returned to Bronco Land.

  • dogheadbrew

    It seems to me that the DC woes we have had, are more a symptom of the systemic issues the Broncos have had over the last decade. A Megalomaniac coach gives way to a neophyte, both of whom have a predilection toward offense. Not that an offensive minded Head Coach can not have a robust defense, but a head coaches job is truly more about coordinator and coach management, leadership and politics. John Fox has all three of those qualities in more supply than either of our last two leaders. Shanny had them, but he spent them, and McD will probably get them, but he does not know exactly what they are yet.

    Furthermore, Mr. Elway has proven football leadership and business management acumen, and I would suspect he has learned some politic.

    All of this bodes well for a DC, who may not have a top 15 D in his first season, but will definitely not be blamed for starting with a bottom 3 D.

  • areferee

    You got it Dog!

    You must be a carpenter. You hit the nail on the head.

  • dogheadbrew

    It seems to me that the DC woes we have had, are more a symptom of the systemic issues the Broncos have had over the last decade. A Megalomaniac coach gives way to a neophyte, both of whom have a predilection toward offense. Not that an offensive minded Head Coach can not have a robust defense, but a head coaches job is truly more about coordinator and coach management, leadership and politics. John Fox has all three of those qualities in more supply than either of our last two leaders. Shanny had them, but he spent them, and McD will probably get them, but he does not know exactly what they are yet.

    Furthermore, Mr. Elway has proven football leadership and business management acumen, and I would suspect he has learned some politic.

    All of this bodes well for a DC, who may not have a top 15 D in his first season, but will definitely not be blamed for starting with a bottom 3 D.

  • areferee

    You got it Dog!

    You must be a carpenter. You hit the nail on the head.

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