Denver Broncos News: Coaching Staff Additions

Coach Josh McDaniels made several additions this week to the coaching staff.

I previously talked about Mike Nolan being added to the staff as Defensive Coordinator and the retention of Bobby Turner and Rick Dennison at running backs coach and offensive line coach.

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Denver Broncos News: Dennison and Turner staying

Newly appointed Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels has chosen to retain two of the assistant coaches who served under Mike Shanahan.

Former Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison will be retained and likely will man the role of the offensive line coach.  Dennison has been solid throughout his tenure with Denver and was with coach Shanahan for 14 years.  The offensive line has flourished under Dennison during his time with the Broncos.

Also being retained is long-time running backs coach Bobby Turner.  Turner has been an instrumental part to Denver’s running attack over the years, churning out 1,000 yard rusher just about every season.  This past year with the injury bug decimating the Denver running game, Turner took just about any back he had to work with and had them as prepared as they could have been to play.

I am excited for these 2 choices by the new head coach, specifically Turner.  Turner has just been a staple with Denver over the years and was a must hire in my opinion.  The combination of Turner and Dennison are proven to work well for the team, the major question I have now is what will happen to Jeremy Bates.  It was also announced that wide receiver coach Jedd Fisch will not be rehired for the upcoming season, more to come on rumored candidates as I hear about them.

Denver Broncos News: The New Coaching Staff

Well, not entirely…but the main pieces.  This past Monday it was announced that the successor to the great Mike Shanahan will be none other than the promising and youthful Josh McDaniels.  Coach McDaniels was most recently the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots and thought by many to be the next rising star to come from under the Bill Belichick umbrella of coaches in the league.  McDaniels knows the offensive side of the ball and will likely employ (by his own admission) a New England style offense which will probably use the spread and a form of zone blocking.  In terms of offense, we have the people to make that dangerous for opposing defenses.

On the other side of the ball it was announced yesterday (and this is why I waited to post about McDaniels really) that former San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan will be taking over as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator.  Nolan was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens, Jets, Redskins and Giants before he took over as head coach of the 49ers.  He was also a Denver Bronco previously, serving as the special teams and linebacker coach from 1987 – 1992 under Dan Reeves.  Coach Nolan historically runs the 3 – 4 defense which will make for an interesting off season here as the Broncos simply don’t have the players right now to effectively run it.

The rest of the staff has yet to be determined, more on that when it is available.  One other position that was confirmed is that of General Manager.  That role will be filled by the existing Jim GoodmanGoodman has done a nice job along with his brother Jeff Goodman and assistant GM Brian Xanders in the draft over the last couple years but will need to step it up this year to help the team out.  A solid draft and free agency period will be crucial to any sort of success for this squad who now will be shifting their defensive schemes.

Overall I am slightly disappointed that they did not go with a defensive-minded head coach but happy with their choices overall if that makes sense.  I am thrilled about Nolan however.  A popular rumor is that Dom Capers will follow Coach McDaniels to Denver to help out the defense which would make for a fantastic one-two punch with Nolan.  I am excited for the new Broncos and hopeful for next year to see what we have.

Denver Broncos News: Casey Wiegmann makes the Pro Bowl

It was announced today that due to a torn triceps, Titans Center Kevin Mawae will not participate in the Pro Bowl making the 1st alternate Casey Wiegmann (Iowa Hawkeye…w00t!) the man.  This makes for 3 Denver Broncos in the Pro Bowl this year with Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler being the others.  It is a bittersweet victory for the team given the season but much deserved for Wiegmann.

The Broncos allowed only 12 sacks all season, tied for the league best and in large part to the place of Weigmann.  He was a free agency pickup from the Chiefs in the off season and with Tom Nalen going down due to injury, Casey stepped in seamlessly and led what might have been Denver’s dominant bright spot for the season and the future. This is his 13th year in the league, first with Denver, and he has started 127 games in a row which is the longest active streak for a Center in the league.

Congrats Casey, you deserved this!

Shannon Sharpe a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting

An all-time favorite of mine, Shannon Sharpe, is a finalist in Hall of Fame voting.  This is his first year of eligibility and I personally think he is a lock to get in eventually and possibly even now.

Sharpe destroyed most of the records and redefined the tight end position.  He was a true competitor and was successful wherever he ended up it seems.  2 Super Bowls in Denver and 1 in Baltimore cap off an amazing career including 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns.

There is quite a list this year to get into the Hall of Fame, which may be the major hurdle for Sharpe.  I will be happy when he is in, Tony Gonzalez broke his records for receptions, yards and touchdowns for a tight end but before him it was not even close.

I will be following this one closely, we need more Orange and Blue in Canton!

My 2008 predictions, and the actual results

Now that the season is over, I thought I would go back and review my predictions and see how I did.  It was an interesting season for sure with many bright spots and many very low spots which I will talk about in my 2008 in review blog later.

Here is what I predicted along with the actual results for the Denver Broncos 2008 season.

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