Englewood, Colo -- The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with three coaching assistants today -- offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, linebackers coach Reggie Herring and offensive line coach Clancy Barrone.
Dennison was priority No. 1. He has spent 15 years of his coaching career with the Broncos and spent 4 with Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans as offensive coordinator. His most recent job was with Kubiak in Baltimore as the quarterbacks coach.
Via the team’s press release.
”Dennison is a 20-year NFL coaching veteran with 15 years of experience with the Broncos, including three seasons (2006-08) as Denver’s offensive coordinator.
A linebacker for the Broncos from 1982-90, Dennison began his coaching tenure with the club in 1995 and held various roles with the team, including offensive assistant (1995-96), special teams coordinator (1997-2000) and offensive line coach (2001-05, ’09) in addition to his three years as offensive coordinator.
Dennison spent four years (2010-13) as Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s offensive coordinator in Houston before being hired in Baltimore last season to coach the team’s quarterbacks."
It will be interesting to see how Kubiak and Dennison’s philosophy meshes with Peyton Manning’s – assuming he returns to the team in 2015, which reports indicate he will, pending a physical. One thing is certain – under Dennison, the Broncos will strive to forge a strong identity on the ground.
And it’s a formula that has worked; particularly for the 1997 and 1998 Broncos, who went on to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
Barrone switches over from being the tight ends coach to the offensive line. I’ve heard from some fans via social media that if Barrone couldn’t get Julius Thomas to block, what makes Kubiak think he’ll be effective as the O-line coach? For such doubters, I submit to you Virgil Green, who was dominant at times blocking and is athletic enough to be an effective pass-catcher.
As for Herring, he has an extensive history of getting great individual performances out of his unit, as well as great collective execution.
Via the team’s press release.
"Herring, a 34-year coaching veteran with nine seasons of experience in the NFL ranks, previously coached linebackers with Houston (2002-03, ’11-13), Dallas (2008-10) and Chicago (2014).
Before instructing linebackers with the Bears in 2014, Herring coached the unit under Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak in Houston from 2011-13.
In 2011, Herring’s linebacker group accounted for 27 of the team’s 44 sacks as the Texans ranked second in the NFL in total defense (285.7 ypg). Linebacker Brian Cushing earned second-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press in 2011, and Connor Barwin transitioned from defensive end to outside linebacker and finished third in the AFC with 11.5 sacks.
Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware played outside linebacker under Herring from 2008-10 with the Cowboys and ranked first in the NFL with 46.5 sacks during that span. Ware led the NFL in sacks twice (2008, ’10) under Herring, including a career-best 20 quarterback takedowns in 2008."
Fans should be excited about this hire. The further the Broncos get in solidifying their coaching tree under Kubiak, the more it feels like the defense will transition from a 4-3 base scheme, to a 3-4.
Former linebackers coach, Richard Smith, is likely headed to Atlanta. It’ll be good to get some new blood, with a fresh outlook and intensity, working with this group.
Earlier in the week, the Broncos signed Joe DeCamillis to be special teams coordinator and Bill Kollar as defensive line coach. They still haven't found their defensive coordinator, although the Broncos have been in talks with both Vance Joseph and Wade Phillips.