Englewood, Co -Tuesday, new Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison addressed Denver media at team headquarters at Dove Valley, promising to expedite a paradigm shift from the old regime.
To start things off, Dennison, a native of Kalispell, MT, and a graduate of Colorado State University, as well as a former player (1982-1990), and assistant (1995-2009) with the Broncos, said he was excited to come back to Colorado and was honored that the team has afforded him this privilege. In regard to the current state of the Broncos offense.
“We're just trying to get everything settled. We're still figuring out the staff.”
In his past, while working under Kubiak, Dennison has been a master of the zone blocking scheme and in eschewing the ways of one-time Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, he said that he will do his best with what the Broncos primarily excel at.
“We'll go and do what we do best based on personnel and we're really just scratching the surface about looking at personnel and what we have."
Once the roster has been built and the cupboard fully stocked, Dennison will shape the offense around them, saying "We'll figure out what we do, run and pass.”
He also cited his experiences in coaching in this past season's Pro Bowl as part of the Baltimore Ravens 2014 staff, acknowledging the Broncos participants in the game and saying that there's a lot of talent on the roster.
In speaking of the Broncos expectations, Dennison opined “I know what the expectations are and I'm excited about the expectations.”
As is customary, he spoke highly of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen (who turns 71 on February 18th), saying Bowlen “set this thing, got this thing started back in (19)'84 and John's (Elway) done a great job and I've worked with (head coach) Gary Kubiak for a long time.”
Thus, if nothing else, continuity and trust should not be problems for the Broncos, while last season, it was easy to suggest that these were not team staples, notwithstanding the talent on the roster.
When asked if the Broncos can overcome the areas wherein they fell short in the John Fox era, Dennison vowed that the squad will have confidence and accountability, confirming that “all I know is when we (the Broncos) go into the game, they'll have confidence, they'll know what they're supposed to do.”
When asked about quarterback Peyton Manning's status to return for the 2015 season, Dennison replied by stating, “He (Manning) deserves to take his time and figure out what he wants to do.”
When asked if he's operating under the premise that Manning will return, he said he's not proceeding with any assumptions. However, he did confirm “I just called him up, said hello, introduced myself, told them, if they were around, just to come in and say Hi.”
It may have been cliché, but when asked whether the Broncos measure themselves against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, he called such an idea counter-productive, saying “We're trying to win each week at a time,” also confirming that “you don't try to measure yourself to win the last one.”
Dennison also said that his kids are fans of “whichever team we're on,” but confirming “there's always been a tie in Denver,” citing that his relatives are in town (Denver), “but certainly you pull for the team you're coaching for.”
Dennison is champing at the bit to get started, but he and his staff are in offense-interruptus, until Manning makes his decision, whether it's to return to the Broncos, or retire. The difference between the two options couldn't be more polarizing for a coach looking to plan his offense.
Does he build around a 5-time MVP, who has his own habits and ways of doing things, or start from scratch and rebuild around an unknown quantity in Brock Osweiler, who has never started a NFL game? Dennison might say he wants Manning to take his time deciding, but with the free agency and the draft soon approaching, the proverbial clock is ticking.
The Broncos need clarity at quarterback, but until Manning makes his decision, Dennison and the team are stuck in limbo.