The new defensive structure will be identical to the one Mike Shanahan implemented earlier this year for the offense, with Mike Heimerdinger serving as assistant head coach/offense and Rick Dennison serving as offensive coordinator.
Bates, who sat out last season after missing out on the Packers head coaching position, spoke with team officials on Wednesday, but declined to confirm with the media that a deal had been struck.
...Andre Patterson, who was the Broncos' defensive line/tackles coach for the past two seasons, was released on Wednesday - no word yet on who is being considered for the position.
...Local NBC affiliate KUSA is reporting that Willie Green, the man Denver Police are questioning in the Darrent Williams murder, is believed to have been in the white Chevy Tahoe when it opened fire on Williams' limousine early New Years day. The station is also reporting that Police are close to arresting two other suspects in the case, although no further details were released.
...Several Broncos players upped the ante in hopes of finding the trigger man - offering a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and filing of murder charges. This will be added to the $2,000 reward being offered by Crime Stoppers. Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867). Tipsters can remain anonymous and the phone line is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
...Don't be surprised if Shanahan makes a run at Pete Rodriguez as Special Teams coach. Rodriguez, who was fired last week by Jacksonville, is considered to be among the league's best special teams coaches.
...Gary Zimmerman is one step close to the Hall of Fame - the former offensive tackle is among seventeen finalist eligible for induction in 2007. Former runnning back Terrell Davis and linebacker Randy Gradishar made it to the top twenty-five but came up short for the final seventeen. Of the seventeen finalists, only six will chosen for this year's class.
...Interesting stat - former defensive end Trevor Pryce pulled down a career-high thirteen sacks in his first year with the Baltimore Ravens. Broncos starters Ebenezer Ekuban and Kenard Lang also pulled down thirteen sacks - combined.
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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