The Issue at Hand
Obviously the search to replace Head Coach Mike Shanahan is a difficult one for the Broncos organization in part because it has become one of the more solid organizations in all of sports. Owner and CEO Mr. Pat Bowlen has always been willing to do what it takes to help the Denver Broncos be the most competitive team in the NFL.
Mr. Bowlen has done everything from signing high priced talent and pulling off trades to changing the Broncos uniforms and logo to create more revenue for the club. As controversial as some of the moves may have been at the time, the desire to be the best cannot be questioned.
Say what you will about some of the talent that has underachieved and the jerseys that were viewed in the vein of a CFL team at the time of their introduction. The fact is the Broncos still have good talent in a down year and the jerseys have influenced not just the NFL, but college, high school, and Pop Warner football everywhere. The fact is the Broncos have been trend setters and should continue down that road.
How to Move Forward
The Broncos Organization has stated they would like to retain the likes of at least six coaches most of them are currently on offense. This would help to retain some of the stability on offense while allowing a new approach to be implemented on defense and special teams.
Herein lies the personal appeal, it’s on the record that I have put my name out there as someone who should be interviewed. Now is your chance to hear me out publicly and deduce if this is a good plan or not.
On the business side, I will take less than the vast majority of coaches being pursued. What is unique is that I will directly use that as an internal competitive advantage to have the right coaches leading this team.
Moreover, having been in the business sector as a manager and technical person over the years, I would be the least expensive “administrator” coach that is out there. I would not expect anything more than to be the coach and to collaborate on acquiring talent with other coaches and other team executives as needed.
As the head coach I would have input on both sides of the ball and special teams. At this stage, all you need to know is that I understand the game and business of football very well. I have an intimate knowledge of offense, defense, and special teams. Suffice it to say I will have input but I am not the beginning or the end when trying to work out play calls and other team issues.
I will absolutely trust my coaches as coaches and expect the best out of them as we in turn will expect the best out of the team. This team was good and even brilliant at times this last season, but the message of consistency will be brought home.
I’ve played for really good coaches and really bad coaches. I will emphasize good coaching across the board. At the end of the day I will make the appeal to the team to be what they are capable of being. For coaches and players this means becoming stronger at adapting on the fly.
There is a balance to coaching, there are times when you have to work hard and there are times when you have to step back. This team understands that to a point. One thing that will not be tolerated are players or coaches who take their positions for granted and thereby disrespect the organization through a lack of effort or embarrassing public actions.
This is not to say we will not celebrate achievement, because we will, but we will be a team that has character as the standard has already been set internally by six AFC Championships and two Super Bowl titles. That is the standard.
I don’t really want to evaluate coaches publicly that are already working for the organization, I think the best thing to say at this point is that for the most part the coaches would stay, but a couple could be moved (internally) to help the growth of the team.
At the end of the day there will be new coaches coming on board and they need to be accepted in full. So, on offense here is my bold plan based on my being hired as the head coach. Yes I realize at this point I’m still an unknown, but I hope to stabilize the doubters out there.
Each of the current coaches will be evaluated on what they currently bring to the organization and what they can do in the future. Besides myself, I make an appeal to Mr. Bowlen and the Broncos organization to be open to a new quarterbacks coach and at least one more offensive minded coach.
I most specifically have Loren Snider and TJ Rubley in mind as additional offensive minded coaches. Both of these coaches had stellar college careers and played in the NFL at the quarterback position and they have coached quarterbacks and other positions as well. They should be brought on board and currently have ties to Denver Metro. The greatest strength they posses are knowledge and techniques of the quarterback position. I believe they could elevate Jay Cutler’s game to a Hall of Fame caliber career.
Admittedly there is a bit of a log jam on the offensive side of the ball. There could be some possible ways around this. I think Rick Dennison, Jim Ryan, and Bobby Turner could become solid front office talent and may be worthy of promotions. If all of these coaches are not seen as a possible GM I do see those becoming assistant head coaches at some point.
I somewhat understand the dynamic in play with Jeremy Bates and Jay Cutler and would be open to ideas on how to keep that relationship within the organization. I do however have no doubt that they would both benefit from what I am currently proposing. While there will be one coordinator, I think this group would have a great deal of collaboration on what needs to happen on the offensive side of the ball.
Offensively the Broncos are already among the best in the league, the challenge is to be the best. I think this group can do that.
I would most want to interview Steve Spagnuolo, Romeo Crannell, Brian Billick, Leslie Frasier, Raheem Morris, and Jim Ryan for the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach position. I would want to bring on Alfred Williams and Louis Wright as defensive assistants. There are others that should be interviewed and discussed on the defensive side of the ball to be assistants, some of that depends on the coordinator so some of this is still open for discussion.
On Special Teams
I like the idea of keeping Keith Burns around and having this area be shored up with additional assistants who can solidify all angles of special teams.
Strength and Conditioning
Coach Rich Tuten has been the strength and conditioning coach since coach Shanahan took over in Denver. He is a solid coach and should stay. I would like to have two or three more additional assistance in this area to emphasize the direction of the Broncos becoming a more physical football team.
Front Office, Scouting, and the Draft
The only goal at the coaching level is to collaborate and communicate talent needs as evaluated by the staff.
Returning to the Super Bowl
The Denver Broncos can return to the Super Bowl as early as next season, it may take two seasons, but I don’t think there is a better coaching plan or goal out there. My great appeal to Mr. Bowlen and the front office of the Denver Broncos is to keep much of the current talent keeping many of the staff selections in the family and interview me. While I understand I’m an unknown candidate if you really look at this plan it just makes sense.