On Thursday, Denver addressed that vacancy by promoting from within, announcing that quarterbacks coach Adam Gase has been promoted to offensive coordinator.
The move is not flashy and doesn't excite Denver's fan base like the could-have-been hirings of Tom Moore or Ken Whisenhunt (who signed with the San Diego Chargers) would have, but if gives the offense a sense of continuity and allows the team to move forward without changing terminology.
And Gase, unbeknown to many fans, is a smart up-and-coming coach that comes from a strong line of coaching trees (having worked under Steve Mariucci and Rod Marinelli in Detroit, Nick Saban at Louisiana State and John Fox, Mike McCoy and Jack Del Rio in Denver). With plans to make Denver's offense faster paced moving forward, Gase should be a perfect fit in Denver.
“Adam was an integral part of the success we had offensively this season and was heavily involved in all aspects of our game plan, both during the week and on game day,” head coach John Fox said in a press release sent out via email by the team's PR staff on Thursday morning. “Maintaining that continuity with our offense was very important in this decision. While we did speak with several qualified candidates, it became clear that Adam was the best fit to be our offensive coordinator.
In 2011, Gase coached quarterback Tim Tebow as he helped the Broncos go on a six-game winning streak and earn a playoff berth, winning the AFC West. In 2012, Gase coached quarterback Peyton Manning during Peyton's franchise record-breaking season.
As a quarterbacks coach, Gase also coached Jon Kitna in Detroit during some of Kitna's most successful statistical seasons (2005-07). During his time as a wide receiver coach with the Broncos, Gase coached wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Brandon Lloyd, helping bother receivers earn Pro Bowl selections.
Now, with full control of the offense, Gase wants to put the pedal to the metal in Denver.
“Philosophy-wise, (I will be) putting our players in the best position to succeed," Gase said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday afternoon (we obtained a transcript of the interview courtesy of the Broncos' PR staff). "Our offense is really looking to dictate what the defense does and not react to what they’re doing. The pace of the game, we’re looking to play as fast as possible and put Peyton Manning in a position to play as fast as he can play.”
Gase will now be responsible for calling plays in Denver, something he thinks will run smoothly thanks to Peyton's knack for checking out of untimely called plays.
“I absolutely think I’m ready and I’m not nervous about calling plays," said Gase. "You have one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time as your quarterback—I’m excited. I’m thrilled to be able to have that opportunity. We’re looking to go pedal to the metal and play as fast as possible and be aggressive and score as many points as possible every game.”
"It’s the best situation possible for a guy calling plays. If you call something and it’s not good, he fixes it and puts you in a better play. That’s what he does that’s so great that I don’t think people admire enough. That’s why you don’t see a lot of bad plays with him.”
The Broncos will now seek to fill Gase's former position—quarterbacks coach.
“We’ll bring somebody in. We’ll talk to some guys. Coach Fox, John Elway and myself, we’ll talk to some guys and figure out who the best fit for us is.”
Gase, at age 35, is one year younger than his quarterback, Peyton Manning. With eight years of professional coaching experience, Gase may be a young coordinator, but he has the experience necessary to succeed in Denver.