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Broncos offensive staff a perfect contrast of the head coach

Zac Stevens Avatar
January 19, 2017

 

For the lack of head coaching experience that Vance Joseph has, the rest of the Denver Broncos staff makes up for it. After general manager John Elway hired a first-time head coach, he spoke about how experience wasn’t everything. Then, he and Joseph proceeded to put together a staff full of it, specifically on the offensive side of the ball.

While the coaching staff isn’t yet finalized, as of Thursday the key pieces were in place. Outside of Joseph, one the offensive side of the ball, ample experience was a constant that ran through the new staff.

At the end of Joseph’s first full day on the job, coaching changes swept across the organization. After a subpar offensive year, most of the changes occurred on that side of the ball, along with special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis jetting for the Jacksonville Jaguars on his own terms.

Fittingly, the first order of business after hiring Joseph was to find the person to lead the offense. It took the Broncos less than a day to do so, interviewing their man, Mike McCoy, minutes after Joseph’s introductory press conference.

“Mike is an experienced play-caller who can build a system around our players,” Joseph said. “Mike will bring energy and creativity to our offense, and we’re excited to welcome him back to Denver.”

Not only was the first statement out of Joseph’s mouth about experience when talking about the hire of McCoy, but it was also about bringing him back to Denver. McCoy, entering his second offensive coordinating stint with the Broncos, is actually the least experienced coach the Broncos have hired on the offensive side of the ball. His 17 years of coaching experience falls short to new quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave (20 years), offensive line coach Jeff Davidson (22 years) and assistant offensive line coach John Benton (30 years).

The sheer number of years aren’t the impressive part about these new coaches, either. It’s the type of experience that they have that really jumps out. Of these four hires on the offensive side of the ball, three of them took lesser titles than what they had on other teams just last season.

While he will be leading the offense for the Broncos, McCoy was leading the entire San Diego Chargers team last year as their head coach. Although he was fired at the end of the year, it wasn’t because of his offensive output. The Chargers’ offense finished in the top 10 of the NFL in three of his four years, averaging 365.9 yards per game over that time.

Working under McCoy will be another coach that was in the division just last season, Bill Musgrave. Along with McCoy, Musgrave took a lesser position to be on Denver’s staff as he was the Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator last year and will be the Broncos quarterbacks coach this season.

In his last three seasons, Musgrave has led his quarterbacks to impressive seasons. This past season he helped MVP candidate Derek Carr finish in the top 10 in passing and throw for 28 touchdowns to only six interceptions. In 2014, as the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach, Musgrave could have had his most impressive season, finishing sixth in the league in passing while starting Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez each for eight games.

The only new offensive coach among this group of four to not take a lesser role on this staff is offensive line coach Davidson. Davidson, who was McCoy’s offensive line coach in San Diego last season, was also the offensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2011-15 and was a part of Adrian Peterson’s MVP 2,000-yard rushing campaign in 2012.

Finally, Davison’s new assistant, Benton, will also take a lesser role on this staff as he was Jacksonville’s offensive line coach last year. Benton’s 30 years of coaching experience are the most among the new hires, and he has been an offensive line coach since 2004.

Not that experience means everything, but in today’s NFL poor performance at the coaching, or player, ranks will not allow a person to stay in the industry long. After touting how experience wasn’t crucial for a head coach, Joseph and Elway went out and stacked the Broncos’ offensive staff with one thing: experience.

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