The hearts in Broncos Country are a little heavy today.
The Denver Broncos lost a great defensive coordinator to longtime divisional rivals, the Oakland Raiders. Dennis Allen is now the new head coach of the Raiders, just one year after arriving in Denver.
His expertise helped draft Von Miller with the 2nd overall pick, and he took the defense from last place in 2010 to 20th place in 2011. Under Allen, the Broncos showed glimpses of Orange Crush. It was often times their defense that kept them in ball games, making stances and creating turnovers, until the offense could put up some points in the end.
Now it’s back to the drawing board for the seventh time in seven years. Put Allen in the same category so to speak as Larry Coyer, Jim Bates, Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan, and Don “Wink” Martindale. They were were defensive coordinators for just one year.They are close to forming their own 11.
The Raiders made good on their name and raided the positive from the defensive side of the Broncos ball. Players weren’t happy about it.
He knew how to get us ready,” Champ Bailey told the NFL Network. “I give him a lot of credit for the success we had this year. . . . He’s one of the most intense coaches I’ve had.”
That one stings.
“They’re getting a guy that’s going to come in right away, and he’s going to get it done,” Von Miller told NFL Network. “That’s what he did for us. He came in, he laid out a plan for us, he told us, ‘This is how we’re going to do it, and this will work,’ and that’s what happened. We improved our defense an incredible amount. . . . I think he’ll do the same thing with the Oakland Raiders.”
It was Allen’s time to become a head coach. It’s a well-deserved new position.
What are the Broncos to do without Allen? They have to hire a defensive coordinator immediately.
Woody Paige thinks that the team should promote linebackers coach Richard Smith to defensive coordinator.
"“Smith already is on staff, and the transition will be quick and easy; he helped develop Von Miller into a Pro Bowler as a rookie; the linebacking corps overall was solid (although not spectacular); Smith fully knows the 4-3 system Fox emphasizes; he has worked with both Fox (also in Carolina) and Allen and will continue to coach aggressively; he has been a defensive coordinator with the Dolphins and the Texans and in the league for 24 seasons.” – Woody Paige (Denver Post)"
Jack Del Rio is another choice high on people’s lists. He would likely get offered another head coaching job in a year or two, leaving the Broncos in the same predicament.
Whatever the choice, it has to be a steady one. Someone who brings the same qualities as Allen, but someone who will be around for at least the next three years.
Consistency breeds efficiency.
That’s the only way that the Broncos will return to championship form.