The Denver Broncos have made it official, hiring Gary Kubiak as their newest head coach. Now, work begins for Kubiak on building a staff and getting this team ready for free agency and the draft, but perhaps the biggest decision standing in front of the Broncos right now is what to do at the defensive coordinator position.
The Broncos likely don’t care what my opinion is, and there are rumors that Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph is an option as the defensive coordinator, but I think the Broncos should at least give a call to former Detroit Lions head coach and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
John Elway spoke at his end of season press conference about getting this team to the next level, and with Kubiak in the fold, you assume the Broncos have the leadership they need at the top to do that, but what about the coordinators? Jack Del Rio, who is now the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, did a good job with the Broncos as defensive coordinator but was apparently doing so while hiding his true colors — silver and black.
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Schwartz could be using his next job as another stepping stone to a head coaching gig, so that could present some kind of issue down the road but we saw the great things he was able to do in Buffalo this past season with all that talent on the defensive front. He was let go by the Bills after Rex Ryan was hired and since the two don’t employ the same defensive strategies, it wasn’t going to be a fit.
The Broncos need someone to be in charge of the defense and as far as I can see, Schwartz is one of the best candidates available. Adding someone with his pedigree would take the hiring of Gary Kubiak from a home run to a three-run shot (maybe not quite a grand slam…). This is a great situation for the Broncos to be in with so many stars on the defensive side of the ball, any prospective defensive coordinator will have to be licking their chops at a chance to take this unit to the next level.
One reason why I love Schwartz as a candidate is his aggressive style. The Bills were among the league leaders in sacks this season, and 13 different players on the defense notched at least half a sack this past year under his direction.
This will be a critical situation to monitor for the Broncos going forward as Kubiak is an offensive genius. He will need someone to run the defense that he can trust will take care of business week in and week out, someone that can elevate the Broncos to a Super Bowl level.