Broncos: Big Ten, PAC 12 coaches who could be fun 2020 consultants
Big Ten Coaches
James Franklin, Penn State
Franklin has obviously worked with a couple of players on the Broncos’ current roster, specifically wide receivers DaeSean Hamilton and 2020 second-round pick KJ Hamler.
Franklin was mostly a wide receivers coach through his first decade of coaching, including one year (2005) with the Green Bay Packers. Prior to becoming a head coach at Vanderbilt and then Penn State, Franklin was also an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Not only could Franklin potentially do some additional work with the wide receivers and his guys Hamilton and Hamler, but he could work with Pat Shurmur on some game-planning and perhaps add some Penn State wrinkles to the playbook.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Kirk Ferentz was once an NFL offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick, then for the inaugural year of the Baltimore Ravens in 1996.
After working with the Ravens for three years, Ferentz became the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes in 1999 and is now the longest-tenured active head coach in FBS. He’s the only head coach in college football who was hired before 2000.
Ferentz has always had NFL coaching chops, but his gig at Iowa is great.
He would be an obvious help to the Broncos in the offensive line development department, but he and the Hawkeyes also have a history of doing incredible work with the tight end position. Perhaps he could offer insight there, as well.
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Although there are more notable coaches in the Big Ten, there’s hardly any argument that Pat Fitzgerald has been one of the best coaches in college football when it comes to maximizing talent.
Fitzgerald’s teams at Northwestern are always a tough out, and behind Kirk Ferentz, he presently has the most victories of any coach in the Big Ten.
A former Big Ten defensive player of the year in the mid-90s, Fitzgerald is a coach who could work great with Broncos head coach Vic Fangio since they are both linebacker specialists, and perhaps Fitzgerald could sit in the room with Fangio, Ed Donatell, and the defensive staff to come up with gameplans for stopping opposing offenses.
Don Brown, Michigan (defensive coordinator)
One of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the Big Ten, Don Brown’s defensive expertise is well-known in the college ranks.
Brown was actually Justin Simmons’ defensive coordinator at Boston College, and over the past four years, he’s developed plenty of big-time NFL prospects. Michigan utilizes plenty of 4-3 “over” defensive packages, and Brown could probably work well with Vic Fangio in that regard.