Denver Broncos: Former offensive line mastermind coach Alex Gibbs passes away
Alex Gibbs, perhaps the greatest offensive line coach in the history of the Denver Broncos, has passed away. Gibbs was 80-years old. Gibbs had recently been battling his health after he suffered a stroke.
Gibbs had been a coach in both the NFL as well as college ranks, beginning in 1966, when he was the head coach at Mount Airy (NC). After three years there, he became a defensive backs coach as three-straight gigs: Duke (1969-1970), Kentucky (1971-‘72), and West Virginia (‘73-74).
Gibbs also was an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for Ohio State, and then went to Auburn as an offensive coordinator. His last stop before joining the Denver Broncos was at Georgia to coach the school’s offensive line.
When Gibbs joined the Broncos in 1984 as the team’s offensive line coach, he was heading into a roster that had the following players on the offensive line: Dave Studdard, Keith Bishop, Bill Bryan, Paul Howard, and Ken Lanier.
That year, the Broncos’ leading rusher was Sammy Winder, who ran for over 1,100 yards and four touchdowns. That’s phenomenal for a coach-player duo in their first year together.
Following the 1987 season, Gibbs made stops with the Raiders, Chargers, Colts, and Chiefs before returning to the Mile High City as the Broncos’ assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Mike Shanahan-led team.
Gibbs helped lead future Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis reach over 1,100 rushing yards in four straight seasons. In fact, in Davis’ first four years in the league, he just kept gaining more and more yards:
1995: 1,117 yards, 7 touchdowns
1996: 1,538 yards, 13 touchdowns
1997: 1,750 yards, 15 touchdowns
1998: 2,008 yards, 21 touchdowns (not a typo)
In those last two seasons, the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls.
Not only did he help Davis, but he was the mastermind behind several other 1,000-yard rushing backs such as Clinton Portis, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, and Reuben Droughns.
If you never got to watch these players and those offenses, you should absolutely dig up some footage. They were some fun times, thanks to the incredible game-planning and scheme led by Gibbs.
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Thank you, Mr. Gibbs, for your incredible work in football. May you rest in peace.