In the second part of the 2011 Denver Broncos Coaching Staff Preview, we'll take a look at the Position Coaches for the team. Of the eight coaches, four have been with the Broncos and four have been recruited by new head coach John Fox. If you have read the Kaptain's Log Training Camp Posts, you will recognize some of these names. This is the heart of John Fox's coaching staff. It is also where the main part of teaching comes in. I have noticed that the Broncos head coach relies on his coaches to instruct the players and uses a "Hands off" approach, letting them do their jobs and mainly overseeing or managing how the overall team is progressing. Personally, I find this method refreshing from the past 2 seasons and look forward to some positive results in the Broncos regular season record. Read on and let me acquaint you further with more of the Denver Broncos Coaching staff.
Dave Magazu - Offensive Line
Dave Magazu enters his 9th NFL season and first with the Broncos, after coaching the Panthers’ Tight Ends from 2003-06 and Offensive Line from 2007-10 under John Fox. Carolina fielded some of the best Offensive Lines in the NFL in recent years with Magazu, and the numbers prove it. Despite playing the last 4 games of the 2009 season without their two starting Offensive Tackles, the Panthers became the 1st team in NFL history to have two Running Backs (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) each rush for more than 1,100 yards.Also, center Ryan Kalil earned his first-career Pro Bowl selection under Magazu's guidance.
Magazu is a 1980 graduate of Springfield (Mass.) College, where he was a 4-year starter at Defensive Tackle, and earned a master's degree in physical education in 1981 from Ithaca College. Prior to coming to the NFL in 2003 as a Tight Ends coach, Magazu had spent more than 20 years coaching Offensive Lines on the college level and was regarded as one of the top O-Line coaches in college football. He started his coaching career at Ithaca College in 1980, with stops at Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Michigan, Northern Illinois and Ball State. He then spent three years at Navy and two years each at Indiana State and Colorado State. Magazu was Co-Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach at Kentucky, the University of Memphis and 4 years with Boston College.
With the Eagles, he developed a number of pro prospects, including New England Patriots center Dan Koppen, and Chris Snee, the New York Giants 2nd-round draft choice in 2004. During his tenure at Boston College from 1999-2002, the Eagles annually ranked among the most productive rushing teams in the nation. His offensive lines also were among the best pass blocking units in the country, allowing just six sacks in 2000 and 15 in 2001.
Dave joined the Carolina Panthers in 2003 as their Tight Ends coach. The move was seamless because of the overlap between the two positions (OL and TE) in the Panthers offense with an emphasis devoted to blocking at Tight End. Four of the top five rushing seasons in Carolina history have come under Magazu's tutelage. In that 1st season, the Tight End position played an integral role in setting a then club record of 2,091 rushing yards. After four years working with Tight Ends, he returned "home" in 2007 to coach the Offensive Line. His return was a success by every measure as the offensive line helped the Panthers compile 1,824 rushing yards and an average of 4.04 yards per carry.
In 2008, Carolina established team records of 4.84 yards per attempt and 30 rushing touchdowns while rushing for 2,437 yards and 118 1st downs as Tackle Jordan Gross was chosen to his 1st-career Pro Bowl. In addition, the Panthers set a team record for the fewest sacks allowed with 20. The Panthers' 2,497 rushing yards and 123 rushing 1st downs in 2009 marked the 2nd consecutive season that they set team records in those categories, and their average of 4.76 yards per attempt and 18 rushing touchdowns stand as the second most in franchise history.
Wayne Nunelly - Defensive Line
Wayne Nunnely enters his 17th NFL season and 3rd as the Broncos’ Defensive Line coach. He is considered one of the top defensive line coaches in the NFL because his teams have ranked among the league’s top seven clubs in rushing yards per game allowed seven times. Wayne has been a coach for 35 years and spent his first 18 seasons in the college ranks as one of the first African-American head coaches at the Division I-level. Wayne played his college ball at UNLV where he was a fullback and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1975. He ended up as the head coach for his Alma Mater from 1986-1989 after coaching stops at Cal Poly Pomona, CSUF, University of the Pacific, USC and UCLA.
Nunnely’s first NFL job was coaching the Defensive Line for the New Orleans Saints in 1995. He worked at the Saints training camp in 1994 as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program and was hired full-time in 1995. In each of his two years in New Orleans, the Saints ranked in the top five in the NFL in sacks and sacks per play. He served in that capacity until the 1997 season when he began coaching in San Diego, where he became tied as the 2nd-longest tenured assistant coach in Chargers history.
Wayne did an outstanding job with the Chargers’ Defensive Line. His unit helped the Chargers finish 7th in the NFL against the run, surrendering just 100.8 yards per game in 2006. Defensive Tackle Jamal Williams made consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl and Defensive End Luis Castillo was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl after posting 7 Sacks, despite missing six games due to injury.
Under Nunnely, the Chargers ranked in the top 10 in both rushing yards allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per carry in seven out of his 10 seasons in San Diego. In 1998, the Chargers led the NFL in run Defense, allowing only 71.3 yards per game, the lowest in team history and the 5th-lowest in the NFL since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The Chargers also ranked 1st in the NFL in 2005 (84.3 rushing yards allowed). The Chargers also led the NFL in 1998 by holding opponents to just 2.7 yards per attempt, the lowest average allowed by any team in the league since 1970 and the lowest in team history. The Bolts also led the league in yards allowed per carry in 1999 (3.1) and 2001 (3.3).
The Broncos were 27th against the run in 2008, 26th in 2009 and 31st last year. With more ammo, quality depth and decent personnel, it's reasonable to think Nunnelly's unit can improve in 2011.
Eric Studesville - Running Backs
Eric Studesville enters his 15th NFL season and 2nd with the Broncos after serving as Running Backs coach and interim head coach for the final 4 games of last season. His Running Backs have totaled seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons and 34 individual 100-yard rushing efforts. In 2010, the Broncos’ running game registered a league-best 1.8 yards-per-carry improvement during the 2nd half of the season.Last December, Studesville replaced Josh McDaniels after Week 12, becoming the first African American head coach in Broncos history, although only on an interim basis. Prior to joining the Broncos, Eric coached the Running Backs for the Buffalo Bills from 2004-09 and the New York Giants from 2001-03.
Studesville played defensive back at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. He got his start in the NFL as an Offensive Quality Control coach for the Bears from 1997-2000 after coaching 6 years at the collegiate level. In 2001, he was hired as the New York Giants Running Backs coach, guiding Tiki Barber to consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons. That enabled Barber to become one of the best Offensive weapons for the Giants. In 2002, Barber recorded 1,387 rushing yards, a career high and the 2nd-highest total in Giants franchise history.
He joined the Buffalo Bills in 2004 as their Running Backs coach. The 1st two years, he helped 2003 1st-round draft choice Willis McGahee reach 1,000 yards rushing. In 2006, McGahee fell 10 yards short of his 3rd consecutive 1,000 yard season. In 2007, the Bills selected Running Back Marshawn Lynch with the 12th overall pick. Studesville guided Lynch to a total of 1,115 rushing yards, making Lynch the 5th rookie in team history to reach the 1,000 yard milestone. In 2008, Eric was promoted to Running Backs Coordinator and helped Lynch earn a Pro Bowl berth with his 2nd consecutive 1,000 yard rushing year. The following year, an injury to Lynch opened the door to undrafted Running Back Fred Jackson who rushed for 1,082 total yards.
In January 2010, Studesville was hired by the Broncos as the Running Backs coach. By week 13 of the 2010 season, starting Running Back Knowshon Moreno had rushed for 633 yards and 4 total touchdowns for a 4.3 yards-per-carry average, including rushing for a career high 161 yards that week in a loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent from December 6, 2010 to January 13, 2011 as the Broncos interim head coach after Josh McDaniels was fired by owner Pat Bowlen. The team went 1-3 under Studesville with his sole win coming in a victory over the Houston Texans 24-23.
Richard Smith - Linebackers
Richard Smith is a veteran of 23 NFL seasons. He spent the last two years as Carolina’s Linebackers coach. This is his second go-round with the Broncos after being the Special Teams coach from 1993-96 with the added responsibilities of coaching the Linebackers from 1993-94. He has coached 9 players to a total of 10 Pro Bowl selections, including Linebackers Jon Beason (2009-10), Julian Peterson (2002), Ken Norton Jr. (1997) and Karl Mecklenburg (1993). Smith also coached for 9 seasons at the college level, beginning his career at Rio Hondo Community College, where he served as the school's offensive line coach from 1979-80.
Smith comes to the Broncos after serving as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. He entered the NFL with the Oilers in 1988 and coached Special Teams in addition to assisting with the Tight Ends, Linebackers and Offensive Line. His Special Teams played a key role in Houston making the playoffs in all five of his seasons with the Oilers. From 1993-96, Smith served as the Special Teams coach for the Broncos along with working as the team's Assistant Linebackers coach during his first 3 years.
From 1997-2002, Richard coached in San Francisco. Smith helped 4 of his Linebackers reach the Pro Bowl--Ken Norton, Jr., Lee Woodall, Winfred Tubbs and Julian Peterson. In his last two seasons with the 49ers, he transformed a young and inexperienced Linebacking corps into a highly productive unit. He spent two years as Detroit’s Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers from 2003-04. With the Lions, Smith guided the development of Boss Bailey, who was named to the ESPN all-rookie team in 2003. Richard spent the 2005 season as Defensive Coordinator with Miami, where he oversaw a defense that finished with 49 sacks, the 2nd-most in the NFL. While with the Texans from 2006-2008, Smith produced two Pro Bowl players--Linebacker DeMeco Ryans in 2007 and Defensive End Mario Williams in 2008. Smith spent most of his 1st season (2009) with Carolina coaching the Panthers Linebackers without one of his best players, but the Defense still finished 8th in the NFL in total yards allowed and 9th in points surrendered. Under Smith's guidance, Middle Linebacker Jon Beason earned Pro Bowl honors. While with the Texans from 2006-2008, Smith produced two Pro Bowl players in linebacker DeMeco Ryans in 2007 and defensive end Mario Williams in 2008. Both players earned Associated Press All-Pro second-team honors in 2007.
Richard Smith just has to be licking his chops with all the attention the Broncos paid to the Linebacking Corps during the off-season. Particularly with the addition of 2nd overall pick Von Miller.
Clancy Barone - Tight Ends
Adam Gase - Quarterbacks
Adam Gase, who enters his 7th NFL season and 3rd with the Broncos, will coach the Quarterbacks after two years instructing the team’s Wide Receivers. Adam has coached a Pro Bowl receiver in each of his two seasons in Denver, including Brandon Lloyd who led the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards in 2010. Gase came to Denver after one season as an Offensive Assistant in San Francisco. He spent his 1st three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions, including a year as their Quarterbacks coach in 2007. Working under Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz, he helped Jon Kitna total the 6th-most passing yards (4,068) in the NFL while becoming only the 9th player in NFL history to post consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons. Gase started his coaching career at LSU, where he spent three years under Head Coach Nick Saban.
Ron Milus - Secondary
Ron Milus enters his 12th season coaching in the NFL and 21st season overall after instructing Carolina’s secondary from 2009-10. He began his NFL journey with Denver and his tour has come full circle. Ron served as the Broncos Secondary coach from 2000-02, before instructing that position with Arizona (2003), the N.Y. Giants (2004-05) and St. Louis (2006-08). In 2001, he coached Broncos Pro Bowl Cornerback Deltha O’Neal, who tied for 3rd in the NFL with 9 Interceptions that season. Milus spent nine seasons coaching the Secondary at the college level, with stops at the University of Washington (1991-98) and Texas A&M (1999).
He began his NFL coaching career with Denver in 2000, working as the Defensive Backs coach for two seasons before coaching the Nickel Backs in 2002. In Milus’ first year with the Broncos, the Secondary accounted for 21 of the team’s 27 interceptions, the club’s highest total since 1987. Ron moved over to the Arizona Cardinals and served as their Defensive Backs coach in 2003. Under his direction, Safety Dexter Jackson tied for 4th in the NFC with six Interceptions. Milus spent 3 years working with the Secondary for St. Louis. He was promoted to Secondary coach in 2008 from Assistant Secondary coach, a position he held from 2006-07. In 2007, the Rams defensive backs collected 16 Interceptions, the most by the team's Secondary in 10 years. He went to St. Louis after 2 seasons coaching the Secondary for the New York Giants. The Giants’ pass defense improved significantly in Milus’ first year with the team (2004), allowing 189.4 yards per game – good for 8th best in the NFL.
In Carolina, Milus made an immediate impact on the Panther's secondary in his 1st year (2009) with the team. The Panthers finished 4th in the NFL in Pass Defense and percentage of passes Intercepted. They also ranked 7th in 3rd-down efficiency, recorded 22 Interceptions and limited opposing Quarterbacks to a 71.7 passer rating - a drop of nearly 10 points from 2008.
Tyke Tolbert - Wide Receivers
A native of Conroe, Texas, Tolbert graduated with bachelor and master degrees from LSU, where he was a 3-year letterman and played Wide Receiver. He worked as a graduate assistant at Louisiana State in the spring of 1994 and Northeast Louisiana in the fall of 1994 and tutored wide receivers at Ohio in the spring of 1995 before returning to Northeast Louisiana in the fall of 1995 for a three-year stint as tight ends coach. After holding the same position at Auburn in 1998, Tolbert went to Louisiana-Lafayette as wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator from 1999-2001 and then served as tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator at Florida in 2002.
While working at Auburn, Tyke got his 1st taste of pro coaching by participating in the NFL's Minority Internship Program with the Detroit Lions during Training Camp in 1997 and again with the Cardinals during Training Camp in 2001. That helped him land his first coaching gig in the NFL as the Wide Receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2003. Upon his arrival in Buffalo in 2004, he developed young Wide Receivers Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish and Josh Reed and worked with veterans Eric Moulds and Terrell Owens. He tutored Lee Evans to become one of the most prolific receivers in Bills history through his first 5 seasons. In 2010 armed with a reputation as a tireless worker and an enthusiastic instructor, Tyke replaced Richard Williamson, who coached Wide Receivers for all but one of the Panthers' first 15 seasons before retiring after the 2009 season.
There you have the 8 Position coaches for the 2011 Denver Broncos. In Part 3, we will talk about the Assistants who support these coaches. Until then...