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Broncos losing more assistants in coaching carousel [updated]

Broncos linebacker coach Richard Smith is "likely" to take Falcons' defensive coordinator job; a defensive line coach and offensive quality assistant of the Denver Broncos have each been hired away by John Fox in Chicago.

Broncos defensive line coach Jay Rodgers
Broncos defensive line coach Jay Rodgers
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A roundup of NFL assistant coaching news and rumors as it relates to the Denver Broncos..

Two assistants head to Chicago

It's no surprise that Chicago Bears head coach John Fox is continuing to pull members of his staff away from the Denver Broncos. Those staff members were Fox's assistants, after all.

After hiring Adam Gase as offensive coordinator and Dave Magazu as offensive line coach, Foxy has hired Jay Rodgers to serve as defensive line coach in Chicago, the same position he held in Denver with the Broncos.

Fox has also hired Bo Hardegree, an offensive assistant who joined the Broncos in 2014 out of Duke (where Peyton Manning holds his annual unofficial passing camp). Like Manning, Hardegree is also a former quarterback out of the University of Tennessee.

Broncos could be bidding for their linebackers coach

Denver Broncos linebacker coach Richard Smith appears to be in demand and is lined up for a promotion, Albert Breer of NFL Media reports.

This update is particularly interesting because there are conflicting reports in regards to both Smith and the Falcons' defensive coordinator job respectively. First, Smith is also a candidate for the Broncos' defensive coordinator position; if Denver can't get a deal done with Vance Joseph, Smith is one of three options (Wade Phillips, former Falcons HC Mike Smith) the Broncos will consider, The Denver Post reports.

Second, another name has been mentioned in connection with the Falcons' DC job - Washington secondary coach Raheem Morris.

Still, the NFL Network reporting that Smith is "likely" to be named Falcons DC means that he might be the favorite over Morris, and that the Broncos would have a limited window to keep their man, should they want to. The Falcons are expected to name Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as head coach shortly after the Super Bowl, and at that point, many of these verbal agreements would become formalized.

Then again, as an astute reader points out, Smith has been a defensive coordinator before, under Gary Kubiak in Houston from 2006-2008, where he was fired. Maybe Kubiak would be slow to go down that road again.


According to The Denver Post, Smith has indeed notified the Broncos he's leaving to join the Falcons for a "senior defensive position." Brandon Marshall, Danny Trevathan, Nate Irving, and Von Miller have a new linebackers coach in 2015.