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Which coaches deserve to stay in Dove Valley?

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There are several coaches who legitimately should stick around to the next regime.

BRONCOS TRAINING CAMP Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

It’s a new year, and that is going to mean a new head coach.

Broncos have started the process, interviewing Chuck Pagano, former Indy head coach, yesterday, and are scheduled to talk next Monday with Vic Fangio - reportedly the favorite at this point - after he leads his Bears defense in a playoff bout this weekend.

But as the Broncos prepare for a lot of turnover, there are several coaches who probably deserve a second look from the new guy in charge. Because sometimes getting rid of all the “old” isn’t the best thing.

In fact, while Jess Place, Tim Lynch and I were anticipating the Vance Joseph firing, we speculated on our last podcast which coaches might withstand the overhaul.

Our top choices of coaches to keep working for The Duke include:

Curtis Modkins

In his first-year as the running backs coach for the Broncos, 23-year coaching veteran Curtis Modkins developed his fourth 1,000-yard running back when he helped undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay run for 1,037 yards in one of the best rushing campaigns in the league. While Lindsay is certainly a special player, some credit has to go to Modkins for helping two rookies give the Broncos running game a huge boost all season. Having helped three other NFL running backs to such heights - including C.J. Spiller with Buffalo in 2012, Reggie Bush with Detroit in 2013 and Jordan Howard with Chicago in 2017 - Modkins has shown his teaching skill is worthy of keeping around.

Zach Azzanni

In just his second year of coaching at the pro level and his first with Denver, Zach Azzanni definitely had his work cut out for him this season.

From managing a high-spirited and outspoken personality like Emmanuel Sanders to dealing with the trade of Bronco favorite Demaryius Thomas to preparing several rookies for first-year starting reps, Azzanni seemed to handle the pressure of his new gig quite well.

And given how well Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick responded to their coach and rose to the occasion, the young assistant seems poised for a successful career in NFL coaching and would provide some nice continuity for the rookies who will be the leaders in that room next year.

Bill Kollar

Coming to Denver with Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips in 2015, Kollar has been a favorite among fans for his bear-wrestling reputation. But he’s been a favorite among players for his get-in-your-face style of coaching (I mean, if you’ve wrestled a bear, what’s a 300-pound lineman???) J

And just this week, Shelby Harris stated emphatically that he hopes Kollar stays in Denver.

“I want Bill back. Bill has made me play the best I ever have. He’s not your most conventional coach. But at the end of the day, we have a good working relationship. It would be nice if he could be back. Every d-lineman here would vouch for him. We want him back. Our room is one-of-a-kind and it takes a coach like Bill to bring us all together. We have so many different personalities from Wolfe to me to Zach to Peko to Adam...so you need a different type of a coach to coach those type of people. We could use Bill.”

Although Kollar’s defensive line took a big hit in the stats department this season, dropping from fourth overall in 2017 to 23rd overall in 2018, the rank was tarnished by a few running backs who torched the line on a handful of plays. But the line’s generally stout play against some of the best offenses in the league - and some big-time stops in the red zone this season - speak to his influence. And the improvement of Harris and Adam Gotsis this season are the real proof of Kollar’s worth to this line and this team.

The 30-year coaching veteran knows how to get the most out of his players and has been able to do it with multiple teams. During his stints in Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay, he consistently developed defensive lines that ranked in the top 10 in rush defense as well as in sacks.

Poll

Which coaches would you keep on the Broncos’ staff?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Bill Kollar, D-line
    (924 votes)
  • 2%
    Zach Azzanni, WRs
    (55 votes)
  • 11%
    Curtis Modkins, RBs
    (298 votes)
  • 7%
    Sean Kugler - OLine (guards, centers)
    (197 votes)
  • 1%
    Joe Woods - DC
    (50 votes)
  • 8%
    "Whorfin" (all of the above)
    (205 votes)
  • 29%
    "jmac-31" (some but not all)
    (747 votes)
  • 2%
    "French Fred" (none of the above)
    (61 votes)
  • 0%
    "Shasta" (other)
    (22 votes)
2559 votes total Vote Now

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