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Interim Head Coach Jerry Rosburg says he is the one who fired Dwayne Stukes and Butch Barry

Some clarity of two surprise firings.

New coaching staff for the Denver Broncos Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Hours after the Broncos announced that they fired Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett, we learned that special teams coach Dwayne Stukes and offensive line coach Butch Barry were fired as well. This was odd because we are still in the midst of the 2022 season and still have two games left, so firing a Head Coach, a coordinator, and a positional coach all on the same day is fairly surprising. However, as we learned, some moves needed to be made immediately.

During his first press conference as the Denver Broncos interim Head Coach, Jerry Rosburg told reporters that he was the one who decided to fire Dwayne Stukes and Butch Barry.

During his opening statement, Rosburg said that he knows special teams and that “We have had to make changes”. He noted the unit's ranking of 32nd in certain rankings he follows as a big reason for this move. The longtime special teams coach knows a thing or two about special teams, and he found what Stukes was doing was unacceptable.

“We have had to make changes, the changes in the staff that we have made have been my decisions. I know special teams. I’ve been coaching special teams for a long time. We weren’t good enough. We were 32nd in the league in one of the metrics that I follow. If I’m not mistaken, there are 32 teams in this league. So that had to change. The only way it was going to change was for me to insert myself right in the middle of that thing. We just did that this morning, and I understand that players build relationships with coaches because I have lasting, meaningful relationships with men that I’ve worked with over these many years. So I respect the fact that players would have relationships with coaches that I’ve released. But we are making these changes for the good of this team, so we can win two football games”

We have seen multiple lapses from the unit this year. The coverage units have struggled at times, the return game has been lackluster, mistakes and penalties have been committed and the kicking game has struggled at times this year as well.

Rosburg, who has been overseeing the entire team and assisting former Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett, was so fed up with the special teams that one of the first things he did when becoming the interim Head Coach was fire Dwayne Stukes. He could have waited for the season to end and just let it play out during these final two games but he thought a change needed to happen as soon as possible. That is not a great look for Dwayne Stukes as a coach.

Stukes was not the only coach dismissed. Offensive line coach Butch Barry was let go alongside him as well. Unlike with Stukes, Rosburg was complimentary of Barry but ultimately this was a move that needed to be made to help improve the football team.

With regard to Butch, I have great respect for Butch—affection—he’s a good man, a really fine coach. I made that move because I wanted to move in a different direction with the offensive line. I wanted to make an impactful move on the offensive line. We needed to get better there to help all aspects of it. I made that decision; I take full responsibility for it. I’ve talked to Butch and I’ve talked to the players. It’s something that we’re going to move forward from this point. That’s the nature of the National Football League. We’re trying to win.

Hackett brought in Barry to replace highly regarded offensive line coach Mike Munchak. This move was a head-scratcher at the moment and proved to be a mistake from the start. While the unit struggled with injuries all season long, the play all along the offensive line declined and was a weakness for the offense all season. A change was needed to be made, and apparently, it was a welcomed one in the Broncos locker room according to Benjamin Allbright.

I would not expect any more major moves to happen before the end of the season, but more firings and dismissals are coming. I do not see any of the coaches Hackett brought in to stick around next season and we could see a major house cleaning overall. Especially if the Broncos hire an established coach who wants to bring in his own people and staff.

At the end of the day, Rosburg made his mark on this team right away and made two moves that many people welcomed. Ultimately, these moves really do not change much, but at least we are seeing people held accountable for this dumpster fire we all had to witness this year.