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Broncos hire Peter Hansen to replace Reggie Herring as linebackers coach

Hansen hire confirms Ejiro Evero as “soon-to-be” defensive coordinator.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Did the Broncos land the right hire to develop Baron Browning?
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Now that Nathaniel Hackett is the Denver Broncos’ new head coach, the staff churn is underway. According to 9News’ Mike Klis. the Broncos hired UNLV’s defensive coordinator Peter Hansen to replace Reggie Herring as their linebackers coach.

Hansen coached at Palo Alto high school from 2004-2007 before he made the jump to Stanford to become Jim Harbaugh’s strength and conditioning coach. In 2009 he became a defensive assistant on Vic Fangio’s staff and followed him to the NFL in 2011. This will be the first time Hansen’s coached in the NFL since he left the 49ers in 2013. He has three years of experience coaching in the league.

After leaving the 49ers, Hansen became an inside linebackers coach at Stanford before Marcus Arroyo hired him to be his defensive coordinator at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2020. Over each of the last two seasons the Rebels, have finished among the 25 worst defenses in football by Football Outsiders DFEI rating, which is the college equivalent of their DVOA metric.

Hansen is set to replace Reggie Herring, who joined the Broncos in 2015 after 30 years across college football and the NFL. Over that time he was an assistant coach for Wade Phillips, Vance Joseph, and Vic Fangio. Since then, he played a direct role in the development of Todd Davis, Alexander Johnson, Josey Jewell, and Baron Browning.

Hansen is the Broncos’ first outside hire for the defensive coaching staff and Klis confirmed that Nathaniel Hackett’s best friend Ejiro Evero will be the defensive coordinator after the Los Angeles Rams play in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Evero and Hansen were both members of Vic Fangio’s staff from 2011-2013.

Hansen’s lack of experience does raise questions after the Broncos let go of a linebackers coach with a track record of developing day three talent into starters. It does seem to continue a trend we’ve seen from Nathaniel Hackett’s hires so far where a connection with Hackett or now Evero is the key component. Given the way a coaching staff has to work together in close concert throughout the season, it isn’t a surprise that relationships are so important.

Personally, I am a bit ambivalent about this hire. I’m concerned that the Broncos seem to be placing so much emphasis on knowing each other instead of proven results. If George Paton does make a trade for a veteran quarterback, there won’t be much time for green coaches to figure it out as they go.