This offseason will be crucial for the Denver Broncos. There are many issues to address, and if the Broncos are going to turn things around, these are some moves they can make.
Hire Jim Harbaugh or Sean Payton
During the season the Broncos saw how a coaching hire could make or break the season a coach like Jim Harbaugh or Sean Payton can help this team out greatly.
Both coaches are very experienced, each has won the NFL Coach of the year award, and both have coached in the Super Bowl.
When it comes to the main target to be the next head coach, it should be Harbaugh. He fits the Broncos' system well with the power run, and he can rebuild the offensive line. Harbaugh should be the top choice for the team.
On the other hand, Sean Payton is the more experienced coach. Payton recently came out with a statement on “The Colin Cowherd Show” about how he would fix Russell Wilson. He would correct the flaws and watch the film of all 30+ yard pass plays to find which scheme Wilson is comfortable with, he gave an example of Wilson doing a good job off of a naked boot and then pulling up. No doubt Payton would do his homework on Wilson’s red zone abilities.
Of the two, Harbaugh would be the better hire given his experience and fit with the team. Plus, the Broncos would have to trade with the Saints for Payton , and the Broncos already do not have many picks since the Wilson trade.
Address the offensive line
This season saw some of the worst offensive line play in recent memory, leading the league in sacks allowed with 63 total sacks. Admittedly the offensive line did see many changes due to injuries during the year.
Denver Bronco OL snap % by game - YIKES! 12 different players got significant off. snaps. 5 ended season on IR. One ended season in Loss Vegas. pic.twitter.com/veFRPbHdCq— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) January 9, 2023
Several offensive linemen on the Broncos are already due for new deals - Dalton Risner, Calvin Anderson, Billy Turner, and Cameron Fleming. Anderson should be brought back, but when it comes to the other two, their futures in Denver are up in the air. Risner had a solid rookie year but since then has continued to get regress, if the Broncos what to give him a prove-it deal I would not be against it. fleming could get a one-year deal and Turner I think will be let go.
This free-agent class is not the greatest, but the Broncos could make a splash on some guys, some guys that are set to be free agents after this year are Orlando Brown, Rodney Hudson, Connor McGovern, Eric Fisher, and Isaiah Wynn are some names in this coming class.
Brown should be their biggest target in this class. The 26-year-old has been a key player on the Chiefs’ line. Another name to look out for is Isaiah Wynn, although he has dealt with injuries in his 5-year career, he has shown some upside when he has been healthy and should be a candidate for this team.
The coming 2023 NFL draft class has a lot of really nice linemen, from Peter Skoronski to Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones, and Darnell Wright just to name a few. If the Broncos decide to keep their first-round pick, it will most likely come down to which tackle fell to them. To address their need at center in later rounds, I could see the Broncos picking Olusgun Oluwatimi, who is one of the better on-on-one blockers in this draft class.
Re-sign several key players
Many Broncos are looking for new deals, and the top players to consider are Dre’mont Jones, Alex Singleton, Jonas Griffith, and Calvin Anderson. Other players that could get new deals are Latavius Murray, Dalton Risner, P.J. Locke, and Eric Saubert.
Most of those guys were key contributors to the team, but there is an argument for Risner to not get a new deal based on his performance, though I think we could give him a prove-it deal.
Fire Loren Landow
Since taking over the Broncos' strength and conditioning coach job in 2018, the Broncos have been hit extremely hard by the injury bug.
Over the last 5 seasons the Broncos have been the most injured team if you use players on the IR at the end of the regular season as the metric. The Bills have been the least injured. DEN finished with 67.2MM of cap on the IR. TEN had 104.7MM. Data from https://t.co/J0qwDmm311 pic.twitter.com/OSBGommqdl— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) January 11, 2023
Loren Landow has not been helping our chances at all, especially a running theme of hamstring issues. Twenty-three players and $67.2 million worth of players on IR this season is unacceptable; something needs to be done about the injuries.
Some one should be fired over this. pic.twitter.com/ahr35VxnR8— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) January 11, 2023
If the Broncos want to fix their biggest running issue, it has to begin with getting rid of Landow.
Build off the bright spots on offense
Wilson had a really disappointing year but after Nathaniel Hackett was fired, Wilson really improved. In his final two games, he threw for 505 yards and had a combined six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Another massive bright spot was Jerry Jeudy, who just had his best season so far in his career, catching 67 passes for 972 yards and six touchdowns. Jeudy proved that he can be the top receiver for this team, and I think Broncos have to trust him and make him the top target for Wilson.