According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Denver Broncos are expected to hire Jim Leonhard to be their defensive backs coach. He states that the former NFL safety is well-regarded in coaching circles and has been talking to several NFL and college teams before joining the Broncos defensive coaching staff.
9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis confirms this report and states the Broncos have indeed hired Jim Leonhard to be their defensive backs coach.
A little pregame non-Super Bowl news: Sources tell me and @JFowlerESPN that Jim Leonhard is expected to join the Denver Broncos' staff to coach the secondary. Leonhard is a former NFL DB who's well regarded in coaching circles and has been talking to several NFL and college teams— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 11, 2024
Leonhard, a former undrafted free agent played in the league from 2005 to 2014. During that span, he played for the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns. He had 431 career tackles, 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 14 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown. After his playing career, he jumped into the coaching ranks at Wisconsin and was their defensive backs coach. He served as the Wisconsin defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator from 2017 to 2022 and served as Wisconsin’s interim head coach in 2022 as well. This past season, Leonhard served as a Senior football analyst for Illinois. Now, he will make his coaching debut in the NFL as the Denver Broncos defensive backs coach.
The 41-year-old coach will be replacing Christian Parker who left the Broncos recently to join Vic Fangio’s coaching staff with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has big shoes to fill because Parker is viewed as an up-and-coming coach, a future defensive coordinator, and was responsible for the development of many of the Broncos secondary players during his time with the team.
The Leonhard hiring is the second addition to the Broncos coaching staff this offseason. A few weeks ago, it was reported that the Broncos were expected to hire former longtime Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael who would fill an offensive role on Sean Payton’s staff. Now, with Leonhard reportedly hired, the only remaining coaching move left is to replace former defensive line coach Marcus Dixon who left to join the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff last week.