As Ian Rapoport suggested might happen, Denver linebackers coach Richard Smith is headed to Atlanta, where he'll be a part of Dan Quinn's defensive staff. Per Rapoport, Smith may be a co-DC along with Raheem Morris.
Smith had been considered a DC fallback option for the Broncos, who are still hoping to hire Vance Joseph away from Cincinnati. Earlier on Monday, Mike Klis wrote that Smith, Wade Phillips, and Mike Smith were the other candidates to run Gary Kubiak's first Denver defense.
The Broncos hope to wrap up their DC search early this week. According to Mike Klis, Denver's fallback plans to hiring Vance Joseph are Wade Phillips, former Falcons coach Mike Smith, and incumbent linebackers coach Richard Smith. The list does not include former Broncos DC Wink Martindale, who Klis suggested last week to be a candidate.
Two more Denver assistants have followed John Fox to Chicago: defensive line coach Jay Rodgers will hold that same position with the Bears, now that the Broncos have hired Bill Kollar from Houston. Rodgers joins his brother, special teams coordinator Jeff, who was among the first assistants to make the move.
While the rest of the league's new head coaches continue to fill out their coaching staffs, the Broncos and Gary Kubiak would still like to hire Cincy secondary coach Vance Joseph to run their defense.
Per Jeff Legwold, the Bengals are only willing to let Joseph out of their contract if they have a suitable replacement in waiting, and the Broncos are apparently hoping that former Giants DC Perry Fewell might be that guy.
In a recent post, Jeff Legwold suggests the Broncos might try to negotiate Ryan Clady's salary down from the $8.5M figure he's currently due (it's not $8M, as Legwold writes - that was his 2014 salary). It's an interesting idea, but is it doable?
Denver used its franchise tag on their left tackle two years ago, eventually signing him to a five-year, $52.5M deal. Unfortunately, a Lisfranc injury cost him most of that season, and nagging injuries in 2014 kept him from returning to his prior elite level. Still, he's never missed a game outside of that 2013 season.
Let's get caught up on the rest of the week's coaching hirings. Jim Tomsula continues to build his coaching staff with the Niners, including a couple of castoffs from across the Bay.
Tomsula has reportedly hired former Jets and Browns coach Eric Mangini to be his defensive coordinator. Tony Sparano, who, like Mangini, interviewed for the Raiders' head job, will coach tight ends under Tomsula and a yet-to-be-hired OC, possibly former Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin.
Gary Kubiak is set to hire his first defensive assistant in Denver by bringing defensive line coach Bill Kollar over from Houston. Kollar, 62, spent six seasons with the Texans, including his first five under Kubiak. Houston coach Bill O'Brien permitted the lateral move because Kollar's two sons and grandsons live in Denver.
Kollar is credited with playing a large role in the development of J.J. Watt; he'll take over for Jay Rodgers, whose brother, Jeff, has followed John Fox to Chicago. There's no word yet on whether Jay will join the exodus.
Having been rebuffed by Cincy in their efforts to hire Vance Joseph, the Broncos have reportedly reached out to former DC and head coach Wade Phillips about running their defense.
Phillips spent the 2014 season out of the NFL; from 2011 to 2013, he was Houston's DC under Gary Kubiak, and took over on an interim basis after Kubiak was fired. He was Denver's DC from 1989 to 1992 and their head coach the next two years, when he essentially served as the placeholder until Mike Shanahan felt ready to take over the team.
Here are the pertinent dates for Denver's offseason. Bookmark and share it; or, if you prefer, you'll be able to find it throughout the offseason on our Featured Content menu on the right:
As expected, the Bears and John Fox have reportedly hired former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase to run their offense.
Additionally, Ed Donatell will coach defensive backs under Fox and Vic Fangio; Donatell held that position during two stints with the Broncos (1995-99, 2009-10).