Good Morning, Broncos fans! With Mike McCoy officially gone to San Diego, the focus turns to who will replace him as Denver's OC.
According to Jeff Legwold, the likeliest candidates to step into McCoy's shoes remain QB coach Adam Gase and former Arizona head man Ken Whisenhunt, with former longtime Colts OC Tom Moore a possibility as well. That Moore called plays for Peyton Manning for 13 years in Indy isn't his only association with these Broncos; John Fox's first year as the Steelers secondary coach coincided with Moore's last as their OC.
Legwold also floats former Browns head coach Pat Shurmur as a potential candidate. Prior to his two-year stint in Cleveland, Shurmur was on Andy Reid's Eagles staff for 10 years, before running the Rams offense for two, and taking the Browns gig.
As for McCoy, it's easy to hate on him now that he's gone to a division rival, and some will view him as a mere clipboard holder for Manning. And of course, one can always suggest he won't fare better than Dennis Allen in Oakland, out of their association as 2011 Broncos coordinators.
But McCoy did some remarkable work for Denver, and within the span of 13 games spanning two seasons, ran three offenses that were vastly different from each other, and with surprising levels of success. Yes, coordinating an offense for Manning may be among the easier jobs in the NFL, but this is also a guy who constructed an offense that still has some convinced that Tim Tebow can be a functioning professional quarterback. Good luck finding a more stunning coaching feat than that.
From afar, McCoy doesn't seem to have a whole lot in common with Allen, who seems a more fiery coach, and whose rise was of the meteoric variety. Yes, McCoy is a young 40, just as Allen is, but he's held significant coaching positions under John Fox and Josh McDaniels since 2007, whereas Allen was a coordinator for but one year.
Either way, we're grateful for McCoy's not insignificant contribution to the second pair of consecutive division titles in Broncos franchise history, and wish him plenty of success that doesn't come at Denver's expense. There's nothing wrong with going 4-2 in your division and finishing second every year, when you're going up against Peyton and Von Miller.
In one of his more logic-absent columns of all, Legwold says the Broncos shouldn't make any big signings in free agency because spending big doesn't tend to work out.
It's one thing to try to build a team through splashy free-agent signings - that we all know to be fraught with the risk of dumping a bunch of alpha dogs together into one locker room. Holding up the 2012 Eagles as an example of what the 2013 Broncos do not want to become - as Legwold does here - is just ridiculous.
It's something else entirely when you're talking about a 13-3 squad loaded with veterans and a clear leader in Manning, and already one of the league's best teams. Any potential big signings (which we don't necessarily expect) would be about putting this team over the top and making them as prohibitive a favorite as one can be in a conference with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Take Neil Smith in 1997, and there's a perfect example.
These Broncos are exactly the type of team that can go out and make a big signing, because they're not in the position where they absolutely must have the acquisition pay off in a huge, individual sense. This is Peyton's team, and whomever Denver adds this offseason, it will remain Peyton's team. Anyone new can just do their thing, get paid, and not worry about having to be The Man.
A casual glance at pending free agents, and without considering their fits within Denver's schemes, shows that defensive tackles Henry Melton (Bears), Desmond Bryant and Richard Seymour (Raiders) are due to come available, as is Brian Urlacher (just kidding, obviously he's over the hill).
Anyway, we'll wait to see who actually becomes available - while keeping in mind that Ryan Clady could be Denver's lone significant signing of the offseason - before declaring whether the Broncos should make a big move in free agency. But at this early juncture, it is easy, and logical, to say that not making a big splash for reasons cited by Legwold is just plain stupid.
After consulting the Rolodex, Legwold says the Ravens were dedicated to keeping Peyton making throws underneath rather than giving him one-on-one looks outside, and he says that maybe the cold influenced Manning's play, and maybe it didnt.
While this AP story says the Broncos claim they're not scapegoating Ron Milus, Legwold's line last night about the coach's style not meshing well with "several players," despite his unit's resounding success prior to Saturday, sure reads like Milus is the sacrificial lamb.
Count Peter King among those criticizing Fox's decision to run out the regulation clock on Saturday, unless there was something physically wrong with Manning.
Irv Moss checks in with SB 32/33 champ Steve Russ, who's back at his alma mater Air Force coaching under Troy Calhoun.
Scott Kacsmar revisits each of Peyton's earliest playoff exits to debunk the narrative that he's a postseason dud.
Now that the Broncos' offseason got off to an earlier start than expected, John Fox had time to go buy a new car. He went about as conservatively as one might expect.
In an annual rite that figures to change sooner or later, San Diego's mayor says the Chargers will not leave town, at least not in 2013.
Andy Reid hired away Bears ST coach Dave Toub for the same position in KC, and retained two defensive assistants from Romeo Crennel's staff.
Chicago has indeed hired Montreal Alouettes coach and former longtime NFL assistant Marc Trestman, as Jimmy Johnson had suggested on Twitter would happen last week.
Arizona will interview Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell and Colts OC Bruce Arians, while Handshake Haley reportedly set the bar crazy high as terms for him to leave the Steelers and return to the Cardinals.
Bevell will also meet with the Jaguars about their vacancy.
Buffalo's Doug Marrone continues to build his staff by bringing his own assistants from Syracuse, and those of Mike Pettine's with the LOLJets.
Along with Ryan Clady, Aaron Rodgers and Megatron will not play in the Pro Bowl, due to injuries. Those three will be replaced by Andrew Whitworth, Eli Manning, and Vincent Jackson, respectively.
Retired Bears/Bucs/Cards/Jets/Chiefs running back Thomas Jones has promised to donate his brain to CTE research upon his death. Jones's production company is behind a forthcoming documentary series on the effects of concussions and NFL players.
NFLPA head De Smith says the union will agree to HGH testing as soon as the NFL proves willing to copy the testing system used by MLB.
Gwen Knapp sees plenty of evidence that the Rooney Rule has had a positive impact on the NFL's diversity.
Chase Stuart completes his look at the LOLJets and sees little for the team's next OC to work with in 2013.
Naturally, Christmas Ape doesn't appreciate PK's obnoxious suggestion that reading KSK means one has no life.