Following the Broncos' stunning playoff loss to the Ravens on Saturday, there has been plenty of blame to go around, at least as far as the media and fans are concerned. John Fox, Rahim Moore, Champ Bailey, Peyton Manning, and Matt Prater have borne the brunt of the public criticism, while Fox and John Elway stood by the coach's conservative game decisions in a presser yesterday.
Today comes the first true fallout of the upset, as it's being reported that the team will not retain secondary coach Ron Milus, whose contract is up after two years in Denver. Jeff Legwold's article on the dismissal cites a clash between Milus's coaching style and "several players" as having prompted the decision, while Fox had perhaps hinted at the move when he said his staff "didn't coach to execute" on the disastrous game-tying 70-yard touchdown from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones.
Milus had worked with defensive backs for Fox-coached teams for the past four seasons - two in Carolina, and two in Denver, and he had coached Denver's secondary In a previous stint from 2000-02.
Prior to Saturday's debacle, which featured several coverage breakdowns in the deep passing game, Milus's group had performed exceptionally, with Bailey continuing his elite play, Moore improving by leaps and bounds, and Chris Harris and Tony Carter emerging as starting-quality corners. The other starter in the group, Mike Adams, went from undersung acquisition to a steady and omnipresent force within the defense, if not a star.
On one hand, the move would appear a bit of scapegoating, especially with Legwold's description of it as having been "in the works for awhile," but on the other, Saturday's mistakes were so glaring, that perhaps something had to happen. With Milus's contract up, this is an easy choice for the team, with no financial impact.
Milus will be replaced by Cory Undlin, who had worked as a defensive quality control assistant in 2012, after coaching Jacksonville's secondary under then-Jags coach and current Denver DC Jack Del Rio in 2010 and 2011.
Sam Garnes has been the team's assistant secondary coach for the past two years under Milus, but it's unclear whether he will be retained. It's also worth noting that Fox was a defensive backs coach for 14 of his first 15 years coaching at the college and NFL levels.
Denver's coaching staff had already gone substantial change earlier today with the departure of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to San Diego, where he was introduced today as the new head coach.
It was a busy day in several senses for the Broncos, who re-signed DT Ben Garland and RB Jeremiah Johnson to future contracts.
Owner Pat Bowlen sent a letter to ticketholders expressing his gratitude for their support this season, and promising that the team would continue working toward a third Lombardi Trophy. $ea$on ticket renewal$ are $ure to $oon follow.