Perhaps nearly as important as the Denver Broncos finding its next head coach may be the process of surrounding whomever that may be with a strong coaching staff, including talented coordinators.
During the last two seasons, outgoing head coach Gary Kubiak benefitted from the hire of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator, who led one of the top units in the NFL both in 2015 and 2016.
However, Denver 7 Broncos Insider Troy Renck told Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s “The Drive” on Tuesday that it’s “growing increasingly unlikely” that Phillips is back as a member of the new coaching regime.
“The door hasn’t been shut until there’s a new coach. (General manager) John Elway said the new coach will decide on the coordinators and the coaching staff, but it doesn’t look good for Wade,” Renck said.
Renck said he spoke with Phillips after the final game of the season, and the veteran defensive mind said he’d like to stay in Denver but that he also would like to be compensated for his job performance over the past two seasons.
“I don’t know if he wants to be the top-paid defensive coordinator, but it’s certainly in that conversation. The Broncos may decide to move on from that. And it’s very telling that if they wanted him, he would be under contract,” Renck said. “And his situation could be independent of the coach. You could tell the new coach you’re keeping Wade Phillips. They didn’t do that.”
So, should Phillips move on, Renck said the top internal candidate to fill the defensive coordinator slot would be defensive backs coach Joe Woods, who has the backing of nearly a dozen players on the Broncos defense.
“I’ve talked to probably 10 players over the last week. Every one of them, while they would be sad to see Wade go, insists that Joe Woods is ready,” Renck said.
Woods is a 24 year coaching veteran of the NFL, working with defensive backs over the last 12 years in Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Oakland, and with Denver since 2015.
During the past two seasons in Denver, Woods’ secondary unit has been the best in the NFL, giving up a league low in yards passing both seasons and the fewest passing touchdowns in 2016.
Dubbed the “No Fly Zone,” the unit had two cornerbacks — Chris Harris Jr and Aqib Talib — selected as first-team All-Pro members in 2016.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
Spend your morning tapping into the wealth of sport knowledge from three-time Super Bowl champion and former Broncos offensive lineman Mark "Stink" Schlereth and longtime Denver sports radio voice Mike Evans. Schlereth spent 12 seasons in the NFL, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl with the Redskins and two with the Broncos. He's also a longtime NFL analyst for ESPN and supporting cast member of "Ballers" on HBO. Evans has graced the sports radio airwaves for two decades, 15 years in Denver. He's a proud graduate of Syracuse University.
Inject your morning routine with great football discussion and analysis with Fan Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey. Cecil is one of the nations most respected football analysts, gets you the inside scoop from reports from the Broncos UCHealth Training Center to college football all-star games (East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl) to the NFL combine and draft. Hes an authority on NFL prospects from across the country. He is also a senior writer for FootballGuys.com. You can follow Cecil on Twitter @cecillammey.
Let Sandy Clough, one of the most recognizable voices in Denver sports radio, guide you through your work day every weekday leading into the afternoon. Sandy's been the authority in sports radio for nearly four decades in Denver. No other show will give you the insight and experience that Sandy provides.
Kick off your afternoon with Stokley and Zach, featuring two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Stokley and radio veteran Zach Bye. Stokley earned his two NFL titles with the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts and spent two stints with the Denver Broncos. Bye hails from the Empire State and is the former voice of the University of Albany Great Danes football, basketball and lacrosse programs. Follow them on Twitter: @bstokley14 and @byesline.
Big Al and DMac help you get through the end of your day with the best afternoon sports radio talk show in Denver. DMac is a 1991 graduate of Syracuse University and has covered Colorado sports for The Fan since 2008. Alfred Williams, a College Football Hall of Famer, won the 1990 Butkus Award and was the captain for that year's consensus National Champion University of Colorado squad. He played nine years in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.
Each morning at 6:30, get your day started right as Schlereth and Evans serves up The Morning Brew. Mark Schlereth and Mike Evan take you around the world of sports, taking in and breaking down the top stories of the day. So tune in to get your fix before you head out into the world for the day. Brought to you every morning by McDonalds.
Terry Wickstrom, the authority in everything outdoors, talks fishing, hunting, camping and more every Saturday morning.rnWickstrom, host of the popular television show "Angling Adventures" and previously "Mountain States Fishing," is a nationally published outdoor author, an accomplished multi-species angler, and has served on the "pro staff" of many top fishing industry companies.rn
Jerry Walters and Cousin Ray Best provide up-to-the-minute details about golf in Colorado, rules and all the professional tours. The Boys of Summer interview the biggest names in golf every Saturday mornings throughout the golf season.