Broncos allowing Wade Phillips to depart an overlooked risk from Angel92's blog

After a string of eventful offseasons, the Denver Broncos enjoyed a quieter one this time around. And for a team that replaced its <a href=""></a> coach a year after a Super Bowl championship, that’s saying something.

No franchise-tag impasses, splashy free-agent signings or fax-machine drama occurred. Each of the Broncos’ AFC West brethren brought a bit more to the headline table this year.

Despite this division’s primary champion during the 2010s focusing largely on unsexy offensive and defensive line repair in 2017, the Broncos will be trotting out a rookie head coach in Vance Joseph and three new coordinators.

Joseph’s adjusting will be a key story, but his ascent overshadowed the change at defensive coordinator. The Wade Phillips-to-Joe Woods transition will impact the Broncos’ best facet, the one that keeps the team hovering in playoff projections despite mass uncertainty on offense.

Phillips turned a defense that was already among the league’s best into a historically dominant unit, one most responsible with procuring the Broncos their third Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Broncos allowing their defensive boss to defect to the Los Angeles Rams runs the risk of affecting this defense’s capabilities. It is a sequence that is without much precedent in NFL history.

When Phillips took Jack Del Rio’s holdovers and transformed them into a ruthless force, it showed the kind of impact a defensive <a href=""></a> coordinator can have. Woods is obviously well thought of by Broncos brass, and was viewed as a coordinator-in-waiting, but Denver’s bid at returning to the playoffs now involves a first-time head coach and a first-time defensive coordinator.

So, the primary leaders of the Broncos’ 2015 Super Bowl charge — Gary Kubiak, Phillips, Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware — are gone. There are several players on defense capable of filling vocal leadership roles, but the Broncos ditching the ideal setup they had was curious — even if they prioritized retaining the younger Woods for the future.

They had a high-end coordinator who was not a threat to leave to become a head coach. The Broncos’ previous two DCs — Del Rio and Dennis Allen — left to become the Oakland Raiders’ head coach. And their several defenses before that weren’t successful enough to induce such opportunities for the overseers of those units. Phillips’ Broncos reunion lasted only two years, with the Broncos playing some hardball with him entering his contract year last season. It puts the state of their top-flight defense on less steady terrain.

Denver obviously has sufficient talent to again unleash an elite defense, and it almost has to, given the scrutiny its quarterbacks and offensive linemen face, but this was an unnecessary risk.

The Broncos could well have made the <a href="">Wes Horton Authentic Jersey</a> move to block Woods from interviewing elsewhere for the time being. Opting to promote the former Phillips disciple could work out long-term, but the Broncos defense is positioned for immediate success.



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By Angel92
Added Jul 5 '17


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