A few interesting bits of context from the Texans news release on Rick Dennison’s hire as the new offensive coordinator:
The 51-year-old Dennison is entering his 16th season in the NFL as a coach and his 25th year in the league overall. Dennison has spent his entire NFL tenure to date with the Denver Broncos, first as a player from 1982-90 and then as a coach from 1995-09.
This will be Dennison’s second stint as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. He took over the role in Denver from 2006-08 after his predecessor, Gary Kubiak, left Denver to become the head coach of the Houston Texans. With Dennison at the helm, Denver’s offense averaged 350.5 yards per game from 2006-08 and rushed for 124.4 yards per game, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Despite starting a rookie at left tackle and a second-year player at right tackle in 2008, the Broncos offense gained 6,333 yards to rank second in the NFL and the offensive line allowed a franchise-record low of 12 sacks on the season.
In 2007, Denver was fourth in the NFL in yards per play (5.7) and was fifth in the league in yards per rush (4.6). In 2006, Dennison’s first season at the helm of the offense, Denver ranked fifth in the NFL with an average of 360.4 yards per game.
With Dennison in charge of either the offensive line or the entire offense from 2001-09, the Broncos ranked second in the NFL with an average of 135.1 rushing yards per game, and Denver’s 4.5-yard rushing average in that time period was the third-highest in the league. The Broncos line also excelled in pass blocking, surrendering just 226 sacks in nine years, which was the fourth-fewest in the league over that time span.
Dennison played linebacker for the Broncos from 1982-90, appearing in 128 games with 52 starts and three Super Bowls (XXI in 1986, XXII in ‘87 and XXIV in ‘89). In 1989, he received the Ed Block Memorial Courage Award. A year earlier, Dennison ranked second on the Broncos in tackles with 133 during the 1988 campaign while posting a team-high three fumble recoveries that year.
Dennison joined the Broncos as a college free agent in 1982 after playing collegiately at Colorado State, where he was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior and earned three varsity letters. In 1979, Dennison received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from CSU followed by a master’s degree in the same field from CSU in 1982.