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Thursday, January 17, 2013
Broncos stick with continuity at OC

By Bill Williamson


There were some big names connected to the open Denver offensive coordinator job.

In the end, Denver opted to stay in-house and promote 34-year-old quarterbacks coach Adam Gase, who continues to work with quarterback Peyton Manning, obviously the centerpiece of the Denver offense.

This hire stays in line with the philosophy of Denver coach John Fox. He kept with familiarity, he rewarded an existing staff member, and he acted quickly.

While Gase is not a household name, I doubt there is much chance for this hire to be a failure. Of course, it all revolves around Manning. If Manning -- who is two years and five days older than his new coordinator -- wasn’t comfortable with Gase last season, or if Manning wanted a new top offensive voice, he very likely would have gotten one.

But instead of someone like Ken Whisenhunt, his mentor Tom Moore or Pat Shurmur, the choice was Gase. It makes sense.

Manning -- who clearly is a big part of the offensive plan --- worked well with Gase, and they will continue to grow. The big difference is Gase will call the plays.

“Adam was an integral part of the success we had offensively this season and was heavily involved in all aspects of our game plan, both during the week and on game day,” Fox said in a statement. “Maintaining that continuity with our offense was very important in this decision. While we did speak with several qualified candidates, it became clear that Adam was the best fit to be our offensive coordinator.

“His coaching background along with his familiarity with our players is very strong. He did a great job working with Peyton and all of our quarterbacks the last two seasons."

The second season of the Manning experience in Denver should be smoother because of continuity, comfort and Manning’s continued improved health. Fox wasn’t going to jeopardize progress by hiring someone that would have potentially thwarted that progress. This is a safe hire that should make everyone involved happy.

Gase replaces Mike McCoy, who became the Chargers’ head coach on Tuesday. Denver will begin the interview process to add a new quarterbacks coach.