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Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Another longtime assistant leaves Denver

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

This is the end of an era in Denver.

As expected, longtime Denver running backs coach Bobby Turner has decided to leave the team. He will join former Denver head coach Mike Shanahan in Washington. Turner will be the associate head coach in Washington. Last week, Denver denied Turner the chance to interview with Shanahan because a promotion wasn’t involved. When Shanahan sweetened the pot to reunite with Turner -- the two spent 14 seasons together in Denver -- the Broncos relented.

This is a big loss. Turner is known for being one of the best position coaches in the NFL. Under Shanahan’s and Turner’s guidance, Denver had, by far, the best run game program in the NFL. Year after year, Denver produced 1,000-yard runners.

Turner’s departure from Denver comes a day after longtime Shanahan offensive line coach Rick Dennison departed to Houston to become the offensive coordinator. Turner and Dennison were a big part of the team’s zone-blocking schemes.

With Turner and Dennison leaving, the Shanahan influence has essentially evaporated in Josh McDaniels’ program. McDaniels kept the two assistants last year to keep some continuity.

Now, McDaniels’ offense will be all his. That’s not a bad thing. He will be completely comfortable in his own program, He will likely get bigger offensive lineman and second-year running back Knowshon Moreno will be tutored the way McDaniels and his new running backs coach want him to be.

The Shanahan era is over in Denver.