AFC West: Sean McDermott
As previously reported, the additions included offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and running backs coach Eric Studesville, two holdovers from Josh McDaniels’ staff. Studesville finished the season as Denver’s interim head coach. Other holdovers from McDaniels’ staff include tight ends coach Clancy Barone, defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely, defensive quality control coach Jay Rogers and offensive quality control coach Brian Callahan.
Fox also hired two of his former Carolina assistants Dave Magazu (offensive line) and Tyke Tolbert (receivers).
The biggest remaining open job on Fox’s staff is defensive coordinator. McDaniels’ defensive coordinator, Don Martindale, is not expected back. Denver was ranked last in the NFL in total defense and points allowed in 2010. Among the candidates for the top defensive post is former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim L. Mora and recently fired Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
From the look at the early additions to the staff, it seems like Fox -- a defensive specialist -- will bring in a mostly new defensive staff. That is not surprising and considering Denver’s issues this season, a coaching overhaul on defense is probably necessary.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that McDermott has become the defensive coordinator in Carolina.
The Denver Post is reporting that Studesville will be the running backs coach on John Fox’s staff. The two were assistants together with the New York Giants years ago. Studesville was the running backs coach under Josh McDaniels before McDaniels was fired in December with four games remaining in the season. Studesville became Denver’s interim coach and the Broncos had a 1-3 record under him.
Studesville impressed Denver’s brass with the way he handled the team after McDaniels was fired. Studesville was one of the five candidates interviewed for the head-coaching job before Fox was hired Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Broncos are looking at former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott as a potential candidate for the same job. In a radio interview, Fox further explains what he’s looking for in his coaching staff among other topics.
Here are some random thoughts on Denver's hiring of New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels:
The Broncos became a passing team in 2008 partly because quarterback Jay Cutler emerged into a Pro Bowl player and the team had major injury issues at running back. Thus, Mike Shanahan, perhaps the premier running head coach in NFL history, slowly changed his team's approach.
Under McDaniels, it is very likely the Broncos will stay a throwing team.
It is being reported that former San Francisco coach Mike Nolan will be the Broncos' defensive coordinator. Dom Capers and Sean McDermott have also been mentioned for that job in Denver.
Nolan would be an interesting choice. Despite his issues as a head coach, he is a noted defensive coaching star and he is experienced. Like Capers, he'd be a help to McDaniels. The Broncos have had one of the league's worst defenses in recent years so an experienced coach is needed on that side of the ball.
McDaniels isn't the first branch of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. But can he have success? Two former Belichick assistants, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini were just fired from NFL jobs. Charlie Weis has been under fire at Notre Dame. Can McDaniels buck the trend? We'll see.
The Broncos may have indirectly stolen McDaniels away from Kansas City. The Chiefs are talking to New England's Scott Pioli about being the general manager. There was speculation that Pioli could take McDaniels to Kansas City with him. Now, if Pioli ends up with the Chiefs, he'll be division rivals with his former co-worker.