Gary Kubiak Continues to put Together a Strong Staff for the Denver Broncos


Dec 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Kubiak continued to fill out his staff on Tuesday by retaining some very good football coaches from the previous staff. Here’s a look at those guys and what they bring to the Denver Broncos.

Eric Studesville has been with the Broncos since 2010 and will now work for a third head coach. He is well respected among the players and the organization. So much so the owner Pat Bowlen named him as the interim coach after firing Josh McDaniels with four games to go in the 2010 season. Studesville held things together at the end of that difficult season, and was retained by John Fox.

Beyond his loyalty to the Broncos, Studesville is an outstanding running backs coach. He did a great job with CJ Anderson this season and will be counted on even more as the Broncos will become more of a running team under Kubiak.

Quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp will also be retained by Kubiak. This could be vital as the Broncos wait for Peyton Manning’s decision. Knapp and Manning are close, and his return could make the transition easier for Manning.

Knapp has also been working with Brock Osweiler and his return will be big as the Broncos continue to develop the guy who may eventually take over at some point, if not this year.

Wide receivers coach, Ty Tolbert will return to the same position under Kubiak. Tolbert is considered one of the best receivers’ coaches in the NFL and his work with the Broncos is second to none. Demaryius Thomas was a raw rookie who came out of an option offense in college, and Tolbert worked with him on route running and everything else that goes with being an NFL receiver. Thomas is now a top five receiver, and Tolbert deserves a great deal of credit for that.

Clancy Barone will move from tight-ends coach over to the offensive line and will be a big part in installing the zone blocking system. Barone is familiar with it and knows what it takes for that style to succeed.

The linebackers for the Broncos will be thrilled to hear that Richard Smith has also been retained. Smith is wildly considered as one of the best linebacker coaches in the league, and worked under Kubiak as his defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans.

Smith may have done his best job in 2014 when the Broncos lost two starters; Danny Trevathan for essentially the season and Nate Irving for the last part of the regular season and the playoffs. Both of those guys were expected to be major players on the Broncos defense, but Smith did an excellent job of keeping that unit together.

Brandon Marshall was one of the best stories in the NFL this season as he went from an unknown as a linebacker to a key player on the Broncos defense. Smith had a big part in developing him as well as some of the other young linebackers.

Kubiak and the Broncos have also retained strength and conditioning coach, Luke Richesson. This one was a no brainer as Richesson has done a great job in that role since taking over three years ago.

Kubiak also made one outside hire on Tuesday when he named Joe DeCamillis as his special teams coach. This is an outstanding move. DeCamillis is one of the most accomplished special team’s coaches in the game and also has connections to the Broncos. He was first hired by Dan Reeves, who also happens to be his father-in-law, in the 1980’s.

Since then, DeCamillis has coached in a number of places including the Chicago Bears over the last two seasons. It’s true the Bears struggled on special teams under DeCamillis but that had more to do with their lack of talent than it did the coaching.

The Broncos were mediocre at best on special teams in 2014 and were in need of a major upgrade. The hiring of DeCamillis is the first step in getting that done.

In other Broncos coaching news, the Broncos reportedly would like to hire Vance Joseph as their defensive coordinator, but it is unknown at this time if the Cincinnati Bengals will allow him out of his contract. Bengals owner Mike Brown has said he wants to talk to Joseph before making a decision and would not give a timetable for that discussion. Brown is an odd duck and this could get tricky.

The Broncos interviewed Joseph for the head coaching position and really like him. He also worked under Kubiak but the Broncos cannot wait too long because other candidates are looking at other jobs. Stay tuned.

The offensive staff is complete and the defensive staff should take shape over the next couple of days, but this much is true. Kubiak is putting together a fantastic staff and that’s the first step to building a championship contender.