DENVER (BVM) – The Denver Broncos went into the season with high expectations but almost all of them have not been met. First–year head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired, Russell Wilson has not played to his normal level and the offense has struggled. Denver enters the offseason needing to hire a new coach and improve the offense. Luckily, the defense needs no fixing.
“You just have to find a way to get points out of this offense,” KOA Denver Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright said on BVM Sports’ Simple Question. “If they are even middle of the road, this is a dangerous football team.”
This defense has held teams to 20 points per game this season. In many of the Broncos’ losses, if the offense had just scored 18 points, Denver would be looking at a playoff berth. The offense struggled but did have to deal with some key injuries. Prior to the season, wide receiver Tim Patrick tore his ACL and then running back Javonte Williams tore his ACL and LCL.
Denver will have both back next season but the franchise still needs to find one more weapon on the offensive side of the ball.
“They need reliable speed to take the top off,” Allbright said.
KJ Hamler is that but injuries have kept him off the field. Whether it’s through the draft or free agency, Denver will need speed at wide receiver that can pressure defenses deep down the field. However, Wilson will need time to make those plays and to give him that time, the Broncos need to rebuild the offensive line.
“Gut that entire offensive line, Quinn Meinerz will be back at the right guard position, but everybody else is potentially on the chopping block,” Allbright said.
The Broncos’ offensive line has given up 61 sacks on the season, the most in the NFL. Wilson needs time in the pocket.
Denver still has salary cap space and thanks to the Bradley Chubb trade, the Broncos still have a first–round pick. The team should be able to address both issues to get the offense to a level that will give them a chance to take advantage of one of the best defenses in the NFL.
However, none of that will matter if the coaching situation doesn’t improve. The team needs to find someone that can take a talented roster to the next level. The player-friendly Hackett didn’t work out and he also did not surround himself with many experienced coaches.
“I think they’re finding a coach that can coach Russell Wilson,” Allbright said.
Allbright believes Jim Harbaugh or Dan Quinn will be the top candidates for the Broncos. Harbaugh is offensive minded and Denver’s defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero, coached with him when Harbaugh was in San Francisco. The hope would be that Evero would stay to keep continuity on the defensive side of the ball.
“If Harbaugh wants to come here, it will be Harbaugh,” Allbright said.