The Denver Broncos are receiving important contributions from two first-year coordinators during their 3-1 start. Joining veteran offensive play caller Mike McCoy on head coach Vance Joseph’s staff are defensive coordinator Joe Woods and special-teams coordinator Brock Olivo.
The results from those two units, while not perfect by any means, have been pretty remarkable all things considered.
“From Day 1, they’ve come in and set a tone and been very organized,” one team source told us. “It’s been impressive to watch. The guys rally around them.”
In the wake of Gary Kubiak stepping down as head coach after last season, much of his staff was dissolved as well. McCoy returned to replace Rick Dennison. Wade Phillips was allowed to walk and take the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator spot. And Olivo replaced long-time special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamilis.
Between Kubiak and his three coordinators, they carried more than 110 years of NFL experience. Woods has been in the NFL for more than a decade, and his elevation from Broncos defensive backs coach made him a natural fit. But Olivo only has been an NFL assistant for two-plus years now, assisting on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City before coming to Denver in the offseason to run these units.
And we hear that Olivo has thrust himself onto the radar of a few Division-I schools as a possible head-coaching candidate.
“He has that P.J. Fleck vibe, and that work ethic and enthusiasm,” a former colleague of Olivo told us last month. “I think he’d be a perfect face of a [college] program. He’d be great on the couch [of a recruit]. He’d be great in the locker room and on the sidelines.
“And now he has that NFL pedigree to his name, which doesn’t hurt. He’s played in the league, too [as a running back and special teamer for the Detroit Lions from 1998-2001]. I don’t know if [Olivo] has any interest, or if he’s determined to be an NFL guy now. But I know for a fact that a few schools are watching him. The word has spread quickly.”
It would be unlikely for his alma mater, University of Missouri, to fire its coach, Barry Odom, and replace him with his former Tigers teammate — so let’s make sure that’s clear. But some smaller-conference schools might be keeping him on their short lists in case they have job openings.