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Rocky Mountain Stampede
01-15-2009, 01:34 AM
Coach Gradishar great idea

By Mark Kiszla
The Denver Post

01/15/2009

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_11456639

Any way you look at it, the defense of the Broncos stinks. A fine tradition crushed. From the gaudy points hung by foes on the scoreboard to the rock bottom of the NFL statistics, the Orange ain't what it used to be.

Where have you gone, Randy Gradishar?

But there is reason for hope.

Although only 32 years old, new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has arrived from New England with a little magic dust from the Orange Crush on his fingertips.

"When I see the Patriots play defense, I see a lot of us. It's the same defense. It's the same 3-4 defense," said Billy Thompson, a safety on the 1977 Orange Crush that began the franchise's Super Bowl tradition.

So why not bring that sense of history to life?

McDaniels was hired to think outside the box.

The rookie coach could put the Crush back in the Orange by finding a place on his staff for Gradishar.

"Why am I not a Broncos coach?" said Gradishar, startled by the question. "Well, I've never been asked."

Gradishar doesn't need a job. And, it's true: He has never coached in the NFL. If the Broncos are sincerely interested in reinstalling the 3-4 defense, how- ever, they might as well hire the linebacker who made it ferocious and famous in Denver more than 30 years ago, when McDaniels was still in diapers.

Think Gradishar could teach D.J. Williams or Wesley Woodyard a trick or two?

So I humbly propose that Broncos owner Pat Bowlen do what I did Wednesday: Pick up the telephone, punch up Gradishar's digits and measure the Ring of Fame inductee's interest in returning to the football field to help Denver get back to the Super Bowl.

"Have Mr. Bowlen give me a call," said Gradishar, his modesty unable to conceal the passion for the game that burns within him. "I would consider it a great opportunity to even broach the subject of being considered to be the linebackers coach."

Since buying the franchise 25 years ago, Bowlen has done a wonderful job of honoring the football traditions in a city where many Broncomaniacs believe orange sunsets over the Rocky Mountains are proof of what's truly important in our little corner of the universe.

But, from Gradishar to John Elway, the team should take more advantage of its storied alums' talent.

Especially now, when the baby-faced McDaniels could use a few wise heads on his coaching staff, and Gradishar could be a link to the 3-4 techniques of former Broncos defensive guru Joe Collier so evident in the Super Bowl triumphs by New England that have allowed Patriots assistants to win high-paying jobs throughout the league.

"The 3-4 defense allows so many variations where you can send people, blitz or put pressure on the quarterback that an offense has to constantly check and challenge it. That's the same now as it was 30 years ago," said Gradishar, who at age 56 looks as if he could still hit harder than any QB really wants to know.

Somewhere, there's a frayed legal pad or a slick PDA with a list of names McDaniels compiled as a dream team of assistant coaches when he landed his first NFL gig as a head coach. Mike Nolan already has been hired as defensive coordinator.

Although McDaniels was raised in an Ohio football family, the new Broncos coach wasn't born until three years after Gradishar finished sixth in the 1973 Heisman Trophy voting and Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes declared him "the best linebacker I ever coached."

True-blue Broncos roots count for plenty in Colorado. Here's a way for McDaniels to tap into the tradition.
With the commitment of coaches and players, the Denver defense will rise again, Gradishar insists. And it should not take forever to fix what's wrong.

"From changing coaches to schemes to injuries, the defense is kind of unstable and has been for years," Gradishar said. "But I don't think it takes years to move the needle and improve from the bottom third of the league. I don't see the Broncos getting worse. I see them getting better."

What's required first is for the Broncos to believe a strong "D" need not be an impossible dream. Add the team chemistry born of sweat on the practice field and coaches who can communicate the techniques to reach lofty goals. Trust the age-old and time-tested principles that a young Broncos staffer named Bill Belichick cribbed from Collier.

And hiring a linebacker as fierce as Gradishar wouldn't hurt.

When you want to tackle problems on defense, who you gonna call?

Start with No. 53, Randy Gradishar.

Mark Kiszla: 303-954-1053 or mkiszla@denverpost.com

footstepsfrom#27
01-15-2009, 02:09 AM
Especially now, when the baby-faced McDaniels could use a few wise heads on his coaching staff, [B]and Gradishar could be a link to the 3-4 techniques of former Broncos defensive guru Joe Collier so evident in the Super Bowl triumphs by New England that have allowed Patriots assistants to win high-paying jobs throughout the league.mkiszla@denverpost.com
Interesting idea, but if McDaniels is looking to link to Joe Collier, he need go no farther than his son Joel Collier, New England's secondary coach the Pats let walk last year. I'ved posted this in hear several times, but Joel Collier is an outstanding coach in his own right who would have made an excellent DC here IMO. I wouldn't mind Gradishar here, but at 56 it's tough to be a rookie coach in the NFL, especially if you've never coached before at any level. Gradishar might be a good coach, Joel Collier is allready a good one.

OBF1
01-15-2009, 03:08 AM
Why not ??? I am old enough to remember Gradishar playing days and it is still one of lives great mysteries why he is not in the HOF, He was that great. Putting him in to help could only help.

TDmvp
01-15-2009, 03:30 AM
Great players don't make great coaches . period ... 1 out of 50 times does it work . see Michael Jordan .

cutthemdown
01-15-2009, 07:25 AM
stupid idea

illbroncsfn
01-15-2009, 07:39 AM
Maybe Gradishar's role should be a training camp LB consultant to get his roots and then he can see if he likes the 100+ hr/wk grind of the NFL.

TheSportsGuru
01-15-2009, 07:42 AM
Maybe Gradishar's role should be a training camp LB consultant to get his roots and then he can see if he likes the 100+ hr/wk grind of the NFL.

On this note, the Broncos need to bring some of these guys back to remind these guys what it means to be a Denver Bronco. The chain was broken when Wilson got hurt and no-one has picked up the torch. Since then there has been no real identity on defense....

LonghornBronco
01-15-2009, 07:49 AM
Nice story but bad idea!

socalorado
01-15-2009, 07:53 AM
http://www.orangemane.com/BB/image.php?u=5974&dateline=1230669148 (http://www.orangemane.com/BB/member.php?u=5974)


yeah..........uh......Gradisher. Right, sure, sign him...........up. Sure, whatever.

Kaylore
01-15-2009, 08:04 AM
I agree this is a dumb idea. This guy hasn't done anything with football in forever and there's no reason to think he'd bring anything to the table about linebackers that the staff doesn't already know and have experience teaching. Nolan has been coaching guys like Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis. There's nothing Gradishar knows that Nolan doesn't.

Dukes
01-15-2009, 08:22 AM
I like the idea of bringing him in as a consultant to let these guys know what it means to be a Bronco, but anything beyond that is silly.

Dutch
01-15-2009, 08:45 AM
Interesting idea, but if McDaniels is looking to link to Joe Collier, he need go no farther than his son Joel Collier, New England's secondary coach the Pats let walk last year. I'ved posted this in hear several times, but Joel Collier is an outstanding coach in his own right who would have made an excellent DC here IMO. I wouldn't mind Gradishar here, but at 56 it's tough to be a rookie coach in the NFL, especially if you've never coached before at any level. Gradishar might be a good coach, Joel Collier is allready a good one.

Interesting idea. I actually met Joel back in '86 when he was a Junior at UNC. Real good guy. He was roommates with my ex-wife's cousin who was the punter for the Bears. If I remember right he spent quite a bit of his coaching time on the offensive side of the ball. Running backs at the Dolphins from '98 to '04. I know he worked with D-backs for a couple of years with the Pats (05-07), but he was cut loose. McD should be pretty familiar with him I would think. I am curious as to what you feel would have made him an excellent DC? I don't think three years as a defensive assistant in Miami and three years as a secondary coach with the Pats is enough to warrant a DC position. I do think it would be cool to see him on staff just due to the familial connection with Joe, but the NFL is no place for nepotism just for the sake of happy stories. We need some seriously experienced coaches if we are going to transition to the 3-4. I hope we get Dom Capers to assist Nolan.

supermanhr9
01-15-2009, 09:02 AM
Randy Gradishar beat up my uncle back when he was in high school, or just graduated, somewhere aroudn then. Yup, that's my claim to fame

Drek
01-15-2009, 09:36 AM
Interesting idea, but if McDaniels is looking to link to Joe Collier, he need go no farther than his son Joel Collier, New England's secondary coach the Pats let walk last year. I'ved posted this in hear several times, but Joel Collier is an outstanding coach in his own right who would have made an excellent DC here IMO. I wouldn't mind Gradishar here, but at 56 it's tough to be a rookie coach in the NFL, especially if you've never coached before at any level. Gradishar might be a good coach, Joel Collier is allready a good one.
We already got a tie to Joe Collier, Mike Nolan was his LB coach for several years.

But Gradishar is probably about as quality an option as anyone else for LB coach, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But if they wanted to bring a youngster along under Nolan instead then thats cool too.

Taco John
01-15-2009, 09:43 AM
I don't mean to be disrespectful to Mr. Gradishar, but what a ridiculous premise for a story. "Why aren't you a Broncos coach?" "Because I haven't been asked." At that point, it's "Oh, I guess I don't have a story here afterall."

The reason he hasnt' been asked isn't because the Broncos have been deficient. It's because clearly Mr. Gradishar hasn't had any coaching aspirations in the last three decades. Does Kiszla think that when Dennison and Kubiak became coaches, it was because the Broncos asked them out of the blue? Of course not - it was because they made themselves candidates.

Kiszla is a moron.

theAPAOps5
01-15-2009, 09:48 AM
Once again Kizla proves why he should be fired and Lee Rasizer should replace him. One day when I have enough money to buy my way out of trouble I think I will poop on his desk.

Rohirrim
01-15-2009, 09:53 AM
Kizla is, was, and will always be, an idiot.

strafen
01-15-2009, 10:40 AM
Why not?
He's got ZERO NFL coaching experience!!!

_Oro_
01-15-2009, 10:41 AM
Boo Kiszla

supermanhr9
01-15-2009, 10:50 AM
it is a pretty ridiculous notion, this isn't high school football. The game has changed dramatically since Gradishar's days on the grid-iron, he would be lost as a coach, or confuse our players even more than they were this year.

bronco0608
01-15-2009, 11:27 AM
Great players don't make great coaches . period ... 1 out of 50 times does it work . see Michael Jordan .

Micheal Jordan never coached.

montrose
01-15-2009, 11:36 AM
Media in this town has to realize that NFL teams evolve. I get so tired of hearing about which former Bronco needs to come back to the organization and how the roster needs to emulate the ones in 1997 and 1998. One thing I was really excited about with McDaniels is that he has no previous ties to the Broncos in anyway and is bringing in a fresh, NFL approach. This is what wins games these days, not trying to replicate approaches of the past by the same franchise or bringing in former coaches and players of that organization. I love Broncos history as much as anyone, but do we have to compare every player on the team to a past Bronco? Do we have to suggest ex-Broncos for important Front Office and Coaching positions? We need to populating Dove Valley with as many savvy NFL-minds and coaches as possible - not ex-Broncos. That's not to say their aren't ex-Broncos who can be helpful to NFL franchises, I'm sure their are. But you go get the most talented, knowledgeable football minds you can - regardless of where they played or worked.

B-Love
01-15-2009, 11:46 AM
Alot of negativity here and it is probably justified. Especially the "he's been out of the game 25 years" angle.

Just because we are running another 3-4 Defense, doesn't mean much when you considering Gradishar retired in '83.

Steve Watson was out of Pro Football for some time but was at least coaching his Son at the High School level, when he received a phone call from Shanahan, and agreed to come down to camp as an Assistant Receivers coach. Watson worked his way up the coaching chart a bit, and was seen as a staff asset.

Whoever wrote that 1 out of every 50 great players, makes is a great coach, is exaggerating, but is directionally correct.

But most of that has to do with the ego that usually accompanies great players. Randy did not have that. If he were TRULY committed to it, I could see Randy being a great mentor and coach.

I'd bet that Mike Nolan already knows Randy as Randy worked for the Broncos a bit during Nolan's first go round on the staff. Randy was a community representative during the late 80's and early 90's as I recall.

Doubt this would go anywhere, but I'd certainly be happy for Randy.

lex
01-15-2009, 11:55 AM
RB Coach: Terrell Davis
QB Coach: John Elway
WR Coach: Rod Smith
TE Coach: Shannon Sharpe
OL Coach: Tom Nalen
DL Coach: Alfred Williams
LB Coach: Randy Gradishar
LB Asst Coach: Bill Romanowski
DB Coach: Steve Atwater


...thats what they should do. It looks pretty awesome doesnt it? How can it go wrong?

B-Love
01-15-2009, 12:12 PM
RB Coach: Terrell Davis
QB Coach: John Elway
WR Coach: Rod Smith
TE Coach: Shannon Sharpe
OL Coach: Tom Nalen
DL Coach: Alfred Williams
LB Coach: Randy Gradishar
LB Asst Coach: Bill Romanowski
DB Coach: Steve Atwater


...thats what they should do. It looks pretty awesome doesnt it? How can it go wrong?

Alfred Williams?? Only two guys have ever taken life less seriously and laughed more.

Butthead and Jeff Spiccoli.

lex
01-15-2009, 12:15 PM
Alfred Williams?? Only two guys have ever taken life less seriously and laughed more.

Butthead and Jeff Spiccoli.

I was being facetious.

B-Love
01-15-2009, 12:19 PM
I was being facetious.


I know man, just having some fun too. But the other guys at least resonated some level of consideration, except Alfred.

I couldn't see Alfred coaching Pee Wee ball.

montrose
01-15-2009, 12:20 PM
I was being facetious.

On his radio show, Scott Hastings is always digging at Alfred that he wants to be the Broncos D-Line coach.

Speaking of The Fan, I'd bet a cup of coffee Jim and Sandy spend the majority of the afternoon discussing what a great idea this would be (Gradishar coaching) and taking calls on it from old-school Broncos fans that think it's the greatest idea of all time.

BroncoBuff
01-15-2009, 12:22 PM
stupid ideaYup ... things are about a million times more complicated now. While I revere what Randy did, anything he'd have to offer as a coach would be simple anachronistic nostalgia.

footstepsfrom#27
01-15-2009, 01:42 PM
I am curious as to what you feel would have made him an excellent DC? I don't think three years as a defensive assistant in Miami and three years as a secondary coach with the Pats is enough to warrant a DC position. I do think it would be cool to see him on staff just due to the familial connection with Joe, but the NFL is no place for nepotism just for the sake of happy stories. We need some seriously experienced coaches if we are going to transition to the 3-4. I hope we get Dom Capers to assist Nolan.
Here ya go: http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?p=2212101&highlight=joel#post2212101

Drek
01-15-2009, 02:25 PM
Yup ... things are about a million times more complicated now. While I revere what Randy did, anything he'd have to offer as a coach would be simple anachronistic nostalgia.

Its not like he'd be tasked with running the defense completely though. He'd be a positional coach, its an entirely different level of demand.

And under someone like Nolan, who's specialty is coaching LBs, it'd basically be a fiery wing man to get on player's asses when he's busy with other aspects of coaching.

The fundamentals of wrapping up a tackle and how you beat a guy on a pass rush isn't all that different from when Gradishar played. Obviously he'd have no idea how to scheme for today's NFL, but as a fundamentals instructor for the young'uns he'd be a solid "retro cred" choice.

You can say the same thing about Niel Smith, Zim, and a dozen other former Broncos legends though. Yeah, they'd be nice hires and probably teach sound fundamentals, but how committed are they to being a professional coach? If Gradishar wanted that kind of career you'd think he would've done something pro-active about it a while ago. Now he's nearing the time where he can collect social security, how many years would he legitimately invest here?

As for Joel Collier. Dude is currently not working in the NFL. That tells you all you need to know about his talent level. If he wanted to be an assistant then great, but no way would he deserve consideration higher than that.

We should ideally be focusing on young upstart assistants combined with knowledgeable vets (ideally Nolan and Capers bringing along a young LB coach and DB coach respectively) in order to develop our own little farm of talented, knowledgeable staffers.

broncosteven
01-15-2009, 03:22 PM
"Why am I not a Broncos coach?" said Gradishar, startled by the question. "Well, I've never been asked."

Gradishar doesn't need a job. And, it's true: He has never coached in the NFL. If the Broncos are sincerely interested in reinstalling the 3-4 defense, how- ever, they might as well hire the linebacker who made it ferocious and famous in Denver more than 30 years ago, when McDaniels was still in diapers.


I stopped reading after this.

This would work as well as the year Craig Morton was Elways QB coach.

Denver Bronco56
01-15-2009, 03:43 PM
I love the idea, but then again, im not saying him and Romo are any where the same playe(Gradishar) being the better of the two, no coaching experience is a huge disadvantage to both. And Romo also has a passion for coaching

Meck77
01-15-2009, 04:09 PM
Sign the man up. He'll turn training camp around from the powder puff show Shanny was running. Might even teach some kids how to hit and play freaking football. Many of you have seen Gradishar around the tailgate. Infact caught him doing a dine and dash off the grill once. I busted his chops about it and he smiled with a big chunk of brat hanging out. ;D The dude still looks like he can play. Pretty amazing.

Old Dude
01-15-2009, 04:12 PM
Actually, I'd rather see Gradishar in politics.

Inkana7
01-15-2009, 04:16 PM
Sign him up. "Goal Line and Short Yardage Coordinator."

footstepsfrom#27
01-16-2009, 07:22 AM
As for Joel Collier. Dude is currently not working in the NFL. That tells you all you need to know about his talent level. If he wanted to be an assistant then great, but no way would he deserve consideration higher than that.
Actually it doesn't tell you anything about his talent level. Like any other job, NFL coaches are sometimes not retained for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance level, but perhaps something to do with interpersonal relationships or other factors. In this case, after looking at what the New England secondary did under his guidance, it's impossible not to be impressed, which leads me to believe this might have been a result of he and Belicheat not seeing eye to eye on something.

The guy grew up at the knee of one of the great defensive coaches in the game, from infancy was a part of this organization, even working as a ball boy for the Broncos as a kid. Clearly he learned enough to impress the best front office in the NFL with an interview that landed him a job. If you can find evidence in the Pats secondary performance under Joel that he didn't do his job...have at it...because it looks like he performed very well even in the face of overwhelming injureis to his players.

I don't know if he's the ideal candidate here, and obviously McDaniels may not think so either, but just because he's not in the NFL after being out one season means nothing. I expect Shanahan will do the same, will he not? Joel has 18 years in the league, has been a scout judging talent and has worked on both sides of the ball plus he's familiar with the style of management that McDaniels will bring here. I'm not saying he's Lombardi, but let's not toss an 18 year career and a lifetime of learning from his dad into the toilet because he's not got a gig at the moment.