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Old 01-28-2010, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default No Nolan is no shock to Bailey, Dawkins: Change part of "growing pains"

No Nolan is no shock to Bailey
Dawkins: Change part of "growing pains"
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/28/2010 01:00:00 AM MST

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Whether using his legs or mind, Champ Bailey is fast enough to wait.

On the left corner of a football field, Bailey often lies back until he deciphers a quarterback's intentions. Then he will react to a receiver's route.

Off the field, Bailey let everyone else immediately react to the recent departure of Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Fans were surprised, players were shocked, and people inside the NFL industry and out shook their heads in disbelief.

Was Bailey surprised?

"Not really," Bailey said. "Should I be?"

The conversation, which was taking place minutes after the AFC Pro Bowl team completed its practice Wednesday morning at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, was temporarily interrupted by laughter.

"The way things turn around with our . . ." Bailey said. "Nah, I wasn't shocked."

The Broncos lost eight of their final 10 games to miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, but you'd never know it from looking at all the blue-and-orange helmets here. Among teams that didn't continue into the postseason, the Broncos have the most Pro Bowlers, five offensive tackle Ryan Clady, strong safety Brian Dawkins, linebacker Elvis Dumervil, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Bailey. The San Francisco 49ers also have five, but two were replacements for injured players.

"We have talent," Dawkins said. "But when you have a new regime like we did, there are going to be growing pains. There's not too many teams set up like coach (Jim) Caldwell with the Colts. He was already on that staff. Nothing changed as far as coaches or systems. We had a new coaching staff, we changed the blocking schemes, we changed defensive systems, we changed in philosophies. There's a lot of change in there. For us or anybody to think there wasn't going to be growing pains, those are pretty lofty expectations."

No position has embodied the change at Dove Valley more than defensive coordinator. Nolan's exit means Dumervil is about to play for his fifth defensive coordinator, a startling number considering he just finished his fourth NFL season.

"So this is something I should be familiar with," Dumervil said. "Still, it was a little shocking. As players, all you can do is just play and let the front-office people handle all that other stuff."

Dumervil's defensive boss in his rookie 2006 season was Larry Coyer, who is now running the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts' defense. There was Jim Bates in 2007, Bob Slowik in 2008, Nolan in 2009. Broncos linebackers coach Don Martindale appears to be the front-runner for the defensive coordinator position in 2010.

If McDaniels were to officially anoint Martindale, the move would receive strong endorsement from the leaders of the Denver locker room.

"I very much can see him as a defensive coordinator," Dawkins said. "A lot of what they asked me to do this year as a true strong safety, the film study I went through at that position, a lot of that came from him."

It would not be enough, though, for Martindale to do a good job in his first year as Denver's defensive coordinator. The Broncos need him to do a better job than Nolan did. No small task, considering the Broncos improved from 30th in defensive scoring under Slowik in 2008 to 12th in 2009.

"You can't measure how much you miss somebody until the season starts and see how much you improve from what you were," Bailey said.

Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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.......Wish they just pick someone.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hilife View Post
.......Wish they just pick someone.
yeah, this. I just hope our D takes a step foward so we don't see another change after next season this door needs to stop revolving.
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