Denver Broncos interim coach Jerry Rosburg has already worked hard in his first week as the head man.
Initially brought in to assist Nathaniel Hackett in game management earlier this year, Rosburg was promoted to interim head coach for the final two games of the season after Hackett was fired Monday.
Rosburg’s first order of business? Fire two coaches to spearhead the change.
Rosburg fired special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes and offensive line coach Butch Barry. Special teams wise, the stats may justify the firing. The Broncos ranked 32nd in kick return average and 30th in field goal percentage, and Broncos kicker Brandon McManus has struggled this season with a 76.5% field goal rate.
The offensive line has not fared much better, allowing 57 sacks this season. You could pinpoint some of the issues on Russell Wilson sometimes holding the ball too long, attributing to the high sack total. But 57 sacks is a high number, so Rosburg made moves.
Rosburg explained why he made the moves now instead of waiting until the end of the season.
“We have had to make changes, the changes in the staff that we have made have been my decision,” Rosburg said Wednesday.” I know special teams. I’ve been coaching special teams for a long time. We weren’t good enough. We were 32nd in the league in one of the metrics that I follow. If I’m not mistaken, there are 32 teams in this league. So that had to change.
“The only way it was going to change was for me to insert myself right in the middle of that thing. We just did that this morning …. [W]e are making these changes for the good of this team, so we can win two football games.
Rosburg then elaborated on the offensive line firing.
“With regard to Butch, I have great respect for Butch — affection — he’s a good man, a really fine coach. I made that move because I wanted to move in a different direction with the offensive line. I wanted to make an impactful move on the offensive line. We needed to get better there to help all aspects of it.
“I made that decision. I take full responsibility for it. I’ve talked to Butch and I’ve talked to the players. It’s something that we’re going to move forward from this point. That’s the nature of the National Football League. We’re trying to win.”
Although the season is nearly over, the Broncos will have a chance to showcase its new leadership against the Kansas City Chiefs on New Year’s Day.