Faion Hicks wants Jim Leonhard to coach Broncos’ defense

As the Denver Broncos continue the interview process to fill their open defensive coordinator position, cornerback Faion Hicks has made his recommendation known: Jim Leonhard.

Hicks took to social media earlier this week and tweeted, “Come to Denver @jimleonhard” in response to a tweet about Leonhard interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles for their DC opening.

Hicks, who joined the Broncos as a seventh-round pick last April, played under Leonhard at Wisconsin from 2017-2021. When Hicks arrived at the school, Leonhard was serving as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. He was promoted to interim head coach last fall.

The Badgers named Luke Fickell their full-time head coach last October and Leonhard later announced he would be leaving the school after the 2022 season. He’s now a canidate to make a jump to the NFL, but a potential hip surgery might delay that possibility.

“Leonhard had planned to undergo hip surgery and sit out coaching for a year, but when Eagles job opened, both sides had interest in discussing the position, which they did last week,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Wednesday. “Ultimately, they decided it wasn’t the right time.”

It’s unclear if it’s not the right time for Leonhard just in Philadelphia, or if it’s not the right time to join any NFL team. There’s been no word yet on if he has finalized a decion on potentially taking a break from coaching in 2023.

Leonhard was a safety in the NFL from 2005-2014, playing for the Broncos in 2012. He totaled 431 tackles, 14 interceptions and 4.5 sacks before hanging up his cleats in 2015. Leonhard starting his coaching career as a defensive backs coach at Wisconsin, his alma mater, in 2016.


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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire