Coaching Notes: Broncos, Montgomery, Robertson, Johnson

After the announcement that he would become the next head coach in Denver, Sean Payton‘s new coaching staff is beginning to take form. Recent reports have clued us in to expected hires for the offensive line and tight ends coaching positions and have revealed the fate of a holdover from last year.

At offensive line coach, the Broncos are expected to hire Zach Strief, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Strief is a former seventh-round draft pick for the Saints that spent five years on the bench before taking over at right tackle for the retiring Jon Stinchcomb. He would go on to start the next five seasons as the team’s right tackle. Strief spent all 12 years of his playing career in New Orleans before eventually retiring a Saint in 2019. Since then, Strief has been working towards a role in coaching, serving as the Saints assistant offensive line coach for the past two seasons. A role as the Broncos offensive line coach would be his first opportunity as the lead coach at that position.

Payton’s poaching of his former coaching staff may not stop there. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported today that Saints offensive assistant Declan Doyle is being considered for the Broncos tight ends coaching position. This would also be a first-time position coach hire. Doyle has spent four years in his current role with New Orleans. His only prior experience was as an offensive student assistant at the University of Iowa.

In the opposite direction, the Broncos’ inside linebackers coach from last season, Peter Hansen, is reportedly not going to be a part of the new staff, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. In his only year at the job, Hansen coached linebackers Alex Singleton and Josey Jewell to career highs in tackles and tackles for loss. Singleton’s 163 total tackles ranked fifth in the NFL this season. A likely outcome would see Hansen joining his former defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero in Carolina.

Here are a few more coaching notes from around the league:

  • The Lions added a strong piece to their coaching staff today, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, reportedly hiring Scottie Montgomery in the role of assistant head coach/running backs coach. Montgomery had spent the last two years as the running backs coach in Indianapolis coaching up young super star Jonathan Taylor. Despite a third-year slump devastated by injuries, Taylor’s sophomore season benefitted greatly from the addition of Montgomery to the staff as he would lead the NFL with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in 2021. The respected veteran position coach was a popular candidate for many other jobs around the league. The hire is a big one for Detroit.
  • The Saints are on the lookout for a new defensive backs coach after dismissing co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach Kris Richard earlier this week. Anderson from CBS Sports reported that Cardinals defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson is being considered for a role that may be defined as secondary coach/passing game coordinator.
  • Former Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson was back in Texas this weekend as the Vikings assistant quarterbacks coach interviewed for a senior offensive assistant staff position with the Texans, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. The Houston-native worked closely with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins this season. He’s quickly becoming a hot name in coaching circles, earning an interview this offseason for the Chargers offensive coordinator position that went to Kellen Moore.
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