DENVER—In his new role in the Denver Broncos’ personnel department, Gary Kubiak will relocate back to Denver.
The Broncos’ head coach from 2015, when he led the team to Super Bowl 50 champs, and 2016, when he posted an 9-7 record, Kubiak resigned from that post because of health concerns a year ago.
Instead, he spent the past season serving as the Broncos’ senior personnel advisor, where his primary role was scouting pro and college players while based at his offseason home near Houston.
Kubiak and his wife Rhonda kept their Denver home. He was in and out of Denver headquarters this year to attend player evaluation meetings with general manager John Elway and player personnel director Matt Russell. His kids are here. Two sons even work for the Broncos.
In his new role, Kubiak will be more involved in player evaluations on the pro side, in particular for the free agent period in March and then in helping the Broncos for the 2018 draft in which the team will have the No. 5 overall pick.
Kubiak will technically work under Russell but more importantly will bring a third set of eyes to the Broncos’ personnel department.
The Broncos had a three-man leadership operation with Elway, Russell and Tom Heckert Jr. from 2013-16. But Heckert stepped aside from day-to-day duties last year in part because of health reasons.
Bringing in Kubiak shows Elway is holding himself accountable in what has been a difficult Broncos’ season.
Wasn’t their fault
This hurts. After Kubiak resigned last season, the Broncos didn’t retain his three coordinators: Rick Dennison (offense), Wade Phillips (defense) and Joe DeCamillis (special teams).
All three have similar roles with three different teams this year. All three made the playoffs: Dennison with the Buffalo Bills, Phillips with the Los Angeles Rams and DeCamillis with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There were nine NFL running backs this season who rushed for at least 1,000 yards. Only one – New Orleans’ Mark Ingram with 230 -- had fewer carries than the Broncos’ C.J. Anderson’s 242.
Anderson first made the Broncos’ 53 roster as an undrafted rookie in 2013, made the Pro Bowl thanks to an incredibly productive second half in 2014, then rushed for 90 yards and scored the only offensive touchdown in Super Bowl 50.
So where does 1,000 yards rank among his accomplishments?
“It’s definitely up there,’’ he said. “Hundred yards all-purpose in the Super Bowl with a touchdown was big. But this is something personal where, hey, I was undrafted. I’m coming off knee surgery. I wasn’t supposed to be in this position. The average career for us as running backs is very, very short. To surpass the obstacles that I’ve overcame, I just want to build on that and go from there.’’
Bronco players will gather as early as 8 a.m. Monday to clean out their lockers at the UCHealth Training Center and begin their offseason. Many will be Broncos for the last time.