ENGLEWOOD -- When you’re making the playoffs every year, as the Broncos were from 2011-15, it didn’t make sense to make big changes.
Why mess with what’s working?
But when you’ve missed the playoffs the past two years and the most recent season finished at 5-11, you better start thinking of new ideas.
Enter DeMarcus Ware.
After a coaching tryout of sorts two weeks ago, the Broncos have officially hired Ware as a part-time pass-rush consultant.
Ware will be around just enough to teach Bradley Chubb a thing or two.
“He knows the game inside and out,’’ Chubb said. “We’re watching film and he’s seeing things that everybody else is like ‘what are you talking about? Nobody sees that.’
“His presence is ‘Hey, I’m a leader. Listen to me, I know what I’m doing,’ and when a guy has that much respect you just want to follow them.”
No one is less surprised by Ware’s new job than I am. In 2014, I travelled to Dallas to do a story on the Broncos’ newly signed star for the Denver Post. We met at Ware’s fitness center and between his reps to build his core, he kept demonstrating pass-rush moves on me.
The punch with the left, dip with the right. The swim. The bull. The okey-doke, where you look here, burst over there.
Later, I’d watch Ware when he was a player at practice. He was always demonstrating hand techniques with his attentive teammates.
“Yeah, I’ve been doing it my whole career,’’ Ware said. “Being a captain on this team for three years, and now being able to come back and do the same thing—and have a lot more time to do it and not have to go out there and perform now—you get to see the other guys do it.”
In Ware’s three years in Denver as a player, the Broncos ranked in the top 10 in sacks every year – tied for 9th in 2014, No. 1 in that magical Super Bowl title season of 2015, and No. 3 in 2016.
Last year, the first without Ware, the Broncos ranked 22nd in sacks.
Come to think of it, bringing Ware back as a pass-rush coach isn’t so much a creative idea as it is a no-brainer.