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Running Away From the Broncos

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The fallout from the Broncos’ tough season continues, as coaches jump ship in search of better opportunities. Running backs coach Bobby Turner, one of the key architects behind Denver’s top-shelf running game since 1995, is likely headed to join former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan in Washington.

The Broncos initially denied Shanahan’s request to interview Turner, but Pro Football Talk reports that Turner will likely be the associate head coach of the Redskins—and that he may have already accepted the job. Turner joins Broncos offensive line coach Rick Dennison, a longtime Bronco who is also apparently out the door.

Dennison is in the running for a post as the Houston Texans’ new offensive coordinator, after that team’s offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, joined his father in Washington last week. The Denver Post (free registration required) writes that Dennison will be hard to replace: He’s been an assistant coach with the Broncos for 15 years, a period of time in which the team has logged several 1,000-yard rushers and great success on the offensive side of the ball.

Dennison is a Fort Collins native, who played defensive end at Rocky Mountain High School and then tight end at Colorado State University. He was also a Broncos player from 1982-1990. Denver reportedly wants to keep Dennison, but since coach Josh McDaniels calls the plays and Mike McCoy holds the title of offensive coordinator, Dennison would remain an offensive-line coach for the foreseeable future.

If he goes to Houston, Dennison will have more control over play-calling and the team’s running game. He’d also join Houston head coach Gary Kubiak, a longtime Bronco himself and Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator for years.

The loss of Dennison and Turner signals a shift in what the Broncos will have to do to run the ball, which could be a good thing. Still, we’re losing two of the best coaches the team’s had in nearly a quarter century.

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