Understanding the Broncos’ assistant coach firings requires a look beyond position performance

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Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD, Colo — The wrecking ball has made its first trip through Denver Broncos headquarters.

On Monday evening, the Broncos officially announced that they had parted way with six, count 'em, six assistant coaches, following an abysmal 5-11 season.

Running backs coach Eric Studesville, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, outside linebackers coach Fred Pagac, special teams coordinator Brock Olivo, offensive line coach Jeff Davidson and defensive backs assistant Johnnie Lynn were all shown the door on black Monday.

The first three, Studesville, Tolbert and Pagac, all raised eyebrows in Broncos Country as they have become very recognizable names to fans throughout the years.

Studesville, of course, was the Broncos longest-tenured coach, he joined the team in 2010 under Josh McDaniels and has since coached Knowshon Moreno and, just this season, C.J. Anderson, to 1,000-yard campaigns. He notably served as the team's interim head coach when McDaniels was fired.

Tolbert joined the team just one year later in 2011. In his seven seasons with the team, he helped Demaryius Thomas go to five consecutive pro bowls to go along with five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He also coached receivers for the most prolific offense in NFL history.

Pagac became a part of the staff when Gary Kubiak was named head coach in 2015. Most notably, he coached Von Miller to a Super Bowl MVP and a postseason for the ages.

On the surface, it's easy to look at these moves as head-scratchers, but to understand the decisions, it's important to know that there is a lot more that goes into these decisions than simply how their respective units performed.

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