The off-season changes continued recently for the Broncos when they named Brian Xanders their new general manager.
Xanders played linebacker at Florida State, then spent 14 years with the Atlanta Falcons organization before coming to the Broncos before last season. Now, he and new Head Coach Josh McDaniels have the task of rebuilding the Broncos.
In a recent interview with 850 KOA, Xanders said he and McDaniels will have no trouble working together.
“He’s great with people,” Xanders said. “He’s very passionate and he knows exactly what he wants on a clear, concise basis in terms of systems, position parameters, (and) working together with everybody in college, pro, (and) his coaching staff so it’s really been good.”
The relationship between head coach and general manager is crucial and Xanders said he and McDaniels will work well together.
“We share the same passion and going forward, we’re going to work extremely close together on a positive collaboration of ideas and evaluation. It’ll really help us build a great consensus on selecting a player when we get there.”
The Broncos are almost there. As we write, the scouting combine is going on. Free agency is just around the corner. The draft is two months away. Soon, the roster will be more than speculation. Xanders is ready for the process.
“I’ve been through 15 drafts and it’s really been a great experience to work under a bunch of different people in Atlanta. I added it up and it was (about) six general managers and nine head coaches. You end up getting a broad spectrum of different ways to do it.”
Xanders said he has a clear idea of how he wants to go about building the team.
“We’re going to pick smart, tough, versatile players that play great under pressure, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams,” Xanders shared.
“There are clearly defined roles and parameters for what we want to do offensively, defensively and on special teams. The artwork of it is trying to find and piece together the exact fits for our system.”
One gets the idea that defense will be a point of emphasis.
“Defensively, anybody can watch the games and know we need help there and on special teams,” Xanders admitted.
The Broncos have created about $30 million of salary cap space to make some noise in free agency, which begins Thursday night. Some of the available money will likely to go re-sign center Casey Wiegmann and there is the possibility the Broncos will give wide receiver Brandon Marshall a new contract.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has grabbed most of the headlines heading into free agency. I think he is too expensive for the Broncos. And he would be slightly out of position if the Broncos indeed play a significant amount of the 3-4 defense.
I believe the Broncos’ biggest need in free agency is signing a talented and experienced cornerback. Dre Bly is gone. They need someone to play opposite Champ Bailey.
Talk is percolating that the Broncos could go after Ronald Bartell (Rams) and/or Bryant McFadden (Steelers).
I know the Broncos have to shore up the defensive line. I believe they will. But there is no hiding a hole at corner. There are more ways to get pressure on the passer than there are ways to cover wide receivers. The Broncos have to have guys they can put on an island at the cornerback position.
We’ll have more on free agency this weekend. I have enjoyed the posts from those who have shared their thoughts about the roster.
What position is the most important for the Broncos to address in free agency?
Thanks for reading,