Four Denver Broncos assistant coaches let go


Heistand, Cook also posted as new head coach Nathaniel Hackett builds his new staff.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — NFL coaches understand what they signed up for.

The hours are brutally long and the security stinks, but it pays relatively well and there are far worse ways to make a living than trolling football and helping young athletes grow as players and men.

Football coaches also know that their team must win, otherwise. If the team doesn’t win, the head coach leaves and another truth of the job is that when the head coach leaves, most of his coaching staff leaves too.

And the same goes for the Broncos who, after firing head coach Vic Fangio four weeks ago, also informed many of his assistants that they had been fired as well. Some good hit the coaching market on Saturday as sources told 9News new head coach Nathaniel Hackett briefed four of Fangio’s assistants – including tight ends coach Wade Harman and defensive assistant longtime Chris Beake – they would not be retained for the 2022 season.

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Harman, 58, just completed his 25th season as an NFL coach, third with the Broncos. He won two Super Bowl rings during his 15 seasons as the Baltimore Ravens’ tight ends coach from 1999 to 2013. With the Broncos, he helped raise tight end Noah Fant from a 2019 first-round raw rookie to one of the league’s top receiving threats who averaged 57 catches per season in his first three years.

Last season, Harman battled prostate cancer, sometimes receiving treatment in the morning and always arriving in time for the start of training camp practices.

Beake, 49, just completed his 9th season as the Broncos’ defensive coach and 23rd in the NFL. The son of former longtime Broncos general manager John Beake, Chris was on the Broncos’ Super Bowl 48 and 50 coaching staffs. He was promoted to defensive passing play specialist before last season.

The Broncos also released two young coaches in Mike Heistand, who served as an assistant defensive line coach and assistant to Fangio for the past three seasons, and Chris Cook, who after five years of training at the college level has just completed his first season in the NFL as the Broncos. ‘ offensive quality control coach.

Other Fangio assistants who have been told they won’t be returning are his three coordinators – Pat Shurmur (offensive), Ed Donatell (defense) and Tom McMahon (special teams) – as well as quarterbacks coach Mike Shula and inside linebackers coach Reggie Herring. Offensive line coach Mike Munchak has also been told he will not be returning to his role. Donatell joined the Seattle Seahawks as a defensive consultant and McMahon has interviewed Carolina and Las Vegas in recent weeks.

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