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Broncos coach Sean Payton set to hire Ben Kotwica as special teams coordinator

Mike Westhoff figures to serve as assistant head coach
Ben Kotwica
Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 18:33:41-05

DENVER — Over the last seven years, there are simple truths about the Broncos. They have not been contenders, and their special teams units have been a tire fire.

In Sean Payton's first season, he has tasked Ben Kotwica to improve one of the league's most underwhelming units. The former Minnesota Vikings coach has been hired as the Broncos special teams coordinator, according to multiple sources.

He's expected to be receive help from Mike Westhoff, Payton's former Saints' special teams coach, who will likely have an assistant head coach role. Anthony Blevins of the Giants was among the strong candidates to interview for the post.

Kotwica brings a battery of experience to the role, a juxtaposition to the previous coaches who were either first-timers or, in Dwayne Stukes' case last season, hadn't held role for a decade. Kotwica has been a special teams boss from 2013-2022, save for 2021. Kotwica has been in charge for the Jets, Washington, Atlanta and Minnesota. The Broncos' special teams have consistently ranked near the bottom in kickoff returns, and coverage units.

The Broncos are still considering options at offensive and defensive coordinator. Ronald Curry, a candidate for the offensive role, is staying in New Orleans. However, the Broncos interviewed former Denver head coach Vance Joseph on Friday for the defensive coordinator's spot. He is hopeful that he receives an offer, but is also a candidate in Philadelphia.

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Payton has taken a deliberate approach in his hirings.

Rex Ryan, who last coached in the NFL in 2016, is considered the favorite for the defensive coordinator's spot, but it remains a fluid situation.