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Broncos expected to fire OC Musgrave, DC Woods

Vic Fangio landing the Broncos’ head-coaching position would spell doom for two of Vance Joseph’s most notable holdovers.

According to 9News’ Mike Klis, the team is expected to dismiss offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and defensive boss Joe Woods. Klis previously reported that special teams coordinator Tom McMahon will return in 2019.

In the event Denver hires Fangio, the Bears’ DC who interviewed Monday, “many” offensive assistants would be retained, including wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni , running backs coach Curtis Modkins, offensive line coaches Chris Strausser (tackles) and Sean Kugler (guards and centers), and assistant quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak. It’s not yet known if QB coach Mike Sullivan or tight ends coach Geep Chryst will be back.

Ex-Broncos coach and current front-office advisor Gary Kubiak is an option to replace Musgrave. Another is Rams QBs coach Zac Taylor, who interviewed for the HC job last week.

On defense, renowned line coach Bill Kollar — the best in the business — should stick around, though the status of others is unclear. This is Fangio’s side of the ball and he’d likely prefer to import some of his guys, while perhaps doubling as a play-caller.

General manager John Elway revealed in his year-end press conference that the next Broncos head man will decide whether to retain members of the Joseph regime.

“They’re still all under contract,” Elway said. “I told them [that]. I talked to each one of them today and so we’ll just see how things go. We’ve got a lot of good football coaches on this staff so obviously we want to give the next head coach an opportunity to retain those coaches, especially if they know some of the coaches on the staff. I feel good about that and the coaches that we have, so we’ll see how that goes.”

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Musgrave assumed full-time OC duties this season after ending 2017 as the interim coordinator, taking over for Mike McCoy. Denver signed a new quarterback, drafted two running backs and a pair of receivers to revamp the unit, and initial returns seemed promising. But Case Keenum’s turnovers, never-ending injuries, and a distinct lack of identity ultimately doomed Denver, who finished 24th in scoring and 19th in total yards.

Too often, Musgrave tried forcing a round peg into a square hole with Keenum, as if to justify the career journeyman’s $36 million contract. He dialed up passes when he should have ran, and ran when he should have took to the air. He failed to incorporate stud rookie RB Phillip Lindsay until midseason, arguably Musgrave’s biggest blight given Lindsay’s insane production.

Woods, too, was jaw-droppingly inconsistent. Promoted to DC after Joseph was hired and Wade Phillips departed, the former secondary coach never fully capitalized on a group featuring Von Miller, Chris Harris Jr., and Bradley Chubb. In fact, the back end deteriorated under Woods’ watch, going from the No Fly Zone to Cruising Altitude.

The Broncos’ defense ranked 22nd in yards, 21st against the run and 20th against the pass in 2018, hampered by personnel issues and Woods’ insistence on deploy zone coverage rather than man-press looks.

Woods has “received interest” from the Redskins and Jaguars to become a DB coach, per Klis. The Broncos are blocking assistants from meeting with outside clubs until the new head man is named, which could take place as soon as Wednesday. Fangio and Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak reportedly are the front-runners.

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