BRONCOS

Broncos’ Monday massacre continues with sackings of two assistants

Dec 26, 2022, 8:06 PM

DENVER — Firing Nathaniel Hackett was just the beginning.

Monday night, the Broncos announced the dismissals of special-teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes and offensive-line coach Butch Barry. Both directed units that were among the flashpoints of the Broncos’ struggles this season.

Stukes, who joined the Broncos from the Los Angeles Rams, was known for his forceful invective and his evangelical zeal at press conferences when discussing the state of his special teams. He was candid about his unit’s shortcomings — which were many. After all, the Broncos ranked dead last in special-teams DVOA, as tracked by Football Outsiders.

But his work failed to net results. The Broncos had a new punter (Corliss Waitman) and a new returner (Montrell Washington) the season. Both struggled, with Waitman’s hang times becoming an issue in the last two months, while Washington had ball-security problems.

Last week, Stukes told media that getting the special teams up to the standard he expected would “take longer than a year.”

He got only four more days.

Ironically, the dismissal came one day after a clean game for his special teams.

Stukes replaced Tom McMahon, the Broncos’ special-teams coach from 2018-21. McMahon moved onto the Las Vegas Raiders, who rank 12th in special-teams DVOA.

Special-teams assistant Mike Mallory will replace Stukes.

Barry worked with Hackett in Green Bay in 2020. He spent the 2021 season with the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive-line assistant before becoming a position coach with Denver in 2022.

His unit struggled even before injuries took a toll, which multiple starters appearing to regress from the previous years’ work with famed OL coach — and Pro Football Hall of Famer — Mike Munchak.

Offensive-line assistant Ben Steele will take over Barry’s duties for the rest of the season.

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