The Denver Broncos have promoted Cory Undlin to secondary coach, replacing Ron Milus, who had coached defensive backs under John Fox for the last four seasons.
However, Milus isn’t being made the scapegoat for the Broncos’ stunning surrender of that 70-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left that led to their 38-35 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in double-overtime last weekend, a person with the team told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club doesn’t speak publicly about coaches’ contracts.
Milus’ contract wasn’t renewed. He was in his second stint with the Broncos, who hadn’t allowed a 300-yard passer all season before giving up 331 to Joe Flacco last weekend. Flacco also threw TD passes of 59 and 32 yards to Torrey Smith, who repeatedly got behind 12-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey.
The Ravens faced a third-and-3 from their own 30 in the final minute when Jacoby Jones raced past cornerback Tony Carter and hauled in Flacco’s heave that safety Rahim Moore badly misjudged.
After the game, Moore put the loss squarely on his shoulders, saying, ”When it’s all said and done, the safeties can’t let nothing get behind them and I did. … I misjudged it. It actually floated a little farther than I thought it was.”
Fox said, ”I’ve never believed in it’s one guy, one play. It obviously was a big play.”
Fox said the players were so stunned by the gaffe that he decided to play for overtime and had Peyton Manning take a knee instead of trying to move into field goal range with two timeouts and 31 seconds to work with.
Fox has taken a lot of heat for that decision but said this week he stands by it and ”I’d do it again 10 times.” His boss, John Elway, concurred with the call to play for overtime, where Manning’s interception led to the game-deciding field goal in the 77th minute of the longest game in the NFL in 26 years.
Undlin, 41, spent last season as the quality control coach for Denver’s defense, which finished third in the league against both the run and the pass. He also coached DBs in Jacksonville under Jack Del Rio when Denver’s defensive coordinator was the Jaguars’ head coach.
”I am confident he will be a great fit and get the most out of our secondary,” Fox said, adding, ”I appreciate all of Ron Milus’ hard work and wish him the best.”
Undlin coached linebackers in 2009 in Jacksonville and DBs there in 2010-11. He’s also worked with the secondary in both Cleveland and New England.
Earlier in the day, the Broncos lost versatile offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was hired as head coach of the San Diego Chargers, marking the second straight season a top Denver assistant was hired away by an AFC West rival. The Raiders grabbed defensive coordinator Dennis Allen a year ago.
On Monday, Fox said he was prepared for McCoy’s expected departure.
”No different than when Dennis left a year ago. I think that worked out all right,” he said. ”And I don’t have any reasons to think any different.”
Possible candidates to replace McCoy include Broncos quarterbacks coach Adam Gase and Tom Moore, Manning’s old coordinator in Indianapolis.