Broncos’ effort to replace Koppen could be hindered by front-office suspensions

AP

Doing radio spots often gives me opportunities to develop ideas for stories.  Or, as the case may be, to steal them from the host.

During a visit earlier today with Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports Radio, the host brought up the Broncos’ challenge of replacing center Dan Koppen in light of the absence of director of player personnel Matt Russell and pro personnel director Tom Heckert.  Both are suspended in the wake of their recent DUI arrests.

With Russell and Heckert gone, it’s unclear who’s setting the table for executive V.P. of football operations John Elway.  But it is clear that Elway made the decision to sign free-agent center Steve Vallos.  It’s clear because coach John Fox said so on Monday.

“That has not changed,” Fox said.  “He has been making the decisions since I have been here.  So, that hasn’t changed at all.  We have a great staff up there that does an excellent job.  We have input as coaches.  That is the approach John takes.  He wants everybody to have input and everybody does.  We feel good about our process.”

The Broncos apparently prepared to search for new players at all positions before Russell and Heckert were suspended.

“Upstairs, our personnel people do a great job and John and his staff are on it,” Fox said.   “We have a ready list at every position.  Like I said before, that is part of the game and you hate to lose guys, sometimes you lose them temporarily, but you hate to lose them for the whole season especially.  But we feel good about who we have lined up, we just have to get him trained in our system and we will get that done.”

So, basically, the Broncos believe they will be fine.  As long as they don’t suffer any more injuries at the center position.