Over the past few seasons, the Denver Broncos have undergone many changes. They have changed head coaches, switched out many players and changed it up at other positions as well. Throughout all the changes, the Broncos’ large fan base has remained faithful and learned all the details about the new additions like their colleges, stats and ability to contribute to the Broncos.
Well, most of the new additions at least. One set of people who make the Denver Broncos great are often overlooked by those with Denver Broncos tickets: the men in football operations. There have been nearly as many changes in football operations as everywhere else in the Denver Broncos franchise, and below are some details about a few of the members.
Mike Xanders, General Manager: The promotion of Brian Xanders as the Broncos’ general manager in 2009 marked a change in philosophy for the Broncos. Before Xanders, longtime coach Mike Shanahan was also the general manager, but the departure of Shanahan meant the addition of Xanders. In 2008 he served as the team’s assistant general manager. Prior to coming to Denver, he was with the Atlanta Falcons for 14 seasons. He worked in the scouting and coaching departments in Atlanta. In his time with the Broncos, he has nabbed some top names in the draft like Tom Tebow, Knowshon Moreno, Alphonso Smith and many more. In college, Xanders was a middle linebacker for Florida State University.
Keith Kidd, Director of Pro Personnel: Kidd has held his position with the Broncos for two seasons, but he is hardly a rookie in the NFL ranks. He has also worked with the New England Patriots (Assistant Director of Pro Personnel), Cleveland Browns (Director of Pro Personnel) and Arizona Cardinals (scouting department). Kidd attended Eastern Kentucky University, and he got his start as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. After that, he worked with defensive backs as a graduate assistant at Arizona State University.
Matt Russell, Director of College Scouting: Matt Russell also joined the Broncos in 2009. Russell was a standout All-American linebacker at the University of Colorado. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, but was forced to retire in 2000 after knee injuries. Later that year, he started as a pro scout with the New England Patriots. He worked with the Patriots through the 2005 season, during which time the Patriots became a feared team in the league. He then became a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.
Mike Bluem, Director of Football Administration: Unlike the other names in football operations, Bluem’s tenure with Broncos is a long one. He first joined the Broncos in 1995, serving as an intern assisting in the college scouting department. He worked his way to the Coordinator of College Scouting Operations in 2000. The next year, he was named the Coordinator of Football Operations, where he worked with the team’s salary cap. In 2005, he was promoted to his current position.
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