Jim Leonhard was once a highly-coveted target for the defensive coordinator role with the Green Bay Packers. Now, his plans have floated farther west.
Leonhard is on track to become the secondary coach for the Denver Broncos, according to Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
By joining the Broncos, Leonhard takes over a secondary with excellent pieces in place, including cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Additionally, with how the AFC West is dominated by the passing attack, having a strong secondary is a ticket to winning over fans and helping teams win football games.
Leonhard has good coaching experience, serving as the defensive coordinator at the University of Wisconsin from 2017-2022. Most recently, he worked as a defensive analyst for Illinois during the 2023 season.
Jim Leonhard will join the Denver Broncos after once being considered for the Green Bay Packers
Leonhard was once a former NFL safety who bounced around various teams in the leagues including the Bills, Jets, and coincidentally, the Broncos in 2012.
He was named interim head coach of the Badgers in 2022 following the firing of former coach Paul Chryst.
Any help is welcome, but the Broncos will need to do more than just hire Leonhard. Keep in mind that he was once offered the chance to come to Green Bay as part of Matt LeFleur's staff, but chose to decline, which meant that he was looking for the best opportunity to get back into coaching. It appears that Denver was the best choice for Leonhard.
A question remains as to how Leonhard will make an impact for Denver considering the main issue in the Mile High City right now is the offense. Sean Payton still has to find a way to score points, as defense is not the only key to winning the division and unseating Patrick Mahomes. The Broncos got some reinforcements, but time will tell if that is enough to get them back to credibility.