LA Chargers DC Renaldo Hill
While LA Chargers fans may not be so familiar with Lombardi, they definitely know Renaldo Hill. The former NFL safety played two seasons with the Broncos and one with the Raiders. Hill’s career in the league lasted 10 seasons.
After his playing career, Hill would go on to become a graduate assistant at the Wyoming football program. He went on to Pittsburgh and Miami in the NFL following his CFB experience. Just two years ago, Vic Fangio hired Hill to be the Broncos’ defensive backs coach. It’s safe to say that his rise through the NFL ranks has been fast.
Staley and Hill were both part of Denver’s 2019 defensive staff. This is an instance of Staley diving directly into his personal background for a coordinator hire. Joe Barry coming over from the Rams is another one for the linebacker group.
It’s hard to say how Hill will perform as a first time defensive coordinator, but his Denver tenure as DB’s coach was very solid. Under his tutelage, Justin Simmons became a Pro Bowl safety. PFF ranked the Broncos as the 12th best secondary in the league despite some of the problems they had this year.
A.J. Bouye received a lengthy suspension while standout Bryce Callahan missed the last month of the 2020 season with a foot injury. Hill also dealt with COVID protocols and the DB room being a revolving door throughout the season. Callahan, Simmons, and Kareem Jackson balled out to carry a Broncos’ secondary that otherwise would’ve struggled.
As Staley said in his introductory press conference, he will have the final play call decisions on the defensive side of the ball. That doesn’t make Hill’s role unimportant though. He will still be critical in getting the best out of each defensive player (particularly the secondary) and creating a good game plan. A first time coordinator hire is always a risk, but Hill did more than enough to prove that he was deserving of it in Denver.