INDIANAPOLIS —The Denver Broncos on Wednesday announced they have hired Tom McMahon, the former Indianapolis Colts' special teams coordinator, to that same role.
McMahon replaces Brock Olivo, who spent the 2017 season as the Broncos' special teams coordinator after two seasons as the assistant special teams coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hired by the Colts in 2013, McMahon oversaw one of the best special teams eras in Colts franchise history. Led by a future Hall of Fame kicker (Adam Vinatieri), and Pro Bowlers at punter (Pat McAfee) and long snapper (Matt Overton), Indy's "Fourth Down Army" each season finished among the top units in the league from 2013 through 2016:
• In 2013, McMahon coached Vinatieri, who set a career high with 35 field goals made while recording 139 points, the third-highest total of his career. He also tied a career high with four field goals made from over 50 yards. McAfee set a then-franchise single-season record with 27 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line and also set the team single-game record with six such punts in Week 7 against Denver.
• In 2014, McMahon coached two Associated Press First Team NFL All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections in McAfee and Vinatieri. McAfee converted a career-high three onside kicks and set single-season franchise records for punts pinned inside the 20-yard line (30), net punting average (42.8) and kickoff touchbacks (70). Vinatieri made 30-of-31 field goals and at one point made 35 consecutive attempts, which was then the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. In addition, he scored the third-highest single-season point total (140) in team history. The Colts special teams unit held opponents to the third-lowest punt return average (5.9) in the NFL in 2014.
• In 2015, McMahon guided a special teams unit that set an NFL record by allowing just 156 kickoff return yards, as the Colts ranked third in the NFL in opponent kickoff return average (19.5). Indianapolis also set the highest touchback percentage (87.0) since the modern Super Bowl era in 1970. Vinatieri registered 107 total points to mark the 18th 100-point season of his career, which extended his NFL record. He ranked fourth in field goal percentage after converting 25-of-27 attempts (92.6 percent) and was the only kicker in the NFL to connect on all of his kicks from 40-49 yards (8-of-8). McAfee ranked second in the NFL in punting average (47.7) and fifth in net punting average (41.7). He led the league with a 90.5 kickoff touchback percentage and his 67 total touchbacks ranked third. Vinatieri was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November, while McAfee earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Week 3.
• In 2016, McMahon helped McAfee earn his second career Pro Bowl selection after leading the league in punting average (49.3) and ranking third in net punting average (42.7). McAfee's punting average set a new Colts single-season record. Vinatieri converted 27-of-31 field goals and 44 PATs for 125 points. He registered the 19th 100-point season of his career, which extended his NFL record. Vinatieri connected on 25 consecutive field goals to end the 2015 season and made his first 19 field goals of the 2016 season to set a new NFL record for consecutive field goals made (44). He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 5) and AFC Special Teams Player of the Month (October). Additionally, the Colts ranked fourth in the NFL in kickoff return average (25.1).
But perhaps McMahon's leadership in 2017 was most notable. After McAfee decided to retire from the NFL to pursue a career with Barstool Sports, and after the team decided to release Overton, McMahon would end up needing to find capable replacements at the punter/kickoff specialist spots, as well as at long snapper.
He was instrumental in the Colts' signing of college free agent punter Rigoberto Sanchez, who would end up putting in an impressive rookie season in 2017, punting the ball 84 times for 3,764 yards (an average of 44.8 yards per punt) with 28 punts inside the 20-yard line, while his 42.6 net punting average ranked fourth in the NFL.
The Colts' coverage teams, meanwhile, remained among the best in the league, finishing fourth in the NFL in kickoff return average (19.2 yards per return) and third in the league in punt return average (4.2).
At long snapper, meanwhile, McMahon was be instrumental in the development of Luke Rhodes, who was able to convert over from linebacker to snap for the first time since he was in high school. Rhodes would go on to have no major snapping issues throughout the 2017 season.
Vinatieri, meanwhile, continued his solid ways in 2017, earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Week 5 and connecting on 85.3 percent of his field goal attempts (29-of-34) and 91.7 percent of his extra-point tries (22-of-24).
McAfee and Overton were quick to congratulate their former coach on Twitter:
The Colts, meanwhile, are yet to hire a new head coach after their decision to part ways with Chuck Pagano after six seasons. General manager Chris Ballard said last week the team's new head coach will have input into the members of his staff in Indy.