Joe Collier

Last updated
Joe Collier
Personal information
Born: (1932-06-07) June 7, 1932 (age 88)
Rock Island, Illinois [1]
Career information
High school: Rock Island (IL)
College: Northwestern
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:13–16–1 (.450)
Postseason:0–1 (.000)
Career:13–17–1 (.435)
Coaching stats at PFR

Joel Dale Collier (born June 7, 1932) [1] is an American former football coach who was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (AFL) from 1966 through part of 1968, compiling a 13–16–1 record.

Contents

College career

Collier attended Northwestern University, where he played on the Northwestern Wildcats football team. In 1952, his junior season, he broke Big Ten Conference records by catching seven touchdown passes and accumulating 650 receiving yards. [2] He was named to the 1952 College Football All-America Team. [3] Following the 1953 college football season, in which he captained the Wildcats, Collier was selected by the New York Giants in the 22nd round of the 1954 NFL Draft. [4] [5] However, Collier decided not to play professional football, instead becoming an assistant coach at Western Illinois University after a three-year stint in the U.S. Army. [2] Collier spent three season as a Western Illinois assistant, from 1957 to 1959. [6]

Buffalo Bills (1962–1968)

After spending two seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Patriots of the brand new AFL, [7] Collier joined the Buffalo Bills in 1962 as a defensive coach. The team won the 1965 AFL Championship Game over the San Diego Chargers with help from defensive alignments that Collier designed. One idea he came up with was similar to the modern zone blitz; Collier's defense featured defensive line players moving back to cover pass attempts. [3] Collier was promoted to head coach in 1966, [4] after previous coach Lou Saban resigned. [3] The Bills' best season under Collier came in his first year, when they won the Eastern Division with a 9–4–1 record, eventually losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFL Championship Game. [8] After coming within one game of an AFL championship, the team slumped to 4–10 in 1967. [9] After a poor performance by the Bills in a 1968 pre-season game, Collier set up a scrimmage for his team. During the practice session, quarterback Jack Kemp broke his right leg, an injury that forced him to undergo season-ending surgery. [10] The Bills fired Collier after a 48–6 loss to the Oakland Raiders in the second week of the regular season. [11] Sports Illustrated opined that "Collier's fate undoubtedly was decided..." by Kemp's injury. [12]

Denver Broncos (1969–1988)

Following his time as head coach of the Bills, Collier became a Denver Broncos coach in 1969 and spent 20 years with the team, who reached three Super Bowls with him as defensive coordinator. Collier was the architect of the Broncos' 3–4 defense in the late 1970s, a scheme that was known as the Orange Crush Defense. [13] Although he preferred to set up the Broncos' defense with four linemen, Collier occasionally organized a 3–4 defense experimentally. After an injury to Lyle Alzado early in the 1976 season, Collier used the system more regularly and improved upon it: author Terry Frei called him "the scientist in the laboratory, coming up with ways to make the defense even better." [14] After being hired by Saban, he remained the defensive coordinator for four subsequent Broncos head coaches. [15] Dan Reeves fired Collier after the 1988 NFL season. [13]

New England Patriots (1991–1992)

From 1991 to 1992, he was defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. [7] Collier took over a Patriots defense that had given up the second-most points in the league during a 1–15 season in 1990. [16] [17] However, Collier's first year saw the Patriots defense improve from second-worst in the league (out of 28 teams) to the middle of the pack (15th). Helping the Patriots' improved rankings was the fact that their run defense, which was last in the league in 1990, improved to 9th in the league in 1991. [17] [18]

The Patriots failed to build on their 1991 defensive performance, [19] as the unit finished 23rd overall during the 1992 season. [20] New England ended up 2–14, winning four fewer games than they had in 1991. [21] After his stint with the Patriots ended, Collier retired from the NFL. [3]

Family

Collier's son, Joel Collier, was hired in February 2009 by Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, a former executive for the Patriots, as a defensive backs coach for Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. [22] By 2010, he was the team's assistant general manager. [23] Prior to 2009, Collier was the secondary coach of the New England Patriots. Before his stint with the Patriots, he spent 11 years as an assistant for the Miami Dolphins. [7]

Head coaching record

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
BUF 1966 941.6921st in AFL East01.000Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFL Championship.
BUF 1967 4100.2863rd in AFL East
BUF 1968 020.0005th in AFL East
BUF Total13161.44801.000
AFL Total [24] 13161.44801.000
Total13161.44801.000

Related Research Articles

Denver Broncos National Football League franchise in Denver, Colorado

The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver. The Broncos compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The team is headquartered in Dove Valley, Colorado.

Lou Saban American football player and coach

Louis Henry Saban was an American football player and coach. He played for Indiana University in college and as a professional for the Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference between 1946 and 1949. Saban then began a long coaching career. After numerous jobs at the college level, he became the first coach of the Boston Patriots in the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. He joined the Buffalo Bills two years later, and led the team to consecutive AFL championships in 1964 and 1965. After serving briefly as head coach at the University of Maryland, he was hired as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 1967, where he remained for five years. Saban returned to the Bills—by then in the National Football League following the AFL–NFL merger—from 1972 to 1976, reaching the playoffs once but failing to bring Buffalo another championship.

Bill Belichick American football coach

William Stephen Belichick is an American professional football coach who serves as the head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He exercises extensive authority over the Patriots' football operations, effectively making him the team's general manager as well. He holds numerous coaching records, including winning a record six Super Bowls as the head coach of the Patriots, and two more as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest coaches in NFL history.

Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips is an American football coach. He has served as head coach of the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys. He has also served as interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and the Houston Texans. His career winning percentage as a head coach is .546. Additionally, Phillips has long been considered to be among the best defensive coordinators in the NFL. In his long career, he has served as defensive coordinator in eight separate stints with seven different franchises. Multiple players under Phillips' system have won Defensive Player of the Year, including Reggie White, Bryce Paup, Bruce Smith, J. J. Watt and Aaron Donald. Others have won Defensive Rookie of the Year, including Mike Croel and Shawne Merriman.

Marlin Oliver Briscoe, nicknamed "The Magician", is a former American football quarterback and wide receiver. In October 1968, after being drafted by the Denver Broncos of the American Football League (AFL), he became the first black starting quarterback in professional American football and established a Denver rookie record of 14 touchdown passes that season. He played professionally for nine years.

Orange Crush Defense

The Orange Crush Defense was the 3–4 defense of the Denver Broncos during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The National Football League (NFL) team adopted the 3–4 defense during the 1976 season, and the nickname "Orange Crush" for the team's defense was popularized early in the 1977 season by sportswriter/broadcaster Woody Paige.

Gary Kubiak American football player and coach

Gary Wayne Kubiak is a former American football coach and quarterback. He served as head coach for the NFL's Houston Texans from 2006 to 2013 and of the Denver Broncos in 2015 and 2016 before stepping down from the position on January 1, 2017, citing health reasons. Earlier in his coaching career, he served as an assistant coach for the Broncos, Texas A&M University and San Francisco 49ers. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He last served as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

Josh McDaniels American football coach

Joshua Thomas McDaniels is an American football coach who is the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He has been an assistant coach in New England for 17 non-consecutive seasons, beginning his career with the team in 2001, and has served as offensive coordinator for 13 non-consecutive seasons. In between his tenure with the Patriots, he served as the head coach of the Denver Broncos for two seasons.

The history of the Denver Broncos American football club began when the team was chartered a member of the American Football League in 1960. The Broncos have played in the city of Denver, Colorado throughout their entire history. The Broncos did not win any titles as members of the AFL. Since the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the Broncos have won 15 division titles, and played in eight Super Bowls, following the 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013, and 2015 seasons. They won Super Bowl XXXII, Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl 50. Their most famous player is former quarterback John Elway, starting quarterback in five Super Bowls and holder of many NFL records. The Broncos currently play in the National Football League's AFC West division. Their current leadership includes owner Pat Bowlen, CEO Joe Ellis, VP John Elway, and head coach Vic Fangio.

1968 American Football League season

The 1968 American Football League season was the ninth regular season of the American Football League, and its penultimate season prior to the AFL–NFL merger.

The 1966 American Football League season was the seventh regular season of the American Football League. The league began its merger process with the National Football League (NFL) in June, which took effect fully in 1970.

Joel Collier is an American football executive who is the director of pro personnel for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He is the son of Joe Collier, a former defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots and head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

Bob Zeman

Edward Robert Zeman was an American football defensive back who played six seasons in the American Football League from 1960 to 1966.

Steven Bernard Wilks is an American football coach and former player who serves as the defensive coordinator of the Missouri Tigers (SEC). He previously served as the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals for one season and was fired after a 3–13 record. He also spent time as defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers, and as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.

Eric Studesville is an American football coach who is the co-offensive coordinator & running backs coach for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). Studesville is known as the former run game coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and interim head coach of the Denver Broncos, a position he held 4 weeks in December 2010. He replaced Josh McDaniels after 12 games in the 2010 NFL Season, after which he resumed his primary role as running backs coach. He was the first African American head coach in Broncos history, albeit on an interim basis.

Sean McDermott American football coach

Sean Michael McDermott is an American football coach who is the head coach for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He began his NFL coaching career as an assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2001, serving as defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2010, and was also the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers from 2011 to 2016. Following his six seasons with the Panthers, which included a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl 50, he was hired as the Bills' head coach in 2017.

Malik Jackson (defensive lineman) American Football player

Malik Barron Jackson is an American football defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Tennessee. Jackson was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and has also played with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Adam Gase American football coach

Adam Joseph Gase is an American football coach in the National Football League (NFL). He came to prominence as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos from 2013 to 2014, whose offense set the NFL record for points scored in 2013 and helped the team reach Super Bowl XLVIII. Following this success, Gase served as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2016 to 2018 and the New York Jets from 2019 to 2020.

References

  1. 1 2 Miller, Jeffrey J. (2007). Rockin' the Rockpile: The Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. ECW Press. p. 535. ISBN   978-1-55022-797-0.
  2. 1 2 "Joe Collier Profile". Northwestern University . Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Maxymuk, John (2012). NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920–2011. McFarland & Company. pp. 48–49. ISBN   9780786492954.
  4. 1 2 "Bills Name Joel Collier Head Coach". St. Petersburg Times . Associated Press. 1966-01-07. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  5. "1954 NFL Player Draft". Database Football. Archived from the original on 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  6. Frei, Terry (2009). 77: Denver, The Broncos, and a Coming of Age. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 320. ISBN   9781589794511.
  7. 1 2 3 "Joel Collier – Secondary". New England Patriots. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  8. "1966 Buffalo Bills". Pro Football Reference . Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  9. "1967 Buffalo Bills". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  10. Maule, Tex; Shrake, Edwin (1968-09-16). "Eastern Division". Sports Illustrated . Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  11. "Owner Regrets The Firing Of Collier". The Miami News . Associated Press. 1968-09-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  12. "A Roundup Of The Sports Information Of The Week". Sports Illustrated. 1968-09-23. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  13. 1 2 "Broncos Dismiss Collier". The New York Times . Associated Press. 1988-12-19. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  14. Frei, p. 21.
  15. Gustkey, Earl (1986-11-01). "He Puts the D in Denver: Joe Collier Has Been Bronco Defensive Coordinator for 18 Seasons, 5 Head Coaches". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  16. Borges, Ron (1991-07-12). "After being out of football for two years, Patriots defensive coordinator Joe Collier is ... Restarting at the bottom". The Boston Globe . ProQuest   294607643.
  17. 1 2 "1990 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  18. "1991 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  19. Cerasuolo, Dick (1992-10-18). "Opponents have Patriots on run". Telegram & Gazette . p. D6.
  20. "1992 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  21. "Boston/New England Patriots Franchise Encyclopedia". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  22. "Chiefs retain offensive coordinator Chan Gailey as Haley fills staff". USA Today . Associated Press. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
  23. Frei, Terry (2010-11-12). "Architect of "Orange Crush" defense proud of son's accomplishments". The Denver Post . Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  24. "Joe Collier". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2016-08-11.