Much has been made of the Denver Broncos recent coaching change and the return of Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips. While the attention spent on the two longtime decision-makers is very warranted, the next coach with the most important job may be defensive line coach Bill Kollar.

Known for his intensity, attention to detail and demands for top effort, Kollar will push a relatively young line to the limit and see who comes out ready to play on Sundays. All of the big men along the defensive front have already noticed the impact Kollar has had in the brief workouts thus far.

“Bill wants a lot. No matter who you are, he wants a lot. I think that really helped me out in Houston. That little extra drive and push—if you all haven’t noticed yet, he’s his own personality and he’s real fiery,” Veteran defensive lineman Antonio Smith said Monday. “His style of coaching, some may not like and some may not agree with and other may take it personal, but I think that one thing that I found out is that in his heart he really wants to truly bring out the best of you that he can.”

Kollar has an immense amount of experience and brings with it a lot of success. He has 26 years of NFL coaching experience and was with the Texans the last six seasons. There, he built a formidable line, coaching the likes of Mario Williams and J.J. Watt. Kollar also spent time coaching the Buffalo Bills (2007-08), St. Louis Rams (2001-05) and the Falcons (1990-2000).

In an ESPN article by Tania Ganguli last June the dynamic playmaking defensive end Watt described what it takes to get along with Kollar and ultimately become a better player.

“What I figured out was you work your tail off every single day and give him everything you have, you’re going to have a good relationship. I think that’s why our relationship has been so good over the last couple years.”

The defensive line will be under lot of pressure to perform this year as the unit switches to a 3-4 defense. Outside of the two aging free agent signings of Smith and Vance Walker the line contains a lot of youth that has yet to live up to the expectations. Sylvester Williams, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson and Marvin Austin Jr. have significant playing time in their five or less seasons of NFL service but will certainly be pushed by Kollar to improve and become consistent starters. Jackson acknowledged Kollar’s impact from day one of meeting him last week.

“He’s a serious guy but he likes to have fun. He’s going to get your work in and make sure that we’re the best defensive line in the league. That’s what I’m learning. You have to have a great work ethic. If you don’t have a good work ethic and you’re not willing to learn and go out there and produce, you’re not going to play for him.”

That is the mentality that Kubiak is looking for and the reason that Kollar landed back on his staff. The Broncos lost their run stuffing nose tackle, Terrence Knighton to free agency and down the stretch in 2014 the team struggled to consistently pressure the quarterback, especially up the middle. In Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense adjustments will need to be made by Broncos that have become comfortable with the old way of doing things. It is a prospect, that at the moment, Wolfe seems to think he fits well in.

“I’m not really a speed rusher. I’m not really a big 330-pound defensive tackle either. I’m kind of tweener, and that’s really what you need at the 3-4.”

Wolfe will have immense pressure to succeed this season and has shown flashes of talent that justify his selection in the early second-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Williams is in the same boat, being selected 28th overall in 2013 has placed a big target on his back and the job of nose tackle in the 3-4 will be demanding. Williams, a notoriously quiet guy, is staying focused on himself and his goals rather than getting caught up in the constant talk of his value outside of the locker room.

“I already kind of went into the offseason with a lot of motivation from within. It’s just something that I put on myself. I put a lot on myself, wanting to get stronger this year and come back next year with a better year. I really didn’t play into too much of this offseason and free agency and all that stuff. I just kind of focused on myself and trying to get stronger.”

Regardless of where a player is drafted or how high-profile of a free agent signing they are, Kollar will weed out the undesirables and create a unit ready to be tops on the league. The word “fiery” is constantly attached to his name and that is just what the Broncos defensive line needs.

“He’s got a lot of fire. He gets after guys. He keeps you going and he makes you hustle. I love a guy like that. He’s a great guy,” Wolfe said with a grin.

We will see who stills loves Kollar’s style after a whole offseason and the real games begin. One thing is certain; they’re will be players who don’t give Kollar the fire his looking for while others will surely excel under the pressure of their new coach.

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