AFC West key coaching hires

The 2013 coaching staffs for each AFC West team are nearly complete. All of the high-profile hires have been made.

Let’s look at one assistant-coaching hire that stands out for each team in the division:

Denver -- Adam Gase, offensive coordinator: The Broncos made just a few changes; the Gase promotion strands out. He was the team’s quarterbacks coach, moving up after predecessor Mike McCoy became the Chargers' head coach. Gase is comfortable with Denver’s system and its personnel, particularly quarterback Peyton Manning. Denver is excited about the communication between the two men as it moves forward.

Kansas City -- Dave Toub, special-teams coach: Toub is considered one of the best at this position in the league. He came from Chicago, where he had great success. The improvement in this area in Kansas City should be noticeable.

Oakland -- Tony Sparano, assistant head coach/offensive line: I like this hire. Sparano gives coach Dennis Allen some much-needed experience to turn to. He was the head coach in Miami and was recently fired as the Jets' offensive coordinator. He was a successful offensive-line coach during his stint in Dallas and should deliver a boost for the Raiders offense.

San Diego -- Ken Whisenhunt, offensive coordinator: I think this was the best assistant-coaching hire in the division and it has to be a contender for the best assistant hire in the NFL this offseason. Getting Whisenhunt, the longtime head coach in Arizona, was a big score for new Chargers head coach McCoy. Whisenhunt was a top contender for the head-coaching job -- and for McCoy and Whisenhunt to come as a package deal is a rare thing in the NFL. Quarterback Philip Rivers will benefit greatly from these two. It’s a great addition.