Broncos hire DeMarcus Ware as pass-rush consultant

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After an offseason audition of sorts, the Denver Broncos hired DeMarcus Ware as a pass-rush consultant for the upcoming season.

Ware will work on a part-time basis on select days each month, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. He has already done some work with the Broncos during the offseason program.

Ware played with the Broncos for the last three seasons of his 12-year career, including the victory in Super Bowl 50. Ware, who struggled with back problems in his final season with the team, retired after the 2016 season.

"He's our pass-rush consultant,'' said Broncos coach Vance Joseph of Ware's role earlier this month. "Obviously, he played with these guys. They have great respect for DeMarcus. He's got so much knowledge when it comes to pass rush, not just for the outside guys but for the inside guys also, like [defensive end Derek] Wolfe and those guys. It was good to have him out here, and hopefully we can get him back in a couple weeks.''

Joseph guided an extensive makeover of his coaching staff this offseason, as seven assistants were fired. In the aftermath he said he wanted to hire a pass-rush coach to help defensive line coach Bill Kollar and linebackers coach Reggie Herring.

But that job had remained open as Joseph completed the rest of the hires and the Broncos started their offseason program in April.

Ware finished his career eighth all time with 138.5 sacks, one sack behind Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, who finished his career with 139.5. Ware had seven seasons with at least 10 sacks and four seasons with at least 14; his career best was 20 sacks in 2008 with the Dallas Cowboys.

During his playing career, Ware was noted as a high-end technician in the pass rush, especially in hand fighting with blockers across from him.

Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller has consistently lauded Ware's work as a mentor in the locker room and on the field.

"I owe DeMarcus so much, I can't even put a number on it,'' Miller has said.

Earlier in the offseason program, Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods joked about Ware being in such good physical condition.

"I saw him coming around the corner," Woods said, "and I asked him if he could still play.''

Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris said: "I wasn't here when DeMarcus was here. ... Hopefully we get to see more of him. Hopefully he gets to come in and help us with our pass rushing a little bit more. But I loved it -- I thought he had some great insight on some things."