Broncos coaching search: Making the case for each of the 10 current candidates – The Denver Post
Broncos Coaching Search 2022 is already significantly different from Broncos Coaching Search 2019, which ended with the hiring of then-Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Three years ago, John Elway interviewed five candidates: Fangio, Mike Munchak, Chuck Pagano, Zac Taylor and Brian Flores. The search lasted 10 days.
Contrast that to this week. General manager George Paton has submitted 10 permission requests with the NFL office and the Broncos will start the interview process this week.
Who has the best case to be the Broncos’ fifth coach in nine years?
In alphabetical order, here is a case for each of the confirmed candidates:
Current position: Kansas City offensive coordinator.
Key statistic: Although not the play caller, the Chiefs have finished first, fifth, sixth and fourth in scoring during Bieniemy’s four years in the coordinator role.
Case for: Bieniemy has been a part of a Chiefs team that has won 13 consecutive games over the Broncos so why not raid a chief rival? He has worked for an all-time coach in Andy Reid and helped develop a potentially all-time quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. Bieniemy’s offense will stress opponents with a Kansas City-type variety of shifts, formations and plays.
Current position: Cincinnati offensive coordinator.
Key statistic: Although not the play caller, the Bengals increased their scoring average from 19.4 points (29th) last year to 27.1 points (seventh) this year.
Case for: Callahan has area ties from his six years on the Broncos’ coaching staff (2010-15), so he knows what it looks like here when things are going right. If the Broncos go the veteran or rookie route at quarterback, Callahan will be prepared after coaching Matthew Stafford in Detroit and Derek Carr with the Raiders and young star Joe Burrow in Cincinnati.
Current position: Philadelphia defensive coordinator.
Key statistic: The Eagles allowed 107.9 yards rushing per game (ninth in the league) compared to 125.8 (23rd) last year.
Case for: A first-year coordinator, Gannon would need to secure a quality offensive staff while he likely calls the plays on defense. He coached in Minnesota from 2014-17 when Paton was in the Vikings’ front office, so that familiarity will help the duo quickly assemble a staff. Also intriguing are Gannon’s three years as a college/pro scout with the Rams (2009-11), which will help in assessing the current roster and also making changes.
Current position: Green Bay quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator.
Key statistic: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has 111 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions in Getsy’s three years as his position coach.
Case for: Getsy has experience calling plays (Mississippi State), coaching receivers and quarterbacks (Packers) and carrying game-planning responsibilities (Packers). Don’t discount the value of working with/coaching Rodgers … especially if Rodgers ends up with the Broncos.
Current position: Detroit defensive coordinator.
Key statistic: In the Week 14 loss at the Broncos, the Lions rushed five or more players on only four of 27 drop-backs (14.8%) and had four disruptions (one sack).
Case for: The Broncos would have to overlook Glenn’s inexperience (one year as the coordinator) and the Lions’ dreary statistics (29th in yards allowed, 31st in points allowed). But he played for Bill Parcells and played/coached for Sean Payton, two coaches who are respected league-wide. The 12th overall draft pick in 1994, Glenn’s 205-game playing career would give him instant credibility in the locker room.
Current position: Green Bay offensive coordinator.
Key statistic: As the play-calling coordinator in Jacksonville in 2017, Hackett directed the league’s best running game (141.4 yards per game).
Case for: If another candidate can match Hackett’s energy level, we would like to see it. And he has also earned this opportunity, serving as the play-calling coordinator in Buffalo and Jacksonville, and the coordinator in Green Bay. The son of former NFL/college coach Paul Hackett, Nathaniel knows how to deal with the ups and downs of a season. And a potential Hackett-Rodgers combo would change the Broncos’ currently dreary narrative.
Current position: New England inside linebackers coach.
Key statistic: The Patriots finished the regular season ranked second in fewest points allowed (17.8) and fourth in fewest yards allowed (310.8) per game.
Case for: The second-youngest of the candidates at 35, Mayo has coached for only three years (all with the Patriots), but he was a first-round pick in 2008. The Broncos have tried the Belichick Tree before (see: McDaniels, Josh), but the expectation is Mayo has learned from the mistakes other Belichick assistants-turned-head-coaches have made through the years. Maybe a possible play-calling defensive coordinator candidate if the Broncos go offense at head coach?
Current position: Dallas offensive coordinator.
Key statistic: At age 33, Moore would become the NFL’s youngest head coach if hired by the Broncos or another team.
Case for: Sean McVay 2.0? In 2019, McVay was 30 years old when hired by the Los Angeles Rams. They were in the Super Bowl 13 months later. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy retained Moore in 2020 and kept him in the play-calling role. If Moore has a plan for a defensive staff and how to mirror Dak Prescott’s production with a to-be-determined Broncos quarterback, he could be a fine choice.
Current position: Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator.
Key statistic: Although O’Connell is not the play caller, the Rams’ offense finished fifth in the league in passing yards per game (273.1) during the regular season.
Case for: Hire him just to hear his stories of coaching Johnny Manziel in 2015 with Cleveland! Seriously, it makes sense to visit with O’Connell because he has spent two years working for McVay and the Broncos would seek to create that kind of success. O’Connell played two regular-season games in five years as a quarterback so he knows about the struggle and what players go through at that position.
Current position: Dallas defensive coordinator.
Key statistic: In Quinn’s first year with the Cowboys, he helped improve the scoring defense from 28th (29.6 points per game) to seventh (21.1).
Case for: The safest choice in theory. If Paton hired Quinn, he would not have to potentially deal with the pratfalls that plague first-time head coaches. Quinn has big whistle experience from Atlanta and has likely known Paton the longest (2005-06 in Miami). What would be interesting is if he would hire one of the aforementioned offensive coordinators who don’t call the plays and thus can’t be blocked from moving.
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