BRONCOS

The Broncos head coaching search officially has its dark horse

Jan 12, 2022, 10:31 AM
Brian Callahan...
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Dan Quinn is the favorite, Eric Bieniemy is the sentimental pick and Kellen Moore is the exciting choice. And now the Broncos head coaching search has a dark horse. Brian Callahan.

You and many others may not have ever heard of Callahan before reading this (he’s the Bengals offensive coordinator), but there is one team familiar with him. The Denver Broncos.

Callahan began his coaching career with the Broncos in 2010 under Josh McDaniels and was retained through multiple head coach changes, working under John Fox and Gary Kubiak. When you survive that many regimes, you’re doing something right.

While Callahan has no direct ties to George Paton, spending six years with the Broncos franchise under three different coaching staffs may earn him a referral or two around the building. Perhaps one could come from Peyton Manning, as Callahan is one of just three offensive coaches that was on staff every season Manning wore orange and blue (Eric Studesville and Tyke Tolbert were the others).

But Callahan’s credentials go beyond knowing the drafty spots in the office at Dove Valley. The son of long-time coach Bill Callahan has carved out an impressive resume in Cincinnati, where his offense became arguably the league’s most-explosive unit this season. Ultimately, in a quarterback-driven league, the development of Joe Burrow is what earned Callahan this interview more than his time in Denver.

Inversely, his current head coach Zac Taylor is quick to point out how impactful Callahan’s experience with the Broncos has been to the Bengals success.

Does Callahan have the leadership qualities that Paton emphasized he’s looking for to take over the Broncos? That’s unknown.

But a guy that’s taken what he learned from Manning, Kubiak, Fox, and other former Broncos to have success elsewhere might just be the sleeper candidate to come back home to Denver and put together everything he’s learned, from so many smart people.

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The Broncos head coaching search officially has its dark horse