Tracking every move in the Denver Broncos search for a head coach
Dec 28, 2022, 2:58 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2023, 2:43 pm
For the second time in two years and the fourth time since Denver won Super Bowl 50, the Broncos are searching for a new head coach.
After a 4-11 record, the Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, marking one of the shortest coaching stints in NFL history. Denver is now counting on their 20th coach in franchise history to end a record seven-year playoff drought.
The Broncos could hire their fourth-straight first-time head coach or they could use ownership’s deep pockets to go after an established leader. Whoever does get the whistle at Dove Valley will have the tall task of fixing star quarterback Russell Wilson and Denver’s league-worst offense.
Here’s the latest in the Broncos search for their 20th head coach
The search is over, as the Denver Broncos will trade for Sean Payton to become the 20th head coach in franchise history, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The trade compensation includes a first-round pick in 2023 and next year’s second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Broncos will receive a third-round pick in 2024 from New Orleans in the deal. Payton, 59, has been working as a broadcaster for FOX the last year after a successful run leading the New Orleans Saints from 2006 until 2021. Payton took the Saints to Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, beating the Indianapolis Colts. He was named AP Coach of the Year in 2006 and pushed New Orleans to nine playoff appearances.
Maybe Jim Harbaugh is still alive to be the next head coach of the Denver Broncos? One day after ESPN’s Adam Schefter told “The Drive” on 104.3 The Fan that Harbaugh is no longer a candidate, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport sung a different tune on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday morning. Speaking with McAfee about Harbaugh and Sean Payton, Rapoport said he’s not ready to rule out either guy, at least until they firmly re-commit to their current gigs. “When Harbaugh officially signs his deal I will eliminate him, but I don’t think that’s been eliminated 1,000 percent. And Sean Payton has not been eliminated. So, until Sean says ‘I’m definitely going back to TV’ or until Harbaugh says ‘we’re good and I’m definitely going back to Michigan,’ those are still options,” Rapoport said.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined “The Drive” on 104.3 The Fan on Monday afternoon and said we can stop with the Harbaugh / Denver speculation. Speaking to Derek Wolfe and Mat Smith (in for DMac), Schefter made it clear he no longer thinks Harbaugh is a candidate to become the next head coach of the Broncos. “I don’t believe he’s a candidate any more for the Denver Broncos if that’s what you’re saying,” Schefter told Smith when he asked if Harbaugh was ‘out, out, out’ for the job. “Yes, that’s correct.” Schefter also told Wolfe and Smith he doesn’t think someone like former Denver head coach Mike Shanahan is in play for the gig. Schefter said it never hurts to call and ask, but he doesn’t see it happening. “Mike’s not going to come back and coach right now,” Schefter said. “I think Mike is a huge asset, he kind of likes to watch what happens with his son (Kyle) in San Francisco. I think that’s where he derives his pleasure and enjoyment these days.”
DeMeco Ryans will not be the 20th head coach of the Denver Broncos, according to Woody Paige of the Gazette. “DeMeco Ryans tells Broncos he is not interested. He was their third No. 1 choice,” Paige tweeted on Monday. Ryans is expected to become the head coach of those Texans, where his family is from. He’ll have the ability to build around the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft after two straight coaches were fired in Houston after a single season. So now the Broncos will have to circle the wagons and maybe even hit reset on their coaching search. Who the next head coach in Denver will be is basically anyone’s guess at this point.
Sometimes, the top NFL insiders know something, they just can’t share it yet. That could be the case for ESPN’s Adam Schefter regarding the Broncos head-coaching search. Appearing on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday, Schefter was asked where things stand with Denver. “I think Denver’s shown that it’s willing to swing big,” Schefter says. “I think it will continue to swing big, whoever that is. Um, we’ll see what they’re going to do, Pat.” But a smile and pause from Schefter say it all. He clearly wanted to say more, but couldn’t quite yet. Something is brewing with the Broncos, but Schefter doesn’t want to burn a source by sharing the information until everything is official.
The Denver Broncos are still looking for a head coach. And it’s looking more and more like that won’t be San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Even though Ryans was Denver’s “top candidate” last week, momentum started building for him to head to Houston and coach the Texans. With the Niners loss to the Eagles in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, Ryans is now free to do what he likes. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed on Monday morning that Houston is still very likely the destination for Ryans. Meanwhile, despite a report over the weekend that Vic Fangio is headed to the Dolphins, that appeared to be premature. Now, with Ryans leaving the 49ers, Fangio could end up back in the Bay Area. The former Broncos head coach sat out the 2022 season.
There were rumblings that Denver circled back to Harbaugh after he initially re-committed to Michigan and pulled his name from the Broncos search. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that team owner and CEO Greg Penner left The Great Lakes State without any deal materializing. The trip there was reportedly about due diligence and supposedly in line with the plan Penner has had with Denver’s seven other coaching candidates. At best the Broncos were not skipping steps, at worst they wasted more time this week allowing Ryans to get closer to the Texans and resulting in Denver possibly not getting any of their top candidates.
On 104.3 The Fan’s “The Drive” on Friday afternoon, 9NEWS insider Mike Klis said a mystery candidate could still loom for the Broncos. “I don’t know their names, but I do know they’ve talked to a couple other unknown candidates that aren’t on their top-8 list,” Klis told Derek Wolfe and Mat Smith, in for DMac. “Again, I don’t know who the names are, but there could be a mystery candidate.” Based on NFL rules, the candidate would need to not currently be with another NFL team for the Broncos not to have to request permission for an interview. That could be almost anyone, so let the speculation begin.
On Thursday, DeMeco Ryans emerged as the top candidate to become the 20th head coach of the Denver Broncos. On Friday, Ryans also emerged as the top candidate to become the head coach in Houston. Ian Rapoport wrote on Twitter that Ryans will meet with the Texans at some point next week, following the NFC Title Game. Ryans is the defensive coordinator for the 49ers, who are up against the Eagles for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. It’s seemingly Ryans pick, his old team or the Broncos. Will Denver get spurned again? Are the Broncos league-richest ownership group about to go win a bidding war for their guy? If Ryans does pick the Texans, it’s anyone’s guess about what’s next for the Broncos.
For a second-consecutive year, the Broncos interviewed Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for their head-coaching vacancy. For a second-consecutive year, Quinn pulled his name out of the hat. Quinn removed himself from consideration for head-coaching jobs Thursday, as first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Quinn had a second interview with the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday. The Indianapolis Colts also scheduled Quinn for a second interview Saturday.As Pelissero reported, Quinn’s “heart is in Dallas.” Quinn completed his second season as the Cowboys’ defensive play-caller after a six-season head-coaching stint with the Atlanta Falcons. He interviewed with the Broncos late last week.
Every twist and turn of the Broncos coaching search seems to get crazier. And this one might be the wildest yet. According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, who has leaked other Sean Payton news, the former Saints coach may not be coming to Denver because of something he “fears.” And that’s a “potential power struggle” with one of the Broncos owners. So, what does it all mean? Well if you take Maske’s tweet at face value, it means the power struggle Payton fears is with Greg Penner or Condoleezza Rice. Those are the only two he met in the first interview — one in which Maske identifies an “issue” where something clearly went wrong.
Jan. 26: Panthers hire Frank Reich
Reich was an early candidate for the Denver Broncos head coach vacancy but never got an interview. The retread coach, was fired from the same position with the Indianapolis Colts in the middle of this past season. Carolina likely got their guy, Reich is the first head coach hired in this cycle. There are still openings in Denver, Arizona, Indianapolis and Houston.
We might finally have a favorite. After waiting days for any meaningful updates in the Denver Broncos head-coaching search, 9NEWS and 104.3 The Fan insider Mike Klis has broken some significant news. Klis reports that 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has emerged as the “top candidate” for the Broncos. Klis stresses that Dan Quinn, Sean Payton and Jim Caldwell “remain in the mix” but that Ryans appears to be Denver’s “top choice.” The Texans remain interested in Ryans, something Klis also notes. Ryans played for Houston for six seasons after being drafted by them in 2006. So, the Broncos could certainly have competition for his services.
How will history record Jerry Rosburg’s time with the Denver Broncos? It’s likely to be as a mere footnote affixed to the most disappointing season in team history. Still, Rosburg himself wasn’t a disappointment after coming out of football retirement. He did the jobs asked of him, and he did them well — first as a game-management consultant, and then as interim head coach. In the former role, he cleaned up the Broncos’ on-field procedure. The timing penalties, decision-making snafus and slow pre-snap process all vanished. And in the latter role, he fired two coaches, changed the offensive play-caller, made some depth-chart shuffles and — voila! — the Broncos averaged 27.5 points per game and went .500 against two playoff-bound teams. But that is where Rosburg’s story with the Broncos concludes. Wednesday, ESPN’s Field Yates reported that the Broncos would not bring back the 67-year-old coach. Thus, Rosburg is expected to return to his work with Next Gen Hyperbaric, a task of which he spoke passionately and proudly during his fortnight as interim head coach.
Kyle Shanahan, son of Broncos legend Mike Shanahan, now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and one-time a coaching candidate for Denver had kind words about his defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on Wednesday. The 38-year-old assistant has emerged as a top candidate for the Broncos vacancy, thanks to a stellar year from his 49ers defense while on Shanahan’s staff.
Sometimes, your stock is hot. And sometimes, just like that, it’s not. The market appears to have gone cold for Sean Payton to take an NFL head-coaching job this offseason. Both Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported on NFL Network on Wednesday that Payton may not take a job, or frankly, be offered one. “As of right now it does not seem like there is a place for Sean Payton. We’ll see, but it does not seem like there’s a place in the coaching world right now,” Rapoport said.
On Tuesday night, the waiting on the Broncos to take the next step in their coaching search seemed to reach the point of absurdity in media circles. But according to one report, it might be nearing an end. Late Tuesday evening, Pro Football Talk reported that there is a belief among “some” that the Broncos could not only be the first of five teams with a head-coaching vacancy to decide on their next coach — but that it could come “as soon as Wednesday.” Three of the potential finalists could be former Stanford coach David Shaw, Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and current 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, PFT reported.
It appears that Colin Cowherd’s best friend Sean Payton may have been given the stiff arm by the Broncos. There are no scheduled in-person interviews planned between the former Super Bowl-winning head coach and Denver this week. That fact is stunning considering where we all thought the coaching vacancy search was going. Cowherd said on his show on Tuesday that Payton should not consider the job because of Russell Wilson. Cowherd followed that with the statement that he is a big fan of Wilson’s. “They can’t quite nail him down on the personality stuff and the offseason stuff. I think if I’m Sean Payton, and $25 million is a lot of money, I’d pass,” opines Payton’s frequent dining companion Cowherd.
Two candidates are a perfect 5-for-5 in teams at least seeking permission to interview them for their vacant head-coaching position. One is San Francisco defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. The other is Ejiro Evero, who holds that same position with the Broncos. And now, Evero has reached the second round of interviews with a team — with the Houston Texans. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that news Tuesday morning.
Even as Sean Payton interviews with the Carolina Panthers, another potential step to him becoming the Denver Broncos’ next head coach fell into place. Monday morning, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Advocate reported that Payton will have a second interview with the Broncos later this week. That interview is expected to involve owners Rob Walton and Carrie Walton Penner joining fellow owner and team CEO Greg Penner, who was involved in the first round of interviews that concluded over the weekend. Duncan later specified that Payton would travel to Denver Wednesday for the interview.
Perhaps Rosburg’s coaching career hasn’t reached its denouement just yet. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Rosburg met with Broncos ownership after the regular season to share not only his interest in the vacant head-coaching job — but a plan for it. What’s more, Fowler reported that Broncos ownership would “consider” Rosburg’s plan and candidacy. Fowler described the meeting between Rosburg and ownership as “lengthy.”
According to Jordan Schultz of the Score, Payton is seeking over $20 million a year and the Saints want more than one first-round draft pick. And the Broncos are going to have to fight to reach those benchmarks because Schultz told the Pat McAfee Show that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is willing to go all-in on Payton. It’s not too surprising that Tepper would pay basically any cost since the Panthers gave a much-less-proven Matt Rhule over $60 million. The Panthers could be driving up the price since they’re also in the Saints’ NFC South.
The Sean-Payton-to-the-Broncos train seems to gain steam every day. During his show on Thursday morning, prominent national radio host Colin Cowherd dropped an interesting nugget. He says not only has Wilson spoken with Payton, but he’s aware his game must be fixed. “They believe in Denver, Sean can fix it,” Cowherd told his audience. “Russell Wilson has contacted Sean, legally, by the way, through channels. He wants Sean Payton, he needs fixing. He knows he needs fixing.”
A report surfaced on Wednesday night that the New Orleans Saints want not one, but two first-round picks in a trade for head coach Sean Payton. ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined “Schlereth and Evans” on 104.3 The Fan on Thursday morning and was asked about this development. Schefter said New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis can ask for whatever he wants, but what he’ll actually receive in return is a different story. “With all due respect, I would be floored if they got two ones for him,” Schefter said.
Sean Payton impressed in his interview with the Broncos on Tuesday. And it seems like the feeling was mutual. Wednesday, reports emerged regarding Payton’s interview with Broncos officials, which took place at a Los Angeles-area hotel. KUSA-Ch. 9’s Mike Klis reported — citing “sources” — that Payton was “as impressive as one would expect for a guy with such a head coaching pedigree.” And Jeff Duncan, long-time reporter and columnist for the New Orleans Advocate and NOLA.com, reported that Payton was “particularly impressed with the Broncos group.” But if the Broncos want Payton, it could cost them. Per Duncan’s report, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis wants a steep price for Payton’s rights.
On Tuesday night, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero relayed some news that will make Denver fans smile. “It sure seems like, though, if Sean Payton is going to take a job in this cycle, everything is lining up for Denver,” Pelissero said on his show ‘The Insiders’ with Ian Rapoport. But as Rapoport points out immediately after Pelissero finishes talking, no one is quite sure what Payton wants right now. Is it the Denver job or a return to television? Could he wait another season until a better gig opens up this time next year? They’re all valid points.
Make it five-for-five. Tuesday night, the Arizona Cardinals requested permission to interview Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero for their head-coaching job. Until that happened, Arizona was the only team with a head-coach opening that didn’t put in that request. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero was the first to report Arizona’s interest. The Broncos interviewed Evero in-person on Jan. 10. The Indianapolis Colts held a virtual interview with him last week. Houston interviewed Evero Tuesday. Carolina is expected to follow suit later this week.
The Broncos’ brass was in Los Angeles today, interviewing two of their final four candidates. According to 9NEWS and 104.3 The Fan Broncos insider, Greg Penner and his group have wrapped up interviews with former Saints head coach Sean Payton and Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. They’ll interview 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans on Thursday and Cowboys DC Dan Quinn on Friday. Unless a “mystery candidate” emerges, that will conclude their preliminary conversations.
Jim Harbaugh will not return to the NFL this year — and will not become the Denver Broncos’ next head coach. University of Michigan president Santa Ono tweeted Monday afternoon that Harbaugh informed him that he will remain at his alma mater for a ninth season. “I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines,” Ono tweeted. “That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel.” KUSA-Ch. 9’s Mike Klis reported that Harbaugh called Broncos CEO Greg Penner on Monday morning to share his decision.
Dissecting a coaching search is often about connecting dots. And quite often, the dots aren’t on the same page to begin with. But with two reports Sunday and the dots between them, the dynamic of the Broncos’ potential pursuit of Payton looks far different than it did when the holiday weekend began. And no, this isn’t about the Los Angeles Chargers, it’s about the Carolina Panthers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Panthers became the fourth team to receive permission to interview Payton. And, in light of the Panthers’ interest, came another intriguing item: that Carolina interviewed Vic Fangio for its defensive-coordinator position.
In this coach-hiring cycle, the hottest public pursuit appears to be that of Sean Payton. Three teams have scheduled interviews with the ex-New Orleans Saints head coach. That includes the Denver Broncos, who are scheduled to be the first to interview him Tuesday. But one other coach has more teams wanting to interview him, and that’s the coach with an office in UCHealth Training Center. Saturday, the Carolina Panthers sought permission to interview Evero for their head-coaching position. That made Carolina the fourth team to seek an audience with Evero. He had an in-person interview with the Broncos on Jan. 10.
It’s looking more and more as though Denver will have their pick of the litter. Sean Payton’s No. 1 team on Thursday is the Broncos, according to a report. Denver is set to interview Payton next Tuesday.
The Broncos’ second week of their coaching search is now clearly in focus. It will begin Tuesday when the Broncos’ search committee meets with Sean Payton. Then it will continue as George Paton and three members of the Broncos’ ownership group meet with three defensive coordinators: Raheem Morris of the Rams, DeMeco Ryans of the 49ers and Dan Quinn of the Cowboys. KUSA-Ch. 9’s Mike Klis first reported the rundown Thursday morning.
Two days after interviewing Jim Harbaugh — the Cardinal’s coach from 2007-10 — the committee interviewed Shaw, who succeeded Harbaugh before resigning two months ago. Like the Penners, Shaw is a Stanford alumnus. Shaw’s stewardship of Stanford was mostly successful. He guided the Cardinal to eight consecutive bowl games after taking over in 2011 — including three Rose Bowl appearances and a Fiesta Bowl trip. In five of Shaw’s first six seasons, Stanford finished the season 12th or higher in the final AP poll. His 2015 team finished No. 3, Stanford’s highest season-ending ranking in 75 years.
The Broncos now have multiple competitors for Payton’s services, as both the Cardinals and Texans are joining the party by requesting interviews. That means three of the five current job openings have now been tied to Payton. He’s on the radar of ownership in Denver, Arizona and Houston. It makes sense, but also means the Broncos will have to pay big (and trade big) to land him as their next head coach.
Caldwell guided Peyton Manning to some of the best seasons of his career. He bled three winning seasons out of the Detroit Lions, who have just six winning campaigns in the last quarter-century. He’s the only full-time (non-interim) head coach to leave Detroit with a winning record in the last 50 years. And yet, another chance has not come since the Lions dismissed him after 2017. But the 67-year-old coach appears to be back on NFL radars. Two days after he interviewed with the Carolina Panthers, the Broncos interviewed with him as part of their current coaching search.
According to 104.3 The Fan / 9NEWS Broncos insider Mike Klis, the Broncos have completed their interview with defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. Klis says that in addition to the Texans, Evero will also interview with the Colts. That means three total interviews for the current Denver DC, with potentially more to follow.
Broncos brass wasted no time after the end of the season beginning their coaching interviews. Harbaugh led off the process Monday with a Zoom interview. Next is defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who will interview Tuesday. Harbaugh’s conversation with the Broncos’ search committee — headlined by owners Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner, Greg Penner and Condoleezza Rice, along with general manager George Paton — was “over two hours,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
While the Broncos coaching search heats up, so do others around the NFL. And one prominent coach on Denver’s staff in 2022 may get a shot to lead a team elsewhere, if the Broncos pass on his services. We know defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will interview with team CEO Greg Penner and his search committee this week, but they’ll have competition. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Texans are interested as well and have requested permission to speak with Evero.
In a lengthy article published by The Athletic on Monday morning, Mike Sando dives into the likelihood University of Michigan head coach will land in Denver. If Harbaugh gets his way, he’ll be the next head coach of the Broncos. At least, that’s what someone close to him thinks. “He will flat go to Denver,” a former Harbaugh ‘associate’ told Sando, anonymously. “He will go take it, in my opinion. (Harbaugh) thought he was going to get the Vikings job last year and it didn’t happen.”
9NEWS and 104.3 The Fan Broncos insider Mike Klis reports the Broncos are adding two more interviews to their growing list in Ryans and Morris. Ryans played 10 years with the Texans and Eagles before joining the 49ers as a coach. He’s been the defensive coordinator the last two seasons. Morris has been an NFL coach for more than 20 years, most recently as DC for the Falcons in 2020 and Rams the last two seasons. He interviewed for Denver’s head-coaching job back in 2009.
The Broncos interviewed 10 head-coaching candidates last January. Quinn was the only one with prior head-coaching experience. Twelve months later, Quinn is back on their radar. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Broncos requested permission to interview Quinn, currently the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator.
According to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com the Broncos will interview University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in the coming days. The 59-year-old once led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance and was a very successful NFL quarterback when he played. Condoleezza Rice, a member of the Broncos’ ownership group and search committee, is a Stanford graduate, a place where Harbaugh once coached.
Denver Sports contributor and 9News Broncos Insider Mike Klis is reporting that Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will get the first chance to impress Greg Penner in person. Evero has led a formidable defense despite the Broncos being eliminated for much of the season’s second half. Evero has only coached in Denver for one season and comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree.
Payton isn’t hiding from the interest the Broncos are showing in him. On Sunday morning, Payton appeared on his regular FOX pregame show, and to everyone’s credit, spoke openly about the situation. “Denver’s the first team. I was able to have a conversation with their owner. That’s kind of the protocol. The interview process can’t officially begin until the 17th of this month, so that’s really where it’s at,” Payton said.
The price for Sean Payton’s services could be steep — in both financial compensation for the coach and trade value to the New Orleans Saints for his rights. And the Broncos appear willing to play the game. According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints want a “first-round pick and more” for the right to hire Payton … and the Broncos are still at the table.
The chase is on. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday, the Broncos sought and received permission from the New Orleans Saints to interview Sean Payton for their vacant-head coaching position. Denver won’t be able to interview Payton immediately. Schefter reported that the earliest the Broncos can interview Payton will be on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Even though Payton did not coach this season, permission was necessary because Payton resigned from the Saints last year with three years remaining on his contract.
“He’s a fabulous football coach and I would say a great personality as well. He’s a brilliant man,” Rosburg said. “I have a great appreciation for Jim and all his talents. I love that whole family.” What does this all mean for the Broncos? Well it certainly can’t hurt that the current interim coach is best family friends with the guy they’re trying to make the next permanent coach.
Harbaugh might have something else compelling him to the NFL: the specter of NCAA investigation. Thursday night, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports reported that Michigan faces an NCAA investigation for potential rules violations during Harbaugh’s stewardship of the program. The potential violations included a charge leveled specifically at Harbaugh. According to Wetzel, the NCAA will investigate Harbaugh for “failing to cooperate with investigators.” That is a Level I violation, per NCAA bylaws.
You can read the entire statement multiple times, but there’s really only one sentence that matters. “As I stated in December, while no one knows that the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023,” Harbaugh wrote. This is simply a leverage play. It’s a message to Broncos ownership and others around the league: write the biggest check you can and pry me away from Ann Arbor.
The idea is nothing more than a pipe dream. This week on “Schlereth and Evans,” one of Shanahan’s former players explained why. Mark Schlereth shared what the former head coach has told him about a return to the NFL. “(Mike) said, now that Kyle is coaching, it’s about supporting Kyle, being a mentor and being a part of what Kyle is doing.’ He wouldn’t go back to coaching as long as Kyle is a head coach in the NFL,” Schlereth said.
Evero turned down the interim head coaching role in Denver, out of respect for Nathaniel Hackett. But Evero does want to be a head coach, and believes he’s ready for the gig. Still, the Broncos have not talked to him specifically about becoming Denver’s next head coach.
Evero worked under Harbaugh for his entire four-season run with the San Francisco 49ers — on both sides of the ball. He worked as a quality-control coach in 2011, then as an offensive assistant in 2012 and 2013 before moving to the defensive side under then-coordinator Vic Fangio as a defensive assistant in 2014. “A lot of respect for him,” Evero said Thursday. “I really enjoyed my time with him. He’a a players’ coach. He’s a coaches’ coach.”
After Harbaugh spoke with Panthers owner David Tepper, the Queen City News managed to land a brief interview with the former San Francisco 49ers head coach. He apparently only offered them one sentence, but it’s an interesting one. “Although no one knows the future, I think I will be coaching Michigan next year,” Harbaugh told the outlet.
Harbaugh appears to be in the Broncos’ sights as they begin their coaching search. But it is far from a fait accompli that the Broncos land the Michigan head coach. Tuesday, WJZY-TV, the Fox affiliate in Charlotte, reported that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has reached out to the Harbaugh to gauge his potential interest in the head-coaching job there. It was a “conversation” and not an interview, the station reported.
The Athletic reported Monday that sources “close” to Harbaugh expect that he will bolt from Michigan if offered an NFL head-coaching job. “I think it is a done deal if he gets an offer,” one source told The Athletic. The Broncos and Harbaugh would appear to be an intriguing fit — with many parallels to the San Francisco 49ers job he accepted in 2011: a proud franchise on hard times, a talented quarterback in need of better guidance, committed ownership.
Less than a week after firing Hackett, opening the door for the team to start talking to potential candidates, Pro Football Talk reported on Sunday that Denver had reached out to a big-name option. Harbaugh’s season came to an end on New Year’s Eve, as Michigan was upset by TCU in the first semifinal game of the College Football Playoff. It’s the second-straight year that the head coach has led the Wolverines to that stage, only to be disappointed.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter, citing sources, reported Sunday morning that Broncos ownership will be “ultra aggressive” in its search for a replacement for Hackett. Schefter specifically mentions a potential pursuit of ex-Saints coach Sean Payton. Landing Payton would require some form of compensation to the New Orleans Saints, as they own his rights, and a trade would be necessary.
University of Colorado grad and standout Buffaloes football player Eric Bieniemy has had a very successful run in charge of Chiefs offense. He has been a candidate for many head coaching positions in the past and is likely an option for the Broncos. However, Andy Reid would rather his longtime coordinator does not join an AFC West rival, saying, “I know what he can do. I’ve said it 100 times, and I haven’t changed my opinion on that. I hope he gets an opportunity. I’d rather not have it be in Denver, but I hope he gets an opportunity.”
In a press conference held to apologize to fans and lay out terms of what the team is looking for, Penner says he’ll lead the coaching search. The news here is that the search will not be led by general manager George Paton, who led the search for Hackett and has had his voice decreased.
Dec. 26: Ejiro Evero turned down interim head coaching role
Ejiro Evero, who the Broncos are expected to interview for their head coach vacancy, declined to take the interim role. He did it out of respect for his friend Hackett and likely because he would’ve been stained by a Broncos team that looks ready for the offseason. Evero is looked at fondly due to Denver’s strong defense and his track record as a defensive mind.
Dec. 26: Broncos name Jerry Rosburg interim head coach for season’s final two games
An NFL coach for over two decades, Rosburg is well known for the 11 years he spent in Baltimore as a special teams coordinator. He joined the Broncos staff following Week 2, due to Hackett’s struggles. Rosburg was in Denver to help with game management. He is not seen as a real candidate for the full-time job.
Dec. 26: Broncos fire Nathaniel Hackett