Who’s next? 10 candidates to replace Vic Fangio as Broncos coach – The Denver Post

Broncos general manager George Paton will begin his first head-coaching search this week after firing Vic Fangio. A list of potential candidates:

Familiarity with Paton

Dan Quinn

Age: 51

Current job: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator

Coaching experience: First NFL job was as defensive quality control coach and defensive line coach for San Francisco from 2001-04. … When Quinn was defensive line coach for Miami Dolphins in 2005-06, Paton was the team’s director of player personnel. … Defensive line coach for the New York Jets and Seattle before going to the University of Florida to be a defensive coordinator (2011-12). … Returned to Seahawks as defensive coordinator in 2013-14 (Super Bowl title and Super Bowl loss). … As Atlanta’s head coach from 2015-20, went 43-42 (3-2 in the playoffs and an NFC title). … In first season with Dallas.

Analysis: Hiring Quinn, whose defensive background is in a 4-3 front (the Broncos have played a 3-4 for years), would be a comfort move for Paton because of their time in Miami, but Quinn better have a superstar list of offensive assistants who can handle that side of the ball. If anything, Paton should interview Quinn to get his take on the Broncos’ offensive personnel when they beat Dallas in November.

If previous experience is a must

Doug Pederson

Age: 53

Current job: None. Sat out this year after being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coaching experience: A long-time backup quarterback, he coached under Andy Reid in Philadelphia (2009-12) and Kansas City (2013-15 as offensive coordinator). … First play-calling post was as Eagles’ head coach from 2016-20. Won Super Bowl over New England after 2017 season. … Went 42-37-1 in regular season and 4-2 in playoffs for Philadelphia.

Analysis: Pederson interviewed with Jacksonville in late December and wants to jump back into the NFL head-coaching circus after taking a year off. Pederson called the plays in Philadelphia and developed Carson Wentz and started Jalen Hurts’ development. The Eagles’ offense finished 16th, third, 18th, 12th and 26th in scoring.

Raheem Morris

Age: 45

Current job: Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator

Coaching experience: Coached at Hofstra and Cornell before being hired as a quality control coach with Tampa Bay in 2002. … Was on Buccaneers’ staff from 2002-05 and 2007-08, sandwiching a year as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator. … Replaced Jon Gruden as Bucs coach in ’09 and went 17-31 in two years. … Coached under Dan Quinn in Atlanta from 2015-20 and was hired by the Rams before this season.

Analysis: The Rams entered Week 18 ranked 15th in scoring defense and 16th in yards allowed. Having defensive lineman Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey will make any coordinator look good. One plus about Morris is his experience coaching offense and defense, which could attract him to Paton because the offense needs an all-hands-on-deck fixing.

Todd Bowles

Age: 58

Current job: Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator.

Coaching experience: After an eight-year NFL playing career, started coaching path at Morehouse College and Grambling State. … Entered pro ranks with New York Jets, followed by Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and Arizona. … Went 24-40 as Jets’ head coach from 2015-18. … Helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl last year.

Analysis: Should anybody who coached the Jets have that held against them? That will be the challenge for Bowles during the interview process (Jacksonville requested permission last month): show teams he learned what to do (and not to do) from his Jets experience and what he has gleaned from Bucs coach Bruce Arians. Bowles’ Tampa Bay defense entered Week 18 ranked 10th in points and 14th in yards.

Jim Harbaugh

Age: 58

Current job: Michigan head coach.

Coaching experience: Following a playing career of 177 games (140 starts), served two years as Raiders’ quarterbacks coach (2002-03). … Been a head coach every year since 2004 — University of San Diego (2004-06), Stanford (2007-10), San Francisco (2011-14) and Michigan (2015-present). … Led Stanford to Orange Bowl victory, the 49ers to three NFC title games and Super Bowl loss and Michigan to College Football Playoff this season.

Analysis: A long shot that there would be mutual interest, but all Harbaugh did in San Francisco was win (44-19-1 in the regular season) and he developed quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. If Harbaugh is serious about returning to the NFL, he is worth a call.

Call to make sure he says, ‘No’

Gary Kubiak

Age: 60

Current job: None. Retired last January from his post as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator.

Coaching experience: After Broncos playing career, started coaching at Texas A&M (two years) before joining Mike Shanahan with San Francisco (1994) and Broncos (1995-2005). … Houston’s head coach from 2006-13 (61-64 regular season, 2-2 playoffs). … Served one year as Baltimore’s offensive coordinator, two years as Broncos’ head coach (Super Bowl title in 2015) and two years in Minnesota.

Analysis: Time to bring the band back together (again)! Kubiak left his front-office role with the Broncos after Fangio was hired in January 2019. A good guess is that Kubiak’s staff would include his son, Klint, as offensive coordinator. But would he be willing to introduce some new faces to both the offense and defense? We think so … but we don’t think he wants back in. But Paton should make the call.

Coordinators ready for chance

Nathaniel Hackett

Age: 42

Current job: Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator.

Coaching experience: Son of long-time NFL and college coach Paul Hackett, Nathaniel followed him into the business. … Entered the NFL with Tampa Bay in 2006 (two years), followed by two years in Buffalo. … Worked three years at Syracuse (2010-12), which was his first play-calling opportunity and followed coach Doug Marrone to Bills (2013-14 as offensive coordinator). … Worked for Jacksonville from 2015-18, taking over as play-caller in November ’16. … Joined Green Bay in ’19.

Analysis: Hackett is expected to attract significant interest even though he doesn’t call the plays in Green Bay. Call it the Aaron Rodgers Effect. Hackett called the plays on the 2017 Jaguars team that reached the AFC title game, but was the scapegoat midway through ’18 (fired). Hackett would bring off-the-charts energy to the Broncos, a background coaching quarterbacks and, yes, you have to say it, he could make the Broncos more attractive to Rodgers.

Kellen Moore

Age: 33

Current job: Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator.

Coaching experience: Went straight from being Cowboys’ backup quarterback to their quarterbacks coach in 2018 and then offensive coordinator in ’19. … Retained by coach Mike McCarthy in 2020 and continues to call plays. … Reportedly interviewed with Jacksonville on Friday.

Analysis: Moore would check the box if the Broncos go offense and quarterback expertise; the Cowboys entered Week 18 leading the NFL in scoring (29.9 points per game) and second in yards (402.8 per game). It would be important for Moore to hire veteran coordinators on defense and special teams so he can focus on calling the plays.

Brian Callahan

Age: 37

Current job: Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator.

Coaching experience: The son of long-time NFL coach Bill Callahan, Brian started his career with Broncos in 2010 and worked for the team until 2015. … Quarterbacks coach for Detroit (2016-17) and Raiders (’18) before getting his first coordinator shot with Cincinnati in ’19.

Analysis: If Paton wants to mirror what Cincinnati has done with quarterback Joe Burrow and its receivers, Callahan would be a place to start. The Bengals entered Week 18 having improved from 4-11-1 last year to 10-6 and the AFC North champs this year and rank fifth in points and ninth in yards.  Callahan doesn’t have play-calling experience.

Brian Daboll

Age: 46

Current job: Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator.

Coaching experience: Worked three years in college for William & Mary and Michigan State before coach Nick Saban recommended him to Bill Belichick in New England. … Worked 11 years (2000-06 and 2013-16) with Patriots as defensive assistant, receivers coach and tight ends coach sandwiching stints with the Jets, Cleveland, Miami and Kansas City. … Won national title in 2017 as Alabama’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. … In his fourth year as the Bills’ offensive coordinator.

Analysis: Daboll was on the radar of many teams last year, but opted to stay with Buffalo and quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills are back in the playoffs for the third time in four years and Allen has excelled in Daboll’s scheme. Daboll has been enough places where the Broncos shouldn’t be afraid of his “Patriot Way” experience.

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