OK, I guess I may have jumped the gun on my Troy Calhoun for Broncos HC post. But as someone rightfully pointed out. What the Broncos and us as fans should really focus on is who will be the next GM. At the press conference, Joe Ellis finally admitted that it was a mistake to give too much control to the head coach and that the power structure would finally be changed at Dove Valley. Hopefully this reigns true and we really get a GM with power. (And now people can finally admit that McDaniels was making the personnel choices, not Xanders, sorry but I got skewered every time I said this was fact)
So lets look at the candidates:
Front Runner – John Elway – He obviously will be the sentimental favorite and obviously knows the organization and has a keen football mind, but as some have pointed out, he has never served directly in the personnel evaluation position. I am not sure if that matters or not, many would point to Matt Millen failure in Detroit, but I feel Elway is a tad bit smarter than Millen and probably a better talent evaluator having grown up with Jack Elway as his father (who served as a talent evaluator for the Broncos during the end of Elway’s career). Elway also has a good handle on finances and understands that side of the business world. The question is does John want the job, many have speculated that what he really wants is partial ownership and a say, but not the GM role.
Back-up Plan – Brian Xanders – Has been serving as the (cough) GM during McDaniels tenure. Obviously has been more of a contract guy than personnel guy since it is now apparent that the personnel choices were McDaniels. He is somewhat an unknown and has worked under some talented people, however, has yet to show he is a good evaluator of talent or that he can stand up to a domineering coach.
The Retread- Jim Goodman – The former GM obviously had an eye for talent, as was shown with drafts he had a hand in. I really don’t know what happened to him (after he was ousted), but he obviously knows the organization and I think would be a fine GM if he wants to come back.
The Returning Son - Rick Smith – Former director of pro-player personnel, Smith became the GM of the Texans the same time Kubiak became the HC. Smith has a knack for finding hidden gems (Bertrand Berry being one of the better ones). I think he has done a decent job at the Texans, but if Kubiak gets booted, he may also lose his job. Again, I think he would do very well as a GM.
Dark Horse – Marty Shottenheimer – The former HC has been rumored to be wanting to be a GM. This would likely mean his son (Brian) would be the HC. I am not sure if that would be a good thing or not, as having to fire your son may be a hard thing to do for a dad, if he fails as a HC. Shottenheimer obviously knows football inside and out and has been successful almost every where he has been. For those who say he has never been a GM, neither was Bill Parcells, yet I think that has worked out well for Miami.
The Real Contender – Ron Hughes – Director of college scouting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A keen eye for talent, Hughes along with Kevin Colbert (who I would really love here but doubtful the Steelers let him walk) have been the reason for the Steelers success as of late. Hughes is a relative unknown name, but he has the credentials to be a very good GM and understands player evaluation very well.