Just before the President's State of the Union Address ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen would be named the 19th head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Immediately Broncos' fans offered up offensive coordinator Mike McCoy instead, but soon calmed as the realization of several familiar names of available defensive coordinators pinged up on the Twitterverse.
Competition will be stiff and with Allen going to the Raiders he could be bringing several of Denver's position coaches with him. So expect this story just to thicken.
So who exactly is Denver targeting and what can fans look forward to in the upcoming weeks?Jack Del Rio is a name that immediately came up, he is the former head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars who was fired in Week 12 after going 3-8 in 2011. Del Rio became an obvious name to float because he was Broncos' head coach John Fox's defensive coordinator at the Carolina Panthers before being named head coach in Jacksonville.
Del Rio and Fox came on board in Carolina in the same year (2002) and Del Rio lead the Panthers to being the second ranked overall defense in the NFL. He joined Jacksonville in 2003.
One caveat for Del Rio is that his son Luke Del Rio is currently one of the best prep quarterbacks in Florida and is only a Junior this year. Del Rio may be reluctant to move his family (and his son Luke to a third school in three years).
As far as in-house candidates go current linebackers coach Richard Smith is also a possibility. He came to the Broncos in 2011 with Fox, Smith had coached the linebackers in Carolina for two seasons (2009-10). Prior to that he was the defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans from 2006-08. He had spent previous time in Denver coaching the Broncos linebackers from 1993-1996.
He was coordinator in Houston when the Texans drafted DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams. He was linebackers coach in Carolina when Jon Beason earned his first Pro Bowl honors in 2009. Both Williams and Beason are free agents this offseason.
One candidate to keep a close eye on is Green Bay Packers' defensive line coach Mike Trgovac whom was a defensive coordinator for Fox in Carolina from 2003-2008. Trgovac is an interesting one he coached a defense that placed in the top ten for overall defenses three times. He did turn down a contract offer from the Panthers to again be their defensive coordinator in order to coach the defensive line for the Packers in 2009, a position that he has held every since.
Those are three of the strongest candidates as far as I see it, but we will keep you up-to-date as new names come into play and old names drop out. As for you, our community who should Denver be targeting?