According to CBS Sport’s NFL insider Josina Anderson, the initial list of coaches being discussed by the Denver Broncos to replace Nathaniel Hackett include Sean Payton, Dan Quinn, Eric Bienemy, and others.
I'm told some initial names being discussed for the #Broncos head coach vacancy, per league source, include:— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 26, 2022
Those are some exciting names, however, a source emphasized to her later that it “makes sense” for the Broncos to hire someone familiar with quarterback Russell Wilson. This is something that has been mentioned in the prior days and weeks when discussing potential replacements for Hackett. Someone familiar with Wilson and knows him and what he likes to do would be the smart route to take since the Broncos are likely stuck with Wilson. However, will they go that route once they conclude their interviews?
One candidate who has that familiarity with Wilson and could bring in someone who brought out the best in Wilson is current Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn. Josina states that some within the Broncos organization(likely General Manager George Paton) expect Dan Quinn to bring in Brian Schottenheimer with him as offensive coordinator if he hired as a Head Coach. Schotty coached Wilson in Seattle and he had some of his best years with him as well. So, this could be the best “fix Russell Wilson” plan moving forward.
The other names are exciting as well. Sean Payton would require trading for him but would bring a bright offensive mind to Denver. He seems unlikely, but the Walton’s have the money to potentially sway him away from Los Angeles.
Miami Dolphin’s pass game coordinator Darrell Bevell is another candidate she mentioned, and he has a history with Wilson as well. He’s not an exciting Head Coaching candidate, but he could be an offensive coordinator option for them.
The rest would be first-time Head Coaches but are some of the more exciting names. Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy has long been a candidate for a job but has yet to be hired. Could this year be the year he gets the job? Some off-the-field stuff makes him seem unlikely to be hired, but we shall see. 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has the 49ers defense looking dominant and could bring the leadership and tough defensive mindset to the Broncos locker room. Also, plucking off the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree is always a smart idea. Finally, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen has the Eagles' offense looking great, and has helped quarterback Jalen Hurts go from a “running quarterback” to an MVP candidate this season.
An experienced coach with ties to Wilson seems like the realistic option right now, but a lot can and may change during the interviewing process. This report gives us some exciting names to keep an eye on as we move through the Broncos hiring process.