The Broncos' coaching search has continued to be a wild one. Over the past few days, we have learned that they have circled 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as their guy. However, things changed today when Ryans picked the Texans over the Broncos and left them scrambling trying to figure out what to do next.
Their initial favorites are dropping like flies. Jim Harbaugh went back to Michigan, Sean Payton is still in play but there has not been much movement there, Dan Quinn went back to Dallas, and now DeMeco Ryans appears to be the next Houston Texans head coach.
Well, apparently the Broncos now have a few “mystery candidates” that are not known publicly right now. 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis was on and said he doesn’t know who, but he knows the Broncos have talked to a couple of other candidates that are not in their initial top 8. Dave Logan confirmed he was told the same yesterday and now Mike Klis has gone public with it.
Today @mikeklis said there could be a "mystery candidate" in the Broncos' coaching search.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) January 27, 2023
On 104.3 The Fan, Klis added, “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."
This is getting wild.
So, who could these mystery candidates be? Benjamin Allbright was on the Sports Zoo with Ryan Edwards, Dave Logan, and Big Al and said the Broncos are looking at the candidates they interviewed last year and are putting out feelers about their interest. They cannot legally reach out to some of them right now, but since they already met with them last year, they can at least discuss them now that they are regrouping.
The two names Allbright mentions they could be reaching out to are Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. He says Gannonimpressed with his interview last year and is a top candidate once again this year. He was a finalist for the Texans job and was even considered the favorite early on before DeMeco Ryans came out as the favorite. As for Callahan, he does not call plays for the Bengals, but he is part of one of the better offenses in the league and interviewed with the Broncos last year.
These are not official, but makes sense if they are indeed going back on the coaches they interviewed last year. He goes on to say the Broncos are not leaving any stone unturned in their search. He even name-drops veteran head coach Mike Shanahan as a potential “bridge coach” for a few years.
Could there be a mystery name in the #Broncos head coaching search? KOA Broncos/#NFL Insider @AllbrightNFL has a few names in mind.— KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM (@KOAColorado) January 28, 2023
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I know many of you are getting fed up with this search, with the reports, followed by the inevitable following report proving the previous report wrong. However, IF TRUE, I do like that the Broncos are regrouping and are looking at other names.
Out of their initial eight, only four remain. Former Stanford head coach David Shaw, veteran coach Jim Caldwell, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. None of these four seem like candidates they want to hire though. If they wanted Shaw, he probably would be hired by now. Caldwell is 68 years old with health issues(would be the third oldest head coach in the NFL), while Raheem Morris looks like the Colts' front office choice, but owner Jim Irsay wants Jeff Saturday. Finally, Ejiro Evero does not seem like a legit candidate for the Broncos job. So, regrouping, looking at some other names, and going from there make sense.
In the end, who knows what to believe, what new report will drop, and who these “surprise candidates” actually are? Stay tuned!