Of the three current cap openings for 2023, the chance in Denver has become the most surprising.
The Broncos are brand-new with unlimited financial resources. They have a loyal and dedicated fan base that is hungry to end a seven-year streak of no playoff appearances since their most recent Super Bowl win.
It is common for teams that have fired a coach to look for a replacement who is, in one way or more, the exact opposite. For the Broncos, it becomes important to avoid hiring a coach who has never been a head coach, given the dramatic differences between the two jobs — and the simple fact that it’s impossible to know if a qualified coach can be a head coach. effective until now. landing is that job.
The Broncos certainly won’t want to roll the dice on another coach who has never been a head coach. They will likely be looking for candidates who have trained successfully, at the NFL level.
Obviously, Sean Payton is currently an A-list whitefish. But he will come with a request to reward the saints. Ranking Payton and other current head coaches with other teams (like Mike Tomlin), here is a list of potential head coaching candidates who have proven they can coach at the pro level, and who are currently without compensation other than them. payment.
The list is alphabetical.
Jim Caldwell: Caldwell led the Colts to Super Bowl XLIV, and had the Lions unbeaten going in the right direction before being replaced by Matt Patricia.
Bill Cowher: He last coached in 2006, a year after winning Super Bowl XL. After standing on the edge of a comeback for several years afterward, he settled into his TV role with CBS. He believed at this point he would never come back.
Tony Dungy: The Hall of Famer retired after the 2008 season, two years after winning Super Bowl XLI. Can the Wal-Mart moguls make him an offer he won’t refuse?
Jason Garrett: He coached Team USA for nine-plus seasons. He was with an owner so meddlesome that he made himself the GM of his competing teams, making it to the playoffs three times.
Brian Flores: He would be an interesting choice. However, he has court appeals to several teams, including the Broncos. And the Broncos reacted strongly to his accusation that he received a stupid interview from team representatives who were “disheveled” and who appeared to have been “drinking too much” the night before. While that’s a different Denver regime, it might be hard for new ownership to overlook it.
Jim Harbaugh: He won immediately and consistently in San Francisco, and he still wanted another crack at the unfinished business of winning a Super Bowl. Additionally, he competed against quarterback Russell Wilson during the first three years of his career. That could help Harbaugh figure out how best to deploy Wilson right now.
Gary Kubiak: He’s retired, but he was retired when he became Denver’s coach in 2015 – winning the Super Bowl in his first year on the job.
Marvin Lewis: Lewis led the Bengals to the playoffs seven times, despite the challenges that come with leading a team that has a reputation for not wanting to spend large amounts of hard-earned money. He has 16 years of NFL head coaching experience.
Dan Quinn: Quinn had the Falcons on the brink of winning Super Bowl LI. His Atlanta teams were always competitive.
Steve Wilks: Wilks has head-to-head coaching experience, but he’s the kind of tough, hard-nosed, old-school coach the Broncos could use. If the Panthers make the playoffs, Wilks will likely have a chance to stay in Carolina as the non-interim backup to Matt Rhule.
Mike Zimmer: He will definitely be the opposite of Nathaniel Hackett. He’ll take an old-school, Parcells-style approach to the Broncos, and he won’t code a third of their franchise. In fact, Russell Wilson at this point in his career may need a coach who refuses to bend around the top player (by far) on the team.