American Football

With the first round of interviews done, the Broncos will now decide on their finalists for their head coaching position


Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Which candidates will the Broncos bring in for a second interview?

The Denver Broncos finished up their first round of interviews on Friday when they traveled to the Dallas area to interview Cowboys defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn. He was their eighth and final interview done by Owner/CEO Greg Penner, part owner Condoleezza Rice, and General Manager George Paton.

So, what’s next?

9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis reported earlier this week that the Broncos will “pause” the process and decide on their 1 to 3 finalists for the job and then bring them in for a second interview. This second interview will include CEO/Owner Greg Penner, his wife co-owner Carrie Penner-Walton, and controlling owner, Rob Walton.

From there, Penner and his associates will pause to consider who to bring in for a second interview next week. The second round of interviews will involve Penner, his wife and co-owner Carrie Penner Walton, and Broncos controlling owner Rob Walton. George Paton will be around for follow-up discussions and to help the coaching finalists tour the Broncos’ facilities.

Klis also notes that General Manager George Paton will be around for follow-up discussions and to give a tour of the facility to the finalists they decide to bring in.

The seven candidates remaining for the Denver Broncos head coaching position are former Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton. Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, former Stanford Head Coach David Shaw, veteran coach Jim Caldwell, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Denver Broncos defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero. Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh was among the favorites for the job, but he decided to stay with the school and not pursue a job in the NFL.

So, out of those seven candidates, there is the obvious favorite, one “surprise”, and the other logical favorite. Obviously, Sean Payton is the leading candidate for the job, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he is the only one they bring in. I would also expect “surprise candidate” David Shaw to get a second interview with Dan Quinn potentially getting the third one. I would really like to see DeMeco Ryans here, but I just do not see them wanting a coach without experience, but a strong interview could move him ahead of Quinn.

So, let us take a look at who I think will be the final three candidates for the Denver Broncos head coaching position.

1. Sean Payton

The obvious leading candidate who has the best odds of becoming the next Denver Broncos head coach is Sean Payton. There is a lot of smoke out there connecting the two and I think he will be a lock to get a second interview with the Broncos,

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske reported that the Broncos “remain in a very strong position to land Sean Payton” after he initially reported that they were the early frontrunners for Payton’s services. Then, 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis reported that there is “sincere mutual interest” between Payton and the Broncos after their interview. earlier this week. There is plenty of smoke there already, but a Colin Cowherd report stating that quarterback Russell Wilson has reached out to Payton(through legal channels) and told him that he wants him to be the coach really added some more fuel to the fire.

I think it’s possible he is the only candidate they bring is for a second interview since he is their top candidate, but we shall see. He has a tentative rescheduled interview with the Carolina Panthers on Monday because of a death of a player on the soccer team that Panthers owner David Tepper also owns. So, we shall see if that interview will delay the Broncos process or if it even happens at all.

Either way, it sure seems like Payton will get a second interview with the Broncos. The question is, will anyone else get one and who will those other candidates be?

2. David Shaw

The former Stanford head coach was a surprise interview by the Broncos and may be a serious contender for the job.

9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis reported that Shaw is a “sleeper candidate” for the Broncos job, which makes sense. He has strong ties to part owner Condoleezza Rice who recruited for him at Stanford and is a highly respected coach who was sought after by many NFL teams during his college coaching career.

Klis noting that Shaw being a sleeper candidate almost all but guarantees that he will likely be given a second interview for the Broncos job. I think because of his connections to the owners, he may be the Broncos “Plan B” to Sean Payton. Connections matter, and I think they will favor him over Dan Quinn who is known for his relationship to General Manager George Paton. This all speculation on my part, but it makes sense, especially with Klis going out of his way to mention Shaw.

I also think Shaw could be considered for the offensive coordinator spot under Sean Payton. He has spoke highly of Shaw in the past and may want him as his offensive coordinator in Denver. This would get him a second interview as well and be remencent of when the Broncos had Vic Fangio and Mike Munchak and finalists and they hired Fangio as head coach and Munchak as offensive line coach.

I am higher on Shaw than most, but I think he can be a successful head coach in the NFL and would be a fantastic hire as offensive coordinator under Sean Payton as well.

3. Dan Quinn

I really want to put DeMeco Ryans here because I think he will really impress in these interviews, but his lack of experience and Quinn being a favorite from the start makes that unlikely.

Quinn has been the odds on favorite for the Broncos job up until recently when Payton overtook him, but will likely be a finalist for their head coaching job for the second straight year. He interviewed yesterday with the Broncos and has the tough task of slowing down the high-scoring Kyle Shanahan/49ers offense this weekend as well. If he impressed during the interview and is successful against the 49ers, that could really help his stock moving forward.

Quinn is the “safe” option of the three. He is a stable candidate who can get the ship going straight again, build a strong staff, and hopefully get the Broncos back winning again. He is known for his strong leadership skills and lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance. So, he is a worthy candidate who has been a top candidate for this job from the start.

His relationship with GM George Paton helps as well, even though Paton hired Nathaniel Hackett over him not even one year ago. This time around, the Broncos new owners will be making that decision so we shall see how they feel about Quinn after this interview.

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