Adam Gase set to interview for NFL vacancies

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) While the rest of the Denver Broncos are unwinding, offensive coordinator Adam Gase will be participating in the NFL's version of speed dating.

Gase will meet in Denver for the head coaching vacancies of the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons on Friday and the Chicago Bears on Saturday. Also, the Buffalo Bills requested permission Thursday to squeeze in an interview with the 36-year-old Gase. That would also happen Saturday.

The Broncos (12-4) are on a three-day break and reconvene Sunday to begin preparations for their divisional round opponent. The AFC's No. 2 seed will host a second-round game Jan. 11.

While he's the hot young offensive mind in this year's pool of head coaching candidates, Gase said he's focused on helping the Broncos get back to the Super Bowl.

''It's a great opportunity to be able to do this,'' Gase said. ''For these guys to reach out and want to talk to me, I'm excited about it. But I'm also excited that we have another chance to make a run.''

Gase was Tim Tebow's position coach in 2011 when the Broncos reached the playoffs and beat Pittsburgh and then helped Peyton Manning transition to his new team in 2012. He's served as Denver's offensive coordinator the last two seasons.

In 2013, the Broncos became the first NFL team to top 600 points and this season, they integrated a ground game to go with Manning's passing prowess and a retooled defense to lighten the load on the five-time MVP.

''These last three years have been special,'' Gase said. ''Just winning this many games and having an opportunity to actually make a run at a Super Bowl - getting there last year, falling short, and having another shot - it's just something you can't take for granted.''

Manning is a big fan of Gase's and has been more than willing to serve as a reference for possible employers.

''Last year I talked to a couple of teams on behalf of him that reached out to me and that may happen again, so I'm certainly glad to share my thoughts,'' Manning said. ''I think it's pretty well-documented my thoughts on him, so I don't think he needs me to stand up here and campaign for him. But I'm excited he's going to have the opportunity that he's going to have this weekend. He deserves it and I think the teams that he talks to will be impressed.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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