George Paton is running his first head-coaching hiring process as Denver Broncos general manager. It's a big decision for a GM, no matter their experience.
Choosing the right coach to hitch one's star to is a dicey proposition. If he fails, it reflects poorly on the general manager and will often cost their job.
So far, it seems that Paton has cast a wide net in his search for the Broncos' new head coach. The team has sent out requests to interview 10 different coaches from around the NFL.
The list of interviewees comprises a good mix of offensive and defensive minds, but head-coaching experience? Not so much. Of the 10 the Broncos have requested to interview, only one has previous head coaching experience.
Dan Quinn is the only confirmed interviewee who has been an NFL head coach before and he's been asserted as the favorite to land the job in Denver since October 2021. Part of the Broncos' interest in Quinn is the fact Paton had worked with him back when the two were in Miami. Quinn said he wanted to form a head coach/general manager duo with Paton in 2015 after he'd taken the Atlanta head-coaching job.
With Quinn having been the favorite since October and remaining so, are the Broncos really casting a wide net, or is Paton's hiring process flawed?
It depends on how you look at it, but it isn't difficult to conclude Paton's missing the forest for the trees, as they say. That should be a significant concern for Broncos fans after dealing with John Elway's flawed hiring processes the last two coaching cycles.
If Quinn gets hired in Denver due, in large part, to his experience being an NFL head coach, that would make it clear that Paton's process was flawed. It would make it clear the Broncos entered their head-coaching search with Quinn in mind instead of truly casting a 'wide net' to find the best guy for the job.
Based on who Denver has chosen to interview, Paton has it set up to create a lot of doubt about the whole process if the hire is Quinn. However, being the favorite doesn't guarantee Quinn will get the job.
In the last cycle for Denver, Mike Munchak was the favorite to be the head coach, but the actual interviews altered the equation, and the Broncos instead hired Vic Fangio.
Being the favorite doesn't make the process flawed on its own, but it can and likely will engender misgivings within Broncos Country. Quinn is a good coach, but he isn't without his drawbacks.
Time will tell whether Denver's process was as transparent as Paton billed it, but it still might work out for the team. However, being single-minded in the quest for the right head coach would make it hard to trust any future hirings that might need to be made.
Hopefully, Paton really is casting a wide net in a meaningful way and approaching the interview process with an open mind. Fans should want to see Paton's decision be based on how each coach does in the interviews and his vision for the team, specifically on offense.
There are plenty of exciting names the Broncos are set to hold a long palaver with. It wouldn't be shocking to learn that Paton views some of these candidates for coordinator positions, which would be an excellent way to go about the process.
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