Skip to main content

Broncos' 10 Head Coach Interviewees: Pros & Cons to Each Candidate

The Broncos have requested interviews with 10 NFL coaches. What are each candidate's attributes and drawbacks?

On Sunday, hours removed from dismissing Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos' GM George Paton vowed that he would cast a wide net in his search for the team's 18th head coach. After reports have surfaced that Paton has requested interviews with nine currently-employed head-coaching candidates, the GM appears to be a man of his word. 

These are just the coaches we know about since there could be candidates whom the Broncos can interview without having to seek a team's permission. The list that Paton has assembled couldn’t be more different across all the candidates. 

How well would each guy fit in Denver? What are each candidate's pros and cons? 

Let's dive in. 

Dan Quinn | DC | Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium.

Quinn is the only interviewee with previous NFL head-coaching experience. In regard to 'recycled' coaches, there are two things that such a candidate should possess: some success in his previous stint and a solution to the mistakes from his prior experience. 

Quinn has had success and his biggest areas for concern could be fixable with the correct approach in his second go around.

Pros

  • Experience
  • Coached in three Super Bowls (one as HC of Falcons, three as DC for Seahawks)
  • Connects with players
  • Well-liked by people who have worked with him
  • Good defensive coordinator
  • Turned around Dallas Cowboys defense
  • High energy, which would bring a different feel from the lackluster and mild Vic Fangio

Cons

  • His teams in Atlanta had the propensity to choke with the biggest being the 28-3 Super Bowl debacle
  • Churned through defensive coordinators with Falcons
  • After losing Kyle Shanahan to San Fran, Quinn struggled to evaluate and hire offensive coordinators even though he had Matt LaFleur as an option on the staff.
  • Difficulty delegating defensive coordinator duties

Nathaniel Hackett | OC | Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) before their game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, October 21, 2019 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Hackett would be a first-time head coach as he has not been at the helm in either the NFL or college, but he does come with a bonus — a connection to Aaron Rodgers. If you're hoping the Broncos can make a trade for the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Hackett adds intrigue in the pursuit.

Pros

  • Ties to Rodgers
  • Experience at many levels across an NFL coaching staff
  • Solid offensive coordinator
  • Helped Blake Bortles to have a career-best season in 2015
  • Reports show he is fun, has an infectious energy and connects with players
  • Creative
  • Good coaching lineage

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Speculation that his success this season has more to do with Rodgers than his coaching
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Eric Bieniemy | OC | Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy talks with players after the play during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Bieniemy has been around the NFL for a long time starting as a player from 1991-99 then again as a coach beginning in 2006. He also has significant ties to Colorado as a former Buffalo player and coach. 

Even with all his experience, Bieniemy has never been a head coach at the NFL or college level.

Pros

  • Extensive NFL experience
  • Former NFL player
  • Coached in two Super Bowls as an offensive coordinator with the Chiefs
  • Learned under a top-5 winningest coach in Andy Reid
  • Reid coaching disciples have found success in the NFL
  • Well-liked by players

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Has a rumored list of unsavory incidents in Colorado as a player and coach
  • Is not the primary play-caller under Reid
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Jerod Mayo | ILBs Coach | New England Patriots

GettyImages-1363703985

A bit of a surprise candidate given his lack of experience and the history that the Broncos have with hiring a coach from the Patriots organization. Mayo has not been a head coach at the NFL or college level and has only experience in the 'Patriot Way'.

Pros

  • Learned under possibly the greatest coach in the history of the NFL
  • Patriots have a history of success
  • Former Pro Bowl player
  • High energy, which would bring a different feel from the lackluster and mild Vic Fangio

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Knows only the Patriot Way
  • History of Bill Belichick assistants failing in the NFL as head coaches
  • Lacks experience
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Kellen Moore | OC | Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on the sidelines during the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium.

Moore has shot up the head-coaching candidate boards which is a bit of a surprise given his limited experience, and his only experience coming from one organization — the Cowboys. He has no experience as a head coach at the NFL or college level.

Pros

  • Offensive coordinator who calls the plays
  • Creative and innovative
  • Former player
  • Reported to have a 'brilliant' football mind
  • Cowboys offense has been spectacular this season and has improved dramatically under Moore

Cons

Read More

  • No head coaching experience
  • Little experience coaching
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

What happens next for the Broncos? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second and sign up for our FREE newsletter and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!

Johnathan Gannon | DC | Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni (R) and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon (L) before action against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field.

A surprise candidate, Gannon has only one season as a coordinator and has never been a head coach at the NFL or college level. He has some ties to Denver's current offensive line coach Mike Munchak with Tennessee and Paton during his time in Minnesota. 

Pros

  • Defensive coordinator who call the plays
  • Struggled early as Eagles coordinator, but was able to adjust and turn around the defense
  • Has experience in several areas of staff, including scouting

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Drew ire from players due to his struggles early in the season
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Kevin O’Connell | OC | Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) talks to offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell during an offseason workout at SoFi Stadium.

At first glance, this candidate would be something of a surprise, but the success that Sean McVay disciples have had recently makes O’Connell an intriguing option. However, O'Connell has no experience as a head coach at the NFL or college level.

Pros

  • Part of the McVay coaching tree
  • Offensive coordinator experience
  • Former player
  • Reported to be innovative

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Not the primary play-caller with the Rams, though he reportedly scripts L.A.'s first 15 plays each game
  • Inexperience assembling a staff
  • Only experience with a winning staff has come in the last two seasons with the Rams

Aaron Glenn | DC | Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn looks on during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

Glenn is the biggest shocker on this list. He has very little coaching experience, has never been a head coach at the NFL or college level, and has not had much success in his first season as a defensive coordinator.

Pros

  • Defensive coordinator who calls the plays
  • Former player
  • Connects with players
  • Fiery demeanor, which would bring a different feel from the lackluster and mild Vic Fangio
  • Learned under Sean Payton in New Orleans
  • Has knowledge of NFL scouting during his time with the New York Jets

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Lack of overall experience
  • Had very little success as the Lions defensive coordinator
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Luke Getsy | QBs Coach | Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy talks to Aaron Rodgers (12) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.

Getsy has the same intriguing bonus that Hackett possesses in his tie to Rodgers. As Rodgers' position coach, Getsy may have an inside track on any potential trade for the veteran quarterback. 

 The biggest issue is that Getsy has never served as a head coach at the NFL or college level.

Pros

  • Ties to Rodgers
  • Former player (practice squad only)
  • Offensive coordinator experience (college)
  • Employed as a passing game coordinator for the Packers

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Lacks coordinator experience at the NFL level
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Brian Callahan | OC | Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan (center)during training camp at the teams practice facility.

A late entry to the list, this candidate is not particularly surprising. Callahan has ties to the Broncos, having been on the coaching staff from 2010-15 and won a ring with the club (Super Bowl 50). 

Pros

  • Ties to the Broncos and Super Bowl 50
  • Offensive coordinator experience
  • Head-coaching bloodlines
  • Has done a good job developing Joe Burrow
  • Helped Matt Stafford to two of his best seasons as QB coach
  • Learned details of film watching with Peyton Manning

Cons

  • No head-coaching experience
  • Doesn’t call the plays
  • Inexperience assembling a staff

Follow Thomas on Twitter @ThomasHallNFL.

Follow Mile High Huddle on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!