The Denver Broncos have cast a very wide net in their search for the team's 18th coach all-time. The list of candidates GM George Paton has requested interviews with his comprehensive and spans both the offensive and defensive sides of the football.
With the exception of Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Paton has yet to request an interview with a retread candidate — meaning, a guy who's served as an NFL head coach before. Quinn got close to the top of the NFL mountain by leading the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, only to collapse in historic fashion at the hands of Tom Brady.
However, Paton could have his eye on another coach who, when he approached the NFL apex, led his team over the hump, sending Brady and the New England Patriots home as losers.
Doug Pederson has spent the last year out of the NFL after the Philadelphia Eagles fired him just three seasons removed from leading the team to a Super Bowl victory. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports that Pederson will interview with the Broncos regarding the team's head-coaching vacancy eventually.
"Doug Pederson is scheduling interview with Bears and will end up interviewing with the Vikings and Broncos as well. Already met with Jacksonville," La Canfora tweeted on Tuesday.
Pederson is a former NFL quarterback who spent 14 seasons as a backup in the NFL. Then, he took to the coaching ranks, starting as a high school coach before Andy Reid gave him a hand up in 2008 as an offensive quality control coach in Philadelphia.
Three years later, Pederson was promoted to QBs coach under Reid. When Reid was fired from Philadelphia, Pederson joined him in Kansas City as offensive coordinator.
That's when Pederson's coaching star really began to rise. Following the 2015 season, the Eagles hired him to succeed the utterly failed Chip Kelly and within two seasons, he'd delivered the city its first-ever Lombardi Trophy.
After Philadelphia's triumph in Super Bowl LII, Frank Reich stayed on one more year as offensive coordinator under Pederson before taking the head-coaching job in Indianapolis. The Eagles struggled to keep Carson Wentz healthy and despite his MVP-caliber performance in 2017, the quarterback could never quite recapture that level of play.
Wentz's play only worsened when Reich left and it coincided with several other issues rearing their heads in Philadelphia, which Pederson struggled to solve. According to Ed Kracz of Eagle Maven, Pederson wanted to have more of a say in Philly's draft process and in which coaches he hired or promoted to work as assistants but owner Jeffrey Lurie wouldn't allow it.
The firing of Pederson comes amid reports that he wanted a say in who he hired to be his assistants and who he wanted to retain but Lurie wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Specifically, Pederson wanted to make Press Taylor his offensive coordinator after a year spent as the passing game coordinator/quarterback coach.
There were also rumors of Pederson clashing with GM Howie Roseman and if it's true that the Eagles brass wouldn't allow its Super Bowl-winning head coach a.) control over his coaching staff and b.) a voice in the personnel process, why would Pederson want to stay?
At age 53, Pederson is still spry and reportedly still has a passion to coach. After how things ended in Philly, he needed a year to reset and exorcise the demons.
As retreads go, Pederson's bonafides trump Quinn's. Pederson is also an offensive-minded coach who springs off the Reid tree.
That said, it's understandable why Paton's Broncos would want a sit-down with Pederson. The Broncos currently have interview requests in with nine other coaches, not counting Pederson.
There hasn't been an official report of the Broncos scheduling an interview with Pederson yet but as La Canfora reports, it's a matter of course.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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