The Denver Broncos coordinator position has shown a lot of promise in the past few years. While there are times where Bronc..."/> The Denver Broncos coordinator position has shown a lot of promise in the past few years. While there are times where Bronc..."/>

Which Coordinator Would Succeed As Head Coach?


The Denver Broncos coordinator position has shown a lot of promise in the past few years. While there are times where Broncos fans have either praised or ridiculed them, the important part for them is that they are doing what they can to get the job done and win football games. Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio have apparently done a well enough job to have NFL teams contact the Broncos and ask to interview the coordinator of both the offensive and defensive mind for the Broncos.

But when it comes down to the head coaching position, which coordinator would most likely fit the bill? Let’s take a look at both of their resumes.

Oct 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Gase is in his second season as the offensive coordinator. He took over the job early in 2013 when Mike McCoy took the San Diego head coaching position. Gase exceeded expectations in his first year as the Broncos offense set numerous records through the air. Some of the records include an NFL record for passing yards and touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season. He also had five players who recorded at least double digit touchdowns in one season. He took a step back from the aerial assault a little over halfway through the season and started running the football. Coaches must want to draw him away from the coordinator position because he can balance the run and pass. But that is just my opinion. Players, including Peyton Manning himself, state that Adam Gase can be a great head coach. However, I am not certain if he is ready for that just yet.

November 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio celebrates after the Broncos scored a touchdown during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On the other side we have Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator. He was mostly known for his head coaching position at Jacksonville. This makes Del Rio a great option due to his previous experience. He holds a 68-71 record as a head coach and two playoff appearances. His best season came in 2005, when he recorded a 12-4 record, good for second in the AFC South. (Indianapolis had a 14-2 record, hence why they didn’t win the division) Jack Del Rio even took over the head coaching duties last season when John Fox was recovering from heart surgery. He went 3-1 in those games. His defensive mindset this year had lead the Broncos defense to the top ten in nearly every defensive category. His recent success and previous experience would give him the nod to become a head coach again.

So, which coordinator would have more success as a head coach? I decided to ask the staff at Predominately Orange and see what their takes were.

Gabe Harris: I think Del Rio would be more successful as a HC just because he’s had some success in the role before, whereas Gase is regarded as a smart offensive mind, but that is a lot different than coaching up a bunch of prima donnas. Who knows though, Gase could be a great HC if given the opportunity, I just get the feel that Del Rio has more of the personality type to be a HC than Gase does. Gase just seems like an nice, easy-going guy.

Dan Armelli: If Del Rio becomes coach of the Raiders, I think he’s doomed from the start. They’re just not a well-run organization right now. Also, if I recall correctly, there hasn’t been much interest for JDR in the past couple years, probably because he’s not a young offensive genius. If he doesn’t do well in OAK, he may not get another chance. Which is a shame because I think he gets the best out of his players. He’s very good at managing the guys around him, at least in Denver he has been.

As for Gase, he seems like he has a good personality and has probably learned a lot working with Peyton Manning. When Mike McCoy was getting interviews I felt confident he’d be a good head coach, but it’s not working out so well in SD. I don’t have that same confidence with Gase. If he’s hired outside the of the division, I wish him nothing but the best, but I think it’ll take him multiple tries to be considered a successful head coach. There’s no shame in that either.

In short, I don’t feel great about either one of them, but I think since Del Rio’s been in that position already and has won a playoff game with a lowly franchise, I’d pick him.

Sayre Bedinger: If Jack Del Rio is taking the Oakland job, then I think Adam Gase will ultimately have more success. I don’t say that to be funny, either. The Raiders are flat out horrible and they have nothing but impatience at the top. Unless Derek Carr is a much better player than he showed getting shut down twice by Del Rio’s defenses this year, it could be a long road for whoever takes that job. Gase is set to accept a job possibly with the 49ers (great overall roster) or Falcons (Matt Ryan at QB) and I think he could be coaching in the playoffs as soon as next season again.

Kyle McKinnon: First, I definitely think Jack Del Rio would find higher success as a head coach. His experience in Jacksonville and Denver will definitely help him out going into his second head coaching gig, if he gets one.

Adam Gase just gives me the same vibe as Dennis Allen, who was supposedly this young defensive mastermind before completely flopping in Oakland. I like Gase but I don’t think he’s ready for a head coaching position, yet. If he leaves Denver, I feel that he will fall prey to the same fate that Dennis Allen did. At any rate, a lot of Del Rio’s/Gase’s success could simply hinge on where they decide to go coach.

Ian St. Clair: It depends on the situation for Del Rio and Gase. Of all the choices out there, and the need to make a splash, I would be shocked if Mark Davis chooses Del Rio. The Raiders need to make a huge move that jolts that franchise and fanbase. Del Rio doesn’t do that. As for Gase, it’s very rare for rookie head coaches to have success. The big question you face with him: is he a product of the system and a certain quarterback? Where he ends up will determine how successful he is. Atlanta is much better for Gase than San Francisco based on the philosophy and players. He would also need to hire a great defensive coordinator (and be promised that Arthur Blank will invest to fix that horrid defense and offensive line). With that said, I would be shocked if Gase gets a head coaching job as well. Not because of his lack of experience or the lack of “wow” factor for Del Rio, but because teams would have to wait until the start of February to hire either of them. Of course, that is under the assumption the Broncos play in the Super Bowl, but that has to be how owners and teams approach both Del Rio and Gase. Those owners and teams won’t wait that long to make a hire at head coach.