Denver Broncos: Zac Taylor needs to do the impossible
The Denver Broncos are flying to interview Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor. Does he have to accomplish the impossible in his interview?
The Denver Broncos completed their first head coaching interview on Wednesday when they spoke with Colorado native Chuck Pagano, whose most recent job in the NFL was as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
Denver’s next step is to interview Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, a 35-year old candidate whose primary experience in the NFL has been as a position coach, but he called plays for the Miami Dolphins on an interim basis and for the Cincinnati Bearcats at the college level.
Taylor’s biggest obstacle in interviewing for the Broncos’ head coaching position may not be his lack of experience as a coordinator, however. His biggest obstacle may be surpassing Gary Kubiak as John Elway’s most trusted offensive mind.
Mike Klis reported that Kubiak is ‘expected’ to be the Broncos’ offensive coordinator depending on which coach is hired, though his role for 2019 is not yet defined or set in stone. There have been varying reports and rumors over the past couple of years that Kubiak is interested in an offensive coordinator position again, a job he has done incredibly well in the past. He would certainly be in high demand from other teams if the Broncos decided not to make him their offensive coordinator.
But in what scenario would the Broncos not hire Kubiak as offensive coordinator?
A plausible scenario is one in which Taylor is hired, and for Taylor to be hired, he has to convince John Elway that he can do a better job than one of Elway’s most trusted buddies.
Either that, or Taylor has to want a head coaching job so badly that he is willing to work with Kubiak in some way, shape, or form.
There is an outside chance Taylor could be hired as head coach with Kubiak (and his son Klint) still in the fray, but it just doesn’t feel like a very likely scenario at all, given the fact that Taylor’s expertise is on offense and he would certainly want to have charge over that area of the team.
Who knows, though? Maybe Taylor, having worked with Sean McVay — a disciple of the Shanahan/Kubiak coaching tree — could find a way to make things work with the former Super Bowl champion head coach of the Broncos mentoring him, helping him implement the game plan, and working with a quarterback they combine to select.
A situation with Taylor as head coach and Kubiak as offensive coordinator could also be a recipe for a power struggle, even though Taylor doesn’t have a ton of experience calling plays. Especially not compared to Kubiak.
Taylor’s interview with Elway and company on Thursday will be his one and only chance to prove he is the best candidate to lead the future of Denver Broncos football and that he’s the one who will help develop the team’s next star quarterback.