Nathaniel Hackett was fired by the Denver Broncos on Monday, and we already have an initial list of candidates to replace him in 2023. The NFL moves quickly, and the Broncos’ front office will have to undergo a head coaching search for the second time in as many years.
The Nathaniel Hackett experience showed signs of failing very early on, and the team decided now was the time, with two games remaining and after a blowout loss on Christmas to cut ties with the first-year head coach.
Hackett became just the fifth head coach since the 1970 merger to not make it through his first year on the job. He was literally a historically bad hire.
Josina Anderson is well-connected and revealed a few names that are already being considered for the Broncos’ head coaching vacancy. This does not mean it’s an exhaustive list. More names can and probably will be added, and we don’t even know for sure if the team will interview each of these names.
However, this does seem like a viable group to start with.
Initial names for Broncos’ coaching opening revealed
The first name, Dan Quinn, was under consideration for the opening last year, but ultimately decided to stay in Dallas and obviously was not picked by the Broncos, so I do wonder if there is some bad blood there. Apparently, George Paton and Dan Quinn share an agent.
Darrell Bevell spent several years as Russell Wilson’s offensive coordinator in Seattle and has been an interim head coach two times, so he does check some boxes.
Eric Bienemy could get an interview, but his off-field issues and other teams wondering about his true impact on Kansas City’s offense has left him stuck at a coordinator position for years now. I do not think, under any circumstances, he ends up in Denver.
Sean Payton may be the top prize here, but with rumors that he wants to bring Vic Fangio with him to his new team as the defensive coordinator, I don’t think Payton to Denver will ever happen, but if the Broncos can swing it, then they can be my guest because that would be awesome.
Demeco Ryans has overseen the San Francisco 49ers’ defense for the past couple of seasons and has turned the unit into a true powerhouse. He actually decided to stay put in San Francisco for this year because he wanted to gather more experience before making the jump to head coach.
I do not think he’s going to be a serious finalist.
Shane Steichen is an interesting one. He is the offensive coordinator from the Philadelphia Eagles, and about halfway through the 2021 season, head coach Nick Sirianni gave up play-calling duties and gave them to Steichen. Since then, the Eagles offense has taken off and Jalen Hurts has morphed into a legitimate MVP candidate.
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has to take a decent amount of the responsibility for the historic firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Steichen seems to have experience with QB development as he was a QBs coach before and does seem to have a strong reputation as a play-caller. I do think if the Broncos were to hire another first-timer, Steichen is the name to keep tabs on.