Peyton Manning could have input on Broncos next head coach hire
We know the Denver Broncos’ 2023 head coaching search is going to be led by CEO Greg Penner and the rest of the Walton-Penner ownership group. We also know that general manager George Paton will be part of that process, but what other voices could hold some weight? It is possible that Hall of Famer and Super Bowl 50 champion Peyton Manning could have some significant say?
At this point in time, Peyton Manning is not part of the highly decorated and illustrious Walton-Penner ownership group, although that was a rumor for quite some time. Manning has settled in nicely to retirement from the NFL doing a number of different things, perhaps most notably of late growing his Omaha Productions entertainment brand. But Manning has also maintained his residency in Denver, and he’s stayed very close to the Broncos organization since he retired back in early 2016.
It’s almost mind-boggling how arduous the past seven calendar years have been at least from a Broncos perspective, and yet how quickly they have flown by. Manning has been rather chummy with the new ownership group and understandably so. He’s one of the biggest figures in NFL history and this is one of his teams. He bleeds orange and blue. He doesn’t miss home games in Denver.
Given his relationship with the ownership group, even if he’s not an owner himself, I think it would be wise for the Walton-Penner group to listen to Manning’s input and he’ll certainly have some.
Peyton Manning could bring valuable insight to Broncos head coaching search
Whether or not Manning would be involved in any sort of official capacity remains to be seen. He has relationships with just about everybody in the NFL these days and some strong ties to potential Denver Broncos candidates.
When you look at names like Jim Caldwell, Frank Reich, Sean Payton, Jim Harbaugh, and just about anyone else, the three degrees of separation between them and Manning are not hard to find.
Caldwell obviously coached Manning and the Colts once upon a time. Reich was on Caldwell’s staff from 2006-2011 so he obviously knows Manning exceptionally well, especially considering he was once the Colts’ QBs coach.
One of the really interesting connections Manning has with one of the candidates is specifically with Jim Harbaugh. Once upon a time, Manning replaced Harbaugh in Indianapolis with the Colts but much more recently, Harbaugh was trying to recruit Manning to come and play with the 49ers back in 2012 when Harbaugh was coaching there. Who knows how much that could play into the Broncos’ head coaching search 11 years later?
But it might.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter appeared on The Drive with 104.3 The FAN in Denver and he said not only does he expect the ownership group to spare no expense when it comes to this hire, but he also thinks Peyton Manning’s opinion could potentially hold some weight, or that the ownership group should at least listen to what Manning has to say.
And I don’t think anyone in Broncos Country would disagree with that. Manning is as sharp as they come. He’s as good a football mind as you will ever be around. When it comes to making decisions and picking one candidate over others? Well, his abilities there remain to be seen. We know he could scout the practice squad — and did — at a high level while he was a Bronco. We know he can call an offense. We know that Manning knows football and the ownership group knows it too.
Most underrated edge Broncos have with head coach search in 2023
The Denver Broncos have an underrated edge when it comes to the 2023 NFL head coach cycle. What is their huge advantage right now?
If Manning’s opinion holds weight, it gives serious life to candidates like Caldwell, Reich, and even Harbaugh among others.