The Denver Broncos are entering into yet another head coach search to start 2023, and they simply cannot afford to get this one wrong. Reports indicate the team is going to be prioritizing “experience” this time around, but when CEO Greg Penner and GM George Paton met the media, they certainly made it sound like another first-time head coach was not out of the realm of possibility.
And it simply cannot be out of the realm of possibility.
Although many fans would prefer the Denver Broncos hire someone with experience as a head coach already on their résumé, how foolish would that have been in 2017 when candidates like Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay were available?
Exactly. And the Broncos messed that one up anyway. Those who don’t know history or forget it are doomed to repeat it. And the Broncos have to cast a wider net than just “experienced” guys available, which would limit the search greatly and could prevent the team from landing the best possible candidate.
3 rookie head coach candidates the Denver Broncos need to consider
1. DeMeco Ryans, defensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers
Although the Denver Broncos have a viable young defensive coordinator to consider in their own building, the buzz for DeMeco Ryans as a future NFL head coach has been building for a couple of offseasons now. After watching his unit dominate from basically the start to the finish of the 2022 NFL season, it’s become clear that Ryans’ time as a coordinator and not a head coach is already of the “borrowed” variety.
The former Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker has transitioned seamlessly into the coaching world. He joined Kyle Shanahan’s staff as an assistant right when Shanahan was hired by the 49ers in 2017, and he’s worked for some of the best coaches in the league in that time besides just Shanahan.
He’s the successor to Robert Saleh, someone I consider to be one of the best head coaches in the game.
Interestingly enough, Ryans was selected with the 33rd overall pick by the Houston Texans in the 2006 NFL Draft, the first year Gary Kubiak and Kyle Shanahan were on the Houston staff. Robert Saleh joined the Houston staff in 2007 and so Saleh has not only worked with Ryans at the coaching level but he also coached him as a player.
Given Ryans is coming from the Shanahan coaching tree and would likely want an experienced offensive mind to run the show on that side of the ball, it would be fascinating to see what kind of coaching staff he would assemble. If it brings that 49ers brand of football to Denver, I’d be all for it.