Another surprise name has popped up on the Denver Broncos’ 2023 head coaching search, although the name itself is not surprising. The Broncos’ ownership group includes multiple people — Greg Penner, Carrie Walton-Penner, and Condoleezza Rice — who have significant ties to Stanford University. They’ve now completed head coaching interviews with former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh (now the head coach at Michigan) and his successor David Shaw.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos completed an interview with Shaw on the same day they also reportedly completed an interview with former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
Denver Broncos complete an interview with HC candidate David Shaw
The interview with Shaw brings the Denver Broncos’ candidate list up to eight total:
- Jim Harbaugh (interviewed virtually)
- Ejiro Evero (interviewed in person)
- Jim Caldwell (interviewed in person)
- David Shaw (interviewed in person)
- Raheem Morris (interview next week)
- DeMeco Ryans (interview next week)
- Sean Payton (interview next week)
This interview also checks a significant box in the process, which is that the Broncos have officially satisfied the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” which stipulates that the team must interview two minority candidates from outside the organization. Therefore, the interview with Ejiro Evero did not count toward the rule.
Here’s what is fascinating about all of this which certainly is worth reading into at this point. There’s plenty of information out there at this point that Jim Harbaugh is the Broncos’ top target or one of their top targets going into this process. He was the first guy they interviewed, and they have gone through the interview process with other head coaches faster than any other team with a vacancy at this point.
Perhaps that gives the Broncos an edge.
Perhaps the fact that they interviewed Caldwell and Shaw after interviewing Harbaugh is anything but a coincidence.
We know that Harbaugh is legitimately interested in jumping back into the NFL.
We know that Broncos interim head coach Jerry Rosburg is very connected to the Harbaugh family and also to his former colleague Jim Caldwell.
We know that David Shaw came up in the coaching ranks collegiately with Jim Harbaugh, starting at San Diego and moving on to Stanford (where he became Harbaugh’s successor).
We know that Ejiro Evero was part of Jim Harbaugh’s staff in San Francisco once upon a time.
Can you begin looking at these puzzle pieces and putting them all together? What if all of these guys are part of one mega coaching staff that the Broncos are beginning to assemble? I’m just spitballing here on a Wednesday night, but something like…
Head coach: Jim Harbaugh
Associate head coach/QBs: Jim Caldwell
OC/Passing game coordinator: David Shaw
Defensive Coordinator: Ejiro Evero
Special teams Coordinator: Jerry Rosburg
Is that being too greedy? No, let’s see if these guys wouldn’t call up Mike Munchak and ask him to be part of the staff.
I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
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Even if the Broncos aren’t interviewing all of these candidates just to try and hire them all, there’s ample reason to be excited about each individual candidate and what they bring to the table. Given what we know about the connections between these coaches, I would almost be more shocked if they didn’t hire multiple guys from their current candidate pool.