It appears as though the head coaching searches across the NFL are beginning to wrap up, and the Denver Broncos may have missed a crucial interview. The second rounds are set to begin next week, and reports have indicated that the team will bring in 1-3 finalists for the position.
To this point, this is who the team has talked to about their vacant head coach opening:
Jim Caldwell, former Lions and Colts head coach (completed)
Ejiro Evero, Broncos defensive coordinator (completed)
Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan head coach (staying at Michigan)
Raheem Morris, Rams defensive coordinator (completed)
Sean Payton, former Saints head coach (completed)
Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator (scheduled)
DeMeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator (scheduled)
David Shaw, former Stanford University head coach (completed)
NFL.com kept lists of each team and their various coaching and front office openings. Outside of Jim Harbaugh, who is staying at Michigan, there hasn’t been any indication that any of the other candidates are “out” of it by any means.
Between everyone who has been talked to, there is a nice mix of veteran, first-timer, offensive, and defensive minds. I’d think that the Denver Broncos did a decent job with this interviewee crew.
However, to me, there is one obvious name that is missing from this list, and that’s former Indianapolis Colts head coach and Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
Reich got a raw deal in Indy. Andrew Luck unexpectedly retiring was a shock across the NFL, but Colts’ GM Chris Ballard never put a logical quarterback succession plan in place, but rather constantly cycled through veteran quarterbacks year after year.
It worked a little bit with Jacoby Brissett in 2019, Philip Rivers in 2020, and Carson Wentz in 2021, but all came crashing down with Matt Ryan in 2022. Reich deserves more credit for what he was able to do.
He got the best statistical season out of Andrew Luck, fielded a league-average offense with a backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, and had a top-10 scoring offense in each year with Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz.
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His quarterback development is extensive, and the Denver Broncos might need to be in that situation in the near future if Russell Wilson does not turn it around. Reich finished with a 40-33-1 record, and his firing during the 2022 season has turned people off of his potential head coaching candidacy, but he is someone the team might regret passing on.