2. Michael Wilhoite, OLBs coach, Broncos
Michael Wilhoite is a newcomer to the Denver Broncos' coaching staff this year and a former player who has spent his first year in Denver coaching up the outside linebackers group. Wilhoite's unit includes a handful of players who did a really good job for Denver this season on the whole, including players like Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper, who were the team's top two in the sack department.
A former player himself, Wilhoite spent a couple of seasons (2019-20) with the Saints and has a history of familiarity with Broncos head coach Sean Payton. After just a year in Denver as the OLBs coach, is he ready for the expanded role of calling plays?
Wilhoite did interview for the Saints defensive coordinator job when Dennis Allen was promoted to head coach in 2022. Perhaps he has spent enough time being groomed for the role.
3. Michael Hodges, LBs coach, Saints
The Saints promoted Michael Hodges to the linebackers coach position in 2020 after he'd spent a couple of years prior to that as an assistant on the defensive side of the ball. He's still on Dennis Allen's defensive staff, and you can't help but wonder if he's spent enough time in the incubator for Sean Payton to call him up with a new opportunity in the Mile High City.
Again, what we're talking about here is replacing Vance Joseph. I think Payton is going to have to be extremely confident that he's got the right guy. Is Hodges, just 37, ready for this kind of pressure?