Denver Broncos have ‘mystery candidates’ in play for HC vacancy

The search for Broncos coaches continued to be wild. Over the past few days, we learned that they had 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans circled as their guy. However, things changed today when Ryans picked the Texans over the Broncos and left them scrambling to figure out what to do next.

Their initial favorites are dropping like flies. Jim Harbaugh returned to Michigan, Sean Payton is still in play but there hasn’t been much movement there, Dan Quinn returned to Dallas, and now DeMeco Ryans appears to be the next Houston Texans head coach.

Well, apparently the Broncos now have a few «mystery candidates» who aren’t publicly known at this time. 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis was in attendance and said he didn’t know who, but he knows the Broncos have spoken to a few other candidates who aren’t in their initial top 8. Dave Logan confirmed he was told the same thing yesterday and now Mike Klis has gone public.

It gets wild.

So, who could these mystery candidates be? Benjamin Allbright was at the Sports Zoo with Ryan Edwards, Dave Logan and Big Al and said the Broncos were watching the candidates they interviewed last year and putting their interest on the airwaves. They can’t legally join some of them right now, but since they’ve already met them last year, they can at least discuss it now that they’re regrouping.

The two names Allbright mentions they could contact are Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. He says Gannon was impressed with his interview last year and is once again one of the top candidates this year. He was a runner-up for the Texans job and was even considered early favorite before DeMeco Ryans became the frontrunner. As for Callahan, he doesn’t call plays for the Bengals, but he’s on one of the league’s top offenses and was interviewed with the Broncos last year.

These aren’t official, but make sense if they actually go back to the coaches they interviewed last year. He goes on to say that the Broncos are leaving no stone unturned in their search. He even names veteran head coach Mike Shanahan as a potential «transition coach» for a few years.

I know many of you are tired of this research, reports, followed by the inevitable next report proving the previous report wrong. However, SO TRUE, I love that the Broncos are banding together and considering other names.

Of their first eight, only four remain. Former Stanford head coach David Shaw, veteran coach Jim Caldwell, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. However, none of these four seem to be candidates they want to hire. If they wanted Shaw, he’d probably already be hired. Caldwell is 68 with health issues (would be the NFL’s third-oldest head coach), while Raheem Morris looks like Colts front office pick, but owner Jim Irsay wants Jeff on Saturday. Finally, Ejiro Evero does not appear to be a legitimate candidate for the Broncos job. So banding together, looking at other names and going from there makes sense.

In the end, who knows what to believe, what new report will come out, and who these “surprise candidates” really are? Stay tuned!

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