Monday, following Gary Kubiak's retirement speech, Denver Broncos General Manager/Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway, took some time to answer questions and elaborate on what his plans are in the immediate future to fill his team's new head coaching vacancy.
The Broncos currently have a coaching staff replete with accomplished individuals, but Elway made it very clear that none of the guys on staff today will be considered for the head job.
"No," Elway said. "Not right now."
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1742489-kubiak-makes-it-official-... That takes guys like defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who once was Elway's head coach as a player, and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who's interviewed for the job before, off the table. Elway has considered Dennison in the past, but the ineptitude of the offense over the last two seasons likely hasn't done much to elevate him as a candidate in the team's eyes.
At 69 years old, Phillips likely doesn't want to be a head coach anyway. There's also running backs coach Eric Studesville, who was the team's interim head coach in 2010, following the firing of Josh McDaniels. But Elway clearly wants new blood at the head coaching position.
So what is Elway looking for in a new head coach? And how will he make his decision on whom to hire? Two priorities Elway kept landing on revolved around getting the most out of their two young quarterbacks, and youth. Elway clearly wants a bright, young coach who not only has the physical wherewithal to handle the job, but can bring a fresh, invigorating approach to the position.
"What I like to do is, I don't like it just my opinion," Elway said. "We're going to have Matt Russell be in the room and Joe Ellis will be in the room and we'll have four or five other people in the room, too, that will be giving their opinions on who we talk to. Obviously, there's a lot of young guys out there that have a lot of potential — very bright young guys. Hopefully we can get one of those."
We already know one of the young guys on Elway's radar — Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan, of course, is also the son of former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, who won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997-98.
The Broncos have put in a formal request to interview Kyle Shanahan. But, as Elway intimated in his presser, the Broncos will have to be flexible and sensitive to the demands of coaches whose teams are currently in the playoffs.
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For Shanahan, the opportunity is ripe, because as the NFC's No. 2 seed, the Falcons have the week off. If Atlanta's brass grants Shanahan the opportunity to interview for the job, this week will be Denver's best chance to get it done.
Other young candidates could include Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who Elway liked as a candidate back in 2015, but as the Bengals defensive backs coach at the time, Cincinnati denied Denver's request. So Elway moved on to Kubiak.
Clearly, Kyle Shanahan is at the top of Elway's list and it makes sense. Although he's never officially held a coaching position in Denver, he did spend four seasons in Houston under Gary Kubiak and is intimately familiar with the offensive system and football philosophies that Elway believes in.
The job Shanahan has done in Atlanta has been exceptional and you can believe that Denver won't be the only team that comes knocking at his door. In the coming days, we'll be breaking down the different candidates whom the Broncos have, or could have, interest in.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.