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Denver Broncos Coaching Hot Board: Who's Next In Line To Be The Head Coach?

With Gary Kubiak's departure, there's sure to be plenty of high-profile candidates wanting to coach the Broncos and Mile High Huddle keeps you up to date with the latest on Denver's coaching search.

The Denver Broncos are embarking on yet another search for a head coach. GM John Elway will be combing through the stack of resumes, as he and the Broncos brain trust seek the right candidate. 

To keep tabs on all the names that are in the Broncos head coaching hat, we've compiled a hot board, starting with the most likely candidates. 

Denver Broncos Coaching Hot Board

Leading candidates: Shanahan | Joseph | Toub

Kyle Shanahan Atlanta Falcons OC 

Record: N/A | Age: 37

Trending: 

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Kyle Shanahan's first official NFL job was as an offensive quality control coach under Jon Gruden in Tampa from 2004-05. He then left to take a job with Gary Kubiak's Houston Texans as wide receivers coach (2006) and quarterbacks coach (2007). At 28 years old, Kubiak promoted Shanahan to offensive coordinator in 2008, where he served for two years as the NFL's youngest coordinator. Shanahan then moved on to the Washington Redskins to work under his father, Mike Shanahan, as the OC from 2010-13, the Cleveland Browns OC in 2014, to his current job with the Atlanta Falcons (2015-present). In Shanahan's nine years as an OC, his teams have finished in the top-10 in total yards six times. 

Why Shanahan Is A Candidate

Kyle Shanahan makes a lot of sense for the Broncos. Not only does he have ties to the organization, as the son of Mike Shanahan, but his offensive system mirrors and improves upon the one currently installed in Denver. 

He also fits the "young and bright" ideal that John Elway said he's looking for and is hoping to hire in the Broncos next head coach. Hiring Shanahan makes perfect sense for the Broncos. 

As an innovative offensive mind, Shanahan's track record as a coach is replete with getting the most out of his quarterbacks, in terms of development and production. The Broncos hope that the work he's done to resurrect Matt Ryan's career can be tossed laterally to Paxton Lynch, Denver's first round pick in 2016. 

Latest Buzz: With the Falcons on a playoff bye, the Broncos put in a formal request to interview Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons granted permission, and Shanahan accepted. The Broncos are expected to meet with and interview him either Friday or Saturday of this week.

January 4: NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reports that Kyle is "eyeing" the Denver job with the intention of following in his father's footsteps. 

January 7: Ian Rapoport reports that the Broncos job is the one Shanahan identifies with. Also reportedly likes the Jacksonville job. Rapoport also reports that Shanahan intends to be picky and patient with his decision. 

January 7: The Broncos met with Kyle Shanahan Saturday. Elway was glowing in his report. 

https://twitter.com/johnelway/status/817798686902288384

January 7: One NFL source tells Mile High Huddle that Kyle Shanahan has emerged as the front-runner. 

January 9: Multiple local and national sources have reported that the Broncos were "very impressed" by Shanahan's interview. 

Vance Joseph Miami Dolphins DC

Record: N/A | Age: 44

Trending: 

USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Vance Joseph is the former backup quarterback of the Colorado Buffaloes. After some time as a graduate assistant and later a coach in a few collegiate stops, Joseph got his first NFL job as Mike Nolan's assistant defensive backs coach with the San Francisco 49ers (2005). Joseph was promoted to defensive backs coach, where he stayed from 2006-10. He then took a job with Gary Kubiak's Houston Texans, working under then DC Wade Phillips from 2011-13. From there, he spent 2014-15 as the Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach. Adam Gase gave Joseph his first opportunity to be a defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins in 2016, where he remains. 

Why Joseph Is A Candidate

Vance Joseph is highly regarded as one of the NFL's brightest young coaches. He is a leader of men. John Elway really like him as a possible candidate for head coach back in 2015, if he couldn't hire Gary Kubiak. The Bengals, Joseph's employer at the time, were most unhelpful in allowing him to explore the opportunity with the Broncos. 

Joseph has ties to the Broncos system and coaching tree through his time in Houston, working with Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips. In his first year as a DC, Joseph's Dolphins haven't exactly set the world on fire, but they've had to overcome a multitude of injuries.

Make no mistake, however, Joseph's defense has played a key role in the Dolphins making the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He has been praised for his ability as a communicator with his players and his X's and O's acumen on gameday.

He is young, and there is concern that he could use another year or two as a DC to season him as a head coaching candidate, but Elway likes him. 

Latest Buzz: With the Dolphins in the playoffs, the Broncos will have to wait to meet with Vance Joseph. But the Broncos did get permission and Joseph has reciprocated their interest. 

January 4: NFL insider Alex Marvez and Denver's 104.3 the FAN have reported that Vance Joseph is Denver's top choice to fill their head coaching vacancy. However, one Denver insider I've talked to contradicted that report. 

January 8: Another NFL insider, Ian Rapoport, reports that Vance Joseph is the front-runner. Conflicts with what we've heard, but it's clear, the Broncos top-two options are Joseph and Shanahan. If I had to put money on it, it would be on Shanahan. 

January 8: With the Dolphins eliminated from the playoffs, the Broncos will meet with Joseph on Tuesday. 

January 9: Alex Marvez reports that Joseph has reached out to Mike McCoy about taking the OC job in Denver, if Joseph is named head coach. 

January 10: Troy Renck has reported that if offered the Broncos job, Vance Joseph will accept. 

January 10: John Elway commented on the Joseph interview. 

https://twitter.com/johnelway/status/818956444171173888

January 10: According to Mike Klis, Joseph is staying in Denver overnight. 

https://twitter.com/MikeKlis/status/818990147781926912

January 11: Vance Joseph has returned to Dove Valley, presumably to sign on as Denver's 16th head coach

Dave Toub Kansas City Chiefs STC

Record: N/A | Age: 54

Trending: 

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Dave Toub is a former offensive lineman who played college ball at UTEP. He began coaching as a graduate assistant in 1986 at UTEP and got his first NFL gig in 2001 working for Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles as a special teams/quality control coach. Toub moved on to the Chicago Bears to take a bona fide special teams coordinator promotion from 2004-12. When Reid took the head coaching job in Kansas City, Toub followed him there in 2013 and he has remained with the Chiefs ever since as their STC. 

Why Toub Is A Candidate

Dave Toub has been a darkhorse head coaching candidate for a couple of years, but his star is really beginning to burn bright. In his 13 seasons as a special teams coordinator, Toub's units have scored 30 touchdowns, the most in the league over that period — by a mile. 

He is considered to be a brilliant football mind, who has a keen understanding of all phases of the game. At 54, Toub's not young, but he would be a first-time head coach, and bring a spark to the job. 

Andy Reid has stated publicly that he believes Toub would be a "phenomenal" head coach. The Broncos are interested in Toub, but so are are a few other teams, including the San Diego Chargers

Latest Buzz: The Broncos have scheduled an interview with Toub, although when that will take place is currently unclear. But the Chiefs are on bye this week, as the AFC's No. 2 seed, so I would expect it to be soon. The Chargers have also scheduled an interview with him. 

January 4: Toub is expected to interview with the Broncos on Friday, Jan. 6. 

January 6: The Broncos met with Toub Friday. John Elway's report was positive but less than thrilling. However, Troy Renck reports that the Broncos were impressed with Toub. A strong start to the interview process. 

https://twitter.com/johnelway/status/817485847092150274

Scott Linehan | Dallas Cowboys OC

Record: 11-25 (.306) | Age: 53

Trending: 

Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Scott Linehan is a former quarterback who played for the Idaho Vandals from 1982-85. He began his coaching career at the high school level, before moving on to several jobs in the NCAA. His first NFL opportunity came as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings (2002-04). He served one year as the Miami Dolphins OC in 2005 before accepting his first head coaching opportunity with the St. Louis Rams (2006-08). He coached the Rams to little success for two years and to start his third season, was fired when the team started 0-4 in 2008. He moved on to serve as the Detroit Lions OC for five years (2009-13), before moving on to the Dallas Cowboys, where he served as passing game coordinator (2014), before being promoted to OC in 2015 where he's remained. 

Why Linehan Is A Candidate

Scott Linehan isn't young, but he is one of the NFL's best offensive minds. The work he's done throughout his career is commendable, but his greatest accomplishment has been how he's handled Dallas' rookie QB Dak Prescott

Prescott, although a highly-touted prospect coming out of Mississippi State, was considered to be a bit of a project. But when Tony Romo went down in the preseason, the Cowboys had no choice but to turn to Prescott. 

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In response to the crisis, Linehan carved out a quarterback-friendly offense that catered to Prescott's strengths and what he was comfortable with as a young player. Linehan developed Prescott into one of the league's best QBs in almost no time flat. 

Linehan's offense has been explosive in 2016 and he knows and understands how to get the most out of an offensive line. The Broncos lacked production in the trenches, and their rushing attack suffered as a result. 

Yes, Linehan had three Pro Bowlers on the O-line, and Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott, but it's no easy task getting 1,600-plus yards out of a rookie running back, no matter who's blocking ahead of them. 

It's also worth noting that Linehan was high on Paxton Lynch coming out of Memphis, and was reportedly one of the driving forces behind Jerry Jones' pursuit of the young gunslinger. If the Broncos are hoping to get the most out of Lynch and develop him through his learning curve with alacrity, Linehan would be one of the top candidates who could get it done. If Linehan does end up in Denver, expect the Tony Romo speculation to reach epic proportions. 

Although his record as a head coach is alarming, consider that most coaches have far better success in their second opportunity to run a team. Examples like Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll stand out as guys who succeeded in their second jobs, where they failed the first time around. Not to mention John Fox and Gary Kubiak

Latest Buzz: At this time, there has been nothing to connect Linehan to the Broncos coaching search, but that could change depending on what happens with their first round of interviews. Stay tuned. 

Anthony Lynn | Buffalo Bills Interim Head Coach/OC

Record:  0-1 | Age: 48

Trending: 

Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Anthony Lynn played running back at Texas Tech from 1988-91. He had two stints playing for the Denver Broncos (1993 & 1997-99). Lynn was part of Denver's back-to-back Super Bowl Championships in 1997 and 1998. His first coaching job was as a special teams assistant under Mike Shanahan in Denver (2000-02). He then took a series of jobs as the running backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04), Dallas Cowboys (2005-06), Cleveland Browns (2007-08), and New York Jets (2009-14). In New York, Lynn was named the assistant head coach in 2012 under Rex Ryan and interviewed for the head Jets job when Ryan was fired in 2015. He did not get the job, and followed Ryan to be the RBC/AHC of the Buffalo Bills and was named OC in 2016. When Ryan was fired in Buffalo, following their Week 16 loss, Lynn was named the interim head coach for one game, which he lost. 

Why Lynn Is A Candidate

Obviously, Anthony has ties to John Elway and the Denver Broncos, as both a player and a coach. As an offensive mind, Lynn's philosophy revolves around the "ground and pound', but he also endeavors to be explosive downfield. 

He believes in running the ball with authority to set up the downfield passing game. Lynn is known as a player's coach, who is open to player input. 

Since 2015, Lynn has garnered interest around the league as a viable head coach. It is believed by most insiders that he is on the brink of getting his first head coaching job. 

Lynn would make sense in Denver, not only because of his history with the team, but because it is believed he could revitalize the impotent and ineffective running game. 

At this stage, Lynn is more of a darkhorse candidate, but he's one to keep an eye on in the coming days. He is considered the front-runner for the Bills HC job. 

Latest Buzz: ESPN's Jeff Legwold reported that the Broncos will interview Lynn next week, but 9NEWS' Mike Klis and the Denver Post's Nicki Jhabvala have contradicted the report, claiming that John Elway has no plans at this time to meet with him. 

Darrell Bevell | Seattle Seahawks OC

Record: N/A | Age: 46

Trending: 

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Darrell Bevell is a former collegiate quarterback who played at Wisconsin (1993-94). From 1996-99 he bounced around the college ranks as a coach, before getting his first NFL opportunity with the Green Bay Packers as their assistant QB coach (2000-02). He was promoted in Green Bay to QB coach, where he serveed from 2003-05. Brad Childress, who was once Bevell's offensive coordinator in his playing days, offered him his first OC job with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006, where he remained through 2010. He joined Pete Carroll as the Seattle Seahawks OC in 2011, where he's remained. Bevell is infamous for his decision to pass on the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX, which was intercepted late in the fourth quarter, handing the New England Patriots their fourth Lombardi Trophy. 

Why Bevell Is A Candidate

Darrell Bevell is a disciple of the West Coast offense, which John Elway reveres as a viable system and one that's yielded Denver three World Championships. At 46, Bevell is relatively young for an aspiring first-time head coach. 

The Broncos are focused on the younger generation of NFL assistants, and really seem to be fixated on coaches with an offensive predominance. Bevell knows how to run the ball, but his Seattle teams have struggled along the offensive line for a couple years in a row. 

He has experience with an organization in Seattle that has a winning culture and is no stranger to the demands of high expectations. He's worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over his pro career, including Brett FavreAaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson

Many NFL insiders consider Bevell to be indispensable to the lightning-quick development of Russell Wilson, who beat out an entrenched veteran in Matt Flynn as a rookie, and has never looked back as Seattle's starting QB. 

Latest Buzz: ESPN's Jeff Legwold has reported that the Broncos are "expected" to have interest in Bevell, but with the Seahawks on deck to play on Wildcard weekend, the Broncos are prevented from contacting him this week. 

January 5: One NFL insider tells Mile High Huddle that it would take a lot to woo Bevell away from Seattle, as the Seahawks HC job has been promised to him when Pete Carroll steps down. 

Sean McVay | Washington Redskins OC

Record: N/A | Age: 30

Trending: 

Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Sean McVay played wide receiver at the University of Miami (OH) (2004-06). His first coaching experience began at the NFL level with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an assistant WR coach in 2008. That got his foot in the door, but he left the NFL in 2009 for the short-lived UFL as the WR coach of the Florida Tuskers. He was soon back in the NFL, taking a job under Mike Shanahan as the Washington Redskins assistant TE coach (2010). He was promoted to TE coach the next year, where he remained from 2011-13. When Jay Gruden was hired as Washington's new HC in 2014, McVay was promoted to OC, where he's remained. 

Why McVay Is A Candidate

McVay worked under Mike and Kyle Shanahan in Washington, which makes him intimately familiar with the Broncos system and offensive philosophies. He was just 27 years old when Jay Gruden named him OC in 2014, even younger than Kyle Shanahan was when he earned his first OC job in Houston. 

After the failed Robert Griffin III experiment, McVay was key in developing Kirk Cousins, whom the Redskins franchise tagged this past season. McVay's offense finished No. 3 in the NFL in total yards in 2016. He knows how to move the football, especially through the air. 

However, if the Broncos are looking to revitalize the rushing attack, McVay's units have finished in the middle of the pack over the last three years. His experience under the Shanahans, however, could help Denver maintain consistency on offense, especially with the nomenclature. 

At just 30 years old, McVay might be too young even for John Elway's tastes. The Broncos hired Josh McDaniels at 32 to be their HC back in 2009 and immaturity issues derailed his administration. 

Latest Buzz: NFL Insider Albert Breer was the first to report that the Broncos are expected to have interest in McVay, although no official request to interview him has been reported. The Los Angeles Rams have already inquired about him. 

Teryl Austin | Detroit Lions DC

Record: N/A | Age: 51

Trending: 

Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

Bio: Teryl Austin played safety for Pitt from 1984-87, and was a part of their teams who won the Fiesta Bowl (1984) and Bluebonnet Bowl (1987). He went on to play for the Montreal Machine (1991) of the World League of American Football. That same year, as a graduate assistant, he coached with Penn State, where he stayed through 1992. He had three more collegiate stops as a coach before his first NFL opportunity, which came with the Seattle Seahawks as DB coach (2003-06). His next stop was with the Arizona Cardinals in the same capacity (2007-09). His first job as a DC was back in the college ranks with the Florida Gators in 2010. It was a single-year stop and he was back in the NFL as the DB coach of the Baltimore Ravens (2011-13), where he won a Super Bowl (2012). In 2014, he was hired by Jim Caldwell to be a DC of the Detroit Lions, his first coordinator job at the pro level, where he has remained. 

Why Austin Is A Candidate

The Broncos were interested in Teryl Austin for their HC vacancy back in 2015, but with one year under his belt as Detroit's DC, he declined to interview in Denver. Although it should be noted that his decision to respectfully decline came after five grueling interviews with four different teams, none of which panned out for him.

Austin was a finalist for the Atlanta Falcons HC job that eventually went to Dan Quinn. Austin is a tough, discipline-oriented coach, who elevated the Lions defense to the No. 2 overall ranking in his first year as a DC. 

But over the last two years, ever since he passed on the Broncos opportunity, his defenses have ranked No. 18 overall. There have been some extenuating circumstances, but Austin's defense has played a part in the Lions making it to the playoffs. 

Austin will be tasked with taking down Darrell Bevell's Seahawks this weekend in the Wildcard round. I'd be surprised if Elway, after being spurned by Austin in 2015, tries to get another interview with him. Elway's after guys who want to be in Denver and see the enormous opportunity for what it is. 

Latest Buzz: ESPN's Jeff Legwold said that the Broncos are "expected" to look at Austin, but I'd be surprised if they even contact the Lions about him. 

Note: We will continue to add to the Broncos coaching hot board as news breaks, buzz circulates about interviews, and new candidates are fleshed out. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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