The Denver Broncos are going to be meticulous in their search for a new head coach. Having gone through three head coaches over the last eight years — which isn't too many, relatively speaking — the Broncos have been focused on finding an energetic man with whom the team can build a dynasty around.
It's clear that Denver's five-headed brain trust, which includes GM/V.P. of Football Operations John Elway, Team President Joe Ellis, Director of Player Personnel Matt Russell, V.P. of Public Relations Patrick Smyth and Director of Team Administration Mark Thewes, seem to have zeroed in on three top candidates.
Less than a week out from the time Gary Kubiak said his goodbyes and officially stepped down, the Broncos have already met with and interviewed two of the three prospective head coaches they have in their collective sight. Let's go through both interviews and reveal what we've gleaned.
Dave Toub: Special Teams Coordinator, Kansas City
Dave Toub has 16 years of experience coaching in the NFL. Most of his time has been spent coaching the third phase, which has allowed him to "touch" or influence players from the offensive, defensive and specialized teams.
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.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1742909-denver-broncos-head-coach... The Broncos met with Toub on Friday for four hours, which could be an indicator on how well the interview went and how the team views him as a candidate. As 9NEWS' Mike Klis points out, typical head-coaching interviews last 2-3 hours. The Broncos liked what Toub had to say.
"Just wrapped up our interview with Dave Toub in Kansas City." Elway announced. "He's a great coach and person who has a very impressive track record with special teams."
By all accounts, Toub's interview was outstanding. And it stands to reason. He has been considered ready to assume head-coaching duties for a couple of years now and is one of the hottest names on the NFL market right now.
Elway is reportedly looking for a coach who could not only bring a spark, but also a stronger hand from a discipline perspective. The Broncos believe a lack of discipline led to the team's unraveling down the stretch.
Of Denver's top-3 candidates, Toub might be considered the darkhorse. But don't be surprised if his experience, energy and savvy end up getting him the job
Kyle Shanahan: Offensive Coordinator, Atlanta
John Elway said on Monday that he's looking for "bright, young" candidates to fill Denver's head-coaching vacancy. The 37-year-old Kyle Shanahan, it would seem, epitomizes that ideal.
Shanahan led the Atlanta Falcons offense to a No. 1 ranking in scoring and No. 2 overall in total yards. Whether it's through the air or on the ground, the Falcons have dictated to opposing defenses this year, marching up and down the field, and punctuating their drives with touchdowns.
Shanahan wants the Broncos job and reportedly identifies with it the most out of all his opportunities. The Denver brain trust met with him on Saturday in Atlanta, as his team finishes their two days off, before turning their attention to the next opponent who will travel to their house for the NFC's Divisional Round of the playoffs next weekend.
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"We spent the morning with Kyle in Atlanta," Elway announced. "He's a very bright coach who's had a tremendous year and has a great future."
Shanahan is one of the hottest names on the NFL head-coaching market. He is reportedly tempering his excitement for the opportunity, resolving himself to be patient with the process. He's been described as "picky", but that conflicts with some of the buzz I've heard.
"When you've got respect for people and you really think they do things the right way, and they're about one thing, and that's trying to win a Super Bowl," Shanahan said of the Broncos earlier this week. "When you have organizations like that who do want to talk to you, that's what I respect the most."
Multiple Broncos players would prefer Shanahan as the new head coach, and one former Broncos player who worked under Shanahan, Tyler Polumbus, had some glowing words for his former offensive coordinator (2011-13).
“I played for a lot of offensive coordinators. Kyle is hands down my favorite,” Polumbus said via Nicki Jhabvala. “He is an offensive lineman’s best friend because he builds everything off the run, including the passing game. I was honestly blown away by how smart he is and how well our offense worked because everything in the passing game for him comes off huge chunk plays. It’s just an extremely effective offense.”
The Broncos will wait until they can meet with Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, which won't be until next week at the soonest, before making their decision. Some sources have told me that Joseph is Denver's front-runner, while others have given conflicting feedback.
Elway's brain trust could hire the 16th head coach of the Denver Broncos as soon as next week.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.