Jan 11, 2022 3:09 PM

List of targets for Broncos head coaching job emerges

Posted Jan 11, 2022 3:09 PM

(AP) The early list of interview requests include both of the Dallas Cowboys' coordinators, Dan Quinn, 51, and Kellen Moore, 33, along with Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, 42, and Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, 35.

Also in line for interviews with Paton are Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, 52, who surprisingly didn't get any calls last year, and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. 39.

Mayo is the only one of that list who hasn't had coordinator experience, but he is seen as an up-and-comer like Moore, a third-year offensive coordinator whose Cowboys led the NFL in scoring in 2021.

CHANGE OF DIRECTION

With five consecutive losing seasons and a six-year playoff drought, the Broncos head into an offseason of big changes, and not just at coach and quarterback.

The $3.5 billion franchise is expected to be sold this year, and both team president and CEO Joe Ellis and president of football operations John Elway will be stepping down this year.

FOUNDATION AND CORNERSTONES

Although Paton's first draft class featuring Patrick Surtain II, Javonte Williams, Quinn Meinerz, Baron Browning, Caden Sterns and Jonathon Cooper paid immediate dividends, Paton said that was just the start of a major makeover.

“We need to bring in more players. There is a foundation in place that I feel really, really good about," he said.

Led by safety Justin Simmons and Surtain, Denver's defense was the team's best unit once again. But it didn't produce takeaways at a good enough clip.

The offense was stuck in neutral with receivers Jerry Jeudy (zero touchdowns), Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick struggling to get to the top of their routes before the pressure caved in on Bridgewater or Lock.

Tight end Noah Fant was the team's leading receiver with just 68 catches. Patrick led the team with five TD catches, and Sutton had just two touchdown receptions.