BRONCOS

Broncos Country is less than enthusiastic about head coach candidates

Jan 18, 2022, 3:02 PM
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 24: Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett of the Green Bay Packers...
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

When George Paton met the media after deciding to part ways with Vic Fangio, he said the Broncos search for a new head coach would be “comprehensive.” As the process has gotten underway, the general manager has certainly been true to his word.

Starting last week and continuing into this one, Paton is touring the country to interview 10 candidates for the job. It’s an eclectic group, one that features coaches from both sides of the ball, of all ages and backgrounds.

Broncos Country is hoping that there is some quality in the quantity. But right now, they aren’t necessarily convinced of that fact.

Recently, DenverFan.com conducted Twitter polls about each candidate. The question was simple: Thumbs up or thumbs down on (insert candidate here).

The results were a little surprising. The leader in terms of highest percentage of positive votes was interesting. But perhaps the most eye-opening development was the fact that very few of the candidates were more popular than unpopular.

Here are the results:

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NO INTEREST

Not surprisingly, two relatively unknown defensive coordinators are not popular options. Less than 10 percent of fans would feel good about Gannon or Glenn. Given that Gannon’s defense just got shredded in the playoffs, while Glenn’s was 31st out of 32 teams during the regular season, that’s not surprising.

***

VERY LITTLE INTEREST

It’s no surprise that Getsy isn’t getting a ton of support. No one knew his name 10 days ago. And most people would credit Matt LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett (more on him later) for the Packers success on offense. Mayo is an interesting wild card, but his lack of coaching experience – just three years as an inside linebackers coach – and his connection to the Patriots hurts his chances.

The lack of support for Moore is surprising, however. He’s a hot candidate during this cycle, having built the highest-scoring offense in the league. Given how much the Broncos have struggled the last five years on that side of the ball, the coordinator who helped the Cowboys average 31.2 points per game would seemingly generate excitement. Perhaps it’s his youthful appearance. Maybe it’s the way Dallas played in their Wild Card Game.

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A SPLIT DECISION

Offense. Offense. Offense. That’s the pattern here. People who are in favor of these options like the fact that they’ve led creative offensive attacks is Kansas City, Los Angeles and Cincinnati, respectively. There are questions, however, about how much each of them does given that they work for offensive-minded head coaches.

Is it Eric Bieniemy or Andy Reid with the Chiefs? Are the Rams all about Kevin O’Connell or Sean McVay? Have the Bengals had a resurgence because of Brian Callahan or Zac Taylor? Those are the questions that have some people nervous about these options.

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THE SILVER MEDALIST

Dan Quinn went into the competition as the favorite. He’s the only head coach on the list that has any coaching experience, which makes him the “safest” option among the group. But that experience in Atlanta also has plenty of people worried.

Yes, Quinn led the Falcons to the Super Bowl. But once there, they blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots, a collapse that will haunt everyone involved forever. Some fans want no part of that stench.

Plus, there’s the fact that Quinn is a defensive-minded coach. He’s built a dynamic defense in Dallas, so that should be a plus. But after watching Vance Joseph and Vic Fangio oversee awful offenses, many people don’t want to see another defense-first coach.

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THE LEADER IN THE CLUBHOUSE

The Packers are arguably the best team in the league, in large part because of their dynamic offense. Leading the way is Aaron Rodgers, who is about to win his second-consecutive MVP award. So the desire to tap into that mojo is real.

That’s why Hackett is on a lost of short lists around the league. The offensive coordinator in Green Bay is going to get a lot of attention, as he clearly has done an outstanding job.

But there’s another element at play in Denver. Plenty of people in Broncos Country are hoping he can be the closer when it comes to acquiring Rodgers. The QB was almost traded last offseason. It’ll be in play again this year. The Mile High City is a destination that makes sense, even more so if Hackett is on board.

***

Out of 10 candidates, only one has universal support. Just one other even gets about the 60 percent approval level. Three are coin flips. And five are underwhelming, at best.

That doesn’t mean Paton can’t find the answer to the Broncos problems in this group. It just means most of the fan base will take a wait-and-see attitude on all but one candidate.

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Broncos Country is less than enthusiastic about head coach candidates