n the same week when the Denver Broncos reportedly narrowed their head coaching pool down to their top candidate in San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, they now might need to implement their backup plan.
According to a report from Mike Florio, “it appears that the Broncos may lose ‘top candidate’ DeMeco Ryans to the Texans, it’s time to pivot to Plan B.”
Ryans’s name was connected to the Broncos early in the head coaching search, with players in the locker room approving his candidacy. However, Ryans has emerged as the No. 1 choice for the Houston Texans opening and is likely to land there.
The Texans and the 49ers coordinator have a history together, with Ryans starting his NFL career in Houston and succeeding as a second-round pick. Mike Klis of 9News also stated, “Ryans’ wife Jamila is from Houston and the couple has three children.”
So if Denver were to lose out on their No. 1 option, who would be a part of “Plan B?”
Klis also noted the “Broncos do have other top (7) candidates they’ve interviewed and kept in touch with. Expect Broncos to not limit their focus solely on Ryans as process continues.”
The pool of seven should now be down to six, with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn returning to Dallas in 2023. That leaves DeMeco Ryans, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, former Stanford head coach David Shaw, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.
Payton and Shaw are the two most connected to the Broncos’ job. Evero went through a second round of interviews with Houston and Indianapolis.
A Possible Return for Jerry Rosburg
Interim head coach Jerry Rosburg was originally on staff to help Nathaniel Hackett with in-game management situations but became the fill-in HC once Hackett was released. In the final two games with the Broncos, they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and beat the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jeremy Fowler reported that Rosburg had an extensive meeting with Broncos ownership to stick around as the head coach in 2023.
On Jan. 25th, 2023, Field Yates of ESPN mentioned that Rosburg was let go from the staff but quickly corrected his statement and said his contract expired and that a possible return to Denver wasn’t out of the question.
In the final weeks of the season, the players in the Broncos locker room responded well to Rosburg as the head coach, playing their two best games of the season. Rosburg has coached at the highest level, taking the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl in 2013 as their special teams coordinator. If he’s brought back to Denver in some capacity, it will keep experience and leadership on staff.
Nathaniel Hackett Hired as New York Jets Coordinator
It didn’t take long for former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett to land on his feet. After being let go from Denver, he is now the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets.
With all of the speculation of Hackett’s arrival in Denver being linked to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, those rumors are starting once again if the Green Bay signal caller will be the second quarterback traded to the Jets in the 14 years.
Hackett worked with Russell Wilson in Denver and played an integral role in developing the offense around Wilson. If Rodgers goes to New York, Hackett will look to do the same.