Insider Reveals Russell Wilson’s Involvement in Broncos’ Head Coach Search

Russell Wilson

Getty Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson on the field in Tennessee taking on the Titans.

The new owners of the Denver Broncos are in the early stages of identifying the franchise’s next head coach. Owners Greg and Carrie Penner will be joined by minority owner Condoleezza Rice as the top three leading the way in the coaching search, followed by general manager George Paton.

Denver quarterback Russell Wilson will not be involved unless he is asked, according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver on January 5.

“He’s not going to demand to be part of the search, he’s not going to ask to be involved in the search, he’s not going to be part of the interview process,” Klis said during his January 5 appearance on Denver Sports’ “Stokley and Zach.” “If they ask him, he’ll give his two cents otherwise he’s not going to be involved.”

Klis also said there would be discussions between Penner and the head coaching candidates on how they’re going to “fix Russell Wilson” moving forward.

Russell Wilson Describes What He Wants in a Head Coach

On January 4, Wilson met with the local media, as he does every Wednesday, and gave his thoughts on what he wants in a head coach.

“What we desire as players, we all want to win. We want a winner, we want a person that’s going to encourage us and challenge us at the same time. Push us to the edge every day and also teach us how to be better men every day too.”

Wilson also talked about how there are some great candidates out there for the Broncos.

“I know Greg [Penner] and George [Paton] are going to do a great job and the executive team upstairs, they’re going to do a great job in finding a great head coach. There’s some great options obviously. There’s a lot of amazing coaches and brilliant people that have been really successful coaching the game and have gone to Super Bowls and won them.”

In the 11 seasons that Wilson has been part of in the NFL, he has only had two full-time head coaches, Pete Carroll and Nathaniel Hackett.

Wilson won a Super Bowl and appeared in another under Carroll. During his time under Carroll, Wilson became the winningest quarterback through his first 10 seasons in NFL history, and only Peyton Manning threw more touchdowns in his first 10 seasons.

Under Hackett, Wilson has struggled through the worst season of his career, completing just 60% of his passes and throwing only 13 touchdowns in 14 games.

Broncos’ Top 3 Head Coaching Options in 2023

During the 2022 offseason, the Broncos interviewed 10 candidates in their head coaching search before deciding to hire Hackett, who lasted less than one season.

In the 2023 head coaching search, Denver will have new owners leading the way for their first time and they will be aggressive and willing to spend money to find someone who can lead them back to not only the playoffs, but the Super Bowl.

There are three names that stand out for the Broncos, but two are on top of Denver’s list.

According to Klis, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton are tied for first on Denver’s list.

Due to the fact that Harbaugh used to coach at Stanford, Klis thinks that Harbaugh could have a leg up on Payton because of Denver’s owners having connections to Stanford during their college years.

If Denver wanted Payton, they would need to make a trade for the former Super Bowl-winning head coach.

Per ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Saints have “kept close tabs on what other franchises received for other top coaching candidates” and that could mean that they would want a first-round pick in return.

By trading away Bradley Chubb before the 2022 trade deadline, Denver acquired Miami’s first-round pick that belongs to the San Francisco 49ers.

The third-likely candidate for the Broncos could be Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Denver interviewed Quinn for their head coaching opening in 2022, but ultimately went in a different direction.

Quinn, who served as the Atlanta Falcons head coach from 2015 to 2020, will be one of the hottest names on the market because he was able to coach a team to a Super Bowl and turn the Cowboys’ defense into one of the best in the NFL over the last two seasons.