Von Miller Opens Up on Best Choice for Broncos’ Next Head Coach

Von Miller

Getty Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller warming up pregame.

The day after the Denver Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett, owner and CEO Greg Penner said that he will lead the search for Denver’s next head coach and it will begin immediately.

Ever since former Super Bowl winning head coach Gary Kubiak stepped down as head coach from the Broncos in 2017, Denver has hired three straight first-time head coaches. It seems unlikely that they’ll go for a fourth straight, but that might not be the case.

Former Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller joined “The Pat McAfee Show” on December 29 and gave his thoughts on who the Broncos should hire as the 20th head coach in team history.

“Everybody wants to talk about Sean Payton and all of these guys. I think for me, we’re riding on the Russell Wilson ship, we’re riding on the success of Russell Wilson. I want to get a coach that has some kind of experience with Russ and brought the best out of Russ. That could be a quarterback coach, that could be an offensive coordinator. I want Russ to be involved in this and I want to get the best coach for Russ.”

Coaches Connected to Wilson that Could be a HC

Dan Quinn: Quinn was a finalist for the Denver job last offseason, but when he got the news that he didn’t get the job, he turned down other head coaching offers to remain with the Dallas Cowboys as their defensive coordinator.

Quinn has a connection to Wilson because of his time as the defensive coordinator up in Seattle when the Seahawks appeared in back-to-back Super Bowls.

Already having worked on the same team as Wilson, Quinn also has head coaching experience with the Atlanta Falcons and even took them to a Super Bowl.

Quinn is currently on the same coaching staff in Dallas as Brian Schottenheimer, who spent three seasons with Wilson in Seattle.

The duo could team up and end up in Denver. Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator for Wilson where the Super Bowl winning quarterback averaged 3,923 yards, 35 touchdowns, and a 66.8 completion percentage over their three seasons together from 2018-2020.

Darrell Bevell: When Wilson was drafted by Seattle, Bevell was Wilson’s offensive coordinator from 2012-2017. In that time span, Wilson led the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and five playoff berths in six seasons.

During their time together, Wilson had a quarterback record of 65-30-1 overall and averaged 26 touchdowns per season along with 3,696 passing yards. Wilson also completed 64 percent of his passes.

Since Bevell left, he became the offensive coordinator in Detroit and Jacksonville where he eventually became the interim head coach on both teams. Bevell owns a 2-7 head coaching record when filling in.

This season, Bevell is the Miami Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for Tua Tagovailoa. Bevell has helped Tagovailoa have the best season of his young career having a career high in passing yards and touchdowns.

Coaches That Could Work Directly with Wilson

Denver doesn’t necessarily need an offensive-minded head coach to turn around the Broncos and Wilson, but they ultimately could use someone to directly work with Wilson.

Penner explained that he wants a leader to be his next head coach and that could be a defensive minded guy, but that head coach could bring in someone who has worked with Wilson to be Denver’s offensive coordinator.

Carl Smith: From Wilson’s rookie year in 2012-2017, Smith was the quarterbacks coach for Wilson. Smith worked under Bevell when he was the offensive coordinator.

In 2021, Smith was brought back to be the associate head coach next to Pete Carroll. Smith could be an option as an offensive coordinator for Wilson if the new Denver ownership wants to give Smith a pay raise.

Dave Canales: Once Smith left Seattle, Canales came in and worked with Wilson as his quarterbacks coach from 2018-2019. Canales then became the passing game coordinator from 2020-2021 and then returned as the quarterbacks coach for Geno Smith.

Canales could be another option for Denver if they want to promote him from a quarterbacks coach to becoming an offensive coordinator for the first-time in his NFL coaching career.