Broncos Are Down to Two Finalists for HC Job: Report

DeMeco Ryans

Getty San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans looks on during a playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Less than one month after the season ended for the Denver Broncos, they’ve been searching for their next head coach that can get them back to the successful franchise that they’re known for.

After searching high and low, it’s seems that the Broncos are down to two finalists.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Broncos are expected to make a decision as soon as January 25 between San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and former Stanford head coach David Shaw.

Ryans impressed the Broncos’ searching committee in his interview, but he can’t be hired until after the 49ers’ season comes to an end. San Francisco will play in the NFC Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 29.

Shaw on the other hand can be hired at any time.

Ryans Could be the New Favorite in the Clubhouse

While many thought that the Broncos were swinging for the fences for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“My understanding is that Broncos CEO Greg Penner has started to cut down the rest of that list,” according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “The other name to keep an eye on here is 49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.” Pelissero added, “Don’t count out Ryans just yet.”

After Harbaugh turned down the Broncos and decided to go back to Michigan, reports began to come out that maybe Denver became turned off by Payton as well.

Mike Evans of 104.3 The Fan in Denver said, “The idea that has surfaced that I have been hearing is that Sean Payton has some character issues that is perhaps scaring away Greg Penner.”

In the same video, Darren McKee said he’s heard the same thing.

“Wow, you are the third person that has said something like that to me about what they’re hearing about him behind the scenes in the past 12 hours.”

Schefter also reported that Payton is spending the next couple of days in New Orleans to film a commercial after he had his interview with the Carolina Panthers on January 23.

Shaw Has Connections to the Broncos

On January 18, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reported that Shaw had emerged as a “sleeper” candidate for the Broncos.

Broncos’ CEO and team owner Greg Penner will be leading the head coaching search along with his wife Carrie, who is also an owner, and minority owner Condoleezza Rice.

All three owners all have something in common with Shaw, they all have been connected to Stanford.

Rice has a strong connection to Shaw and knows him quite well. In fact, Rice helped Shaw in his recruiting at Stanford.

Rice attended Stanford where she had been a professor and administrator before the nation’s capital beckoned her from January 2001 through January 2009. She served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor through his first term and U.S. Secretary of State for his second term.

Both Greg and Carrie also attended Stanford during their college years and have become boosters for the school for years.

Shaw has also spent nine years in the NFL as an assistant coach for the Eagles, Oakland Raiders, and Baltimore Ravens.

Denver is expected to hold a second-round of interviews this week, but so far the Broncos have yet to schedule a second interview with a candidate, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.