Frontrunner Emerges in Broncos’ Head Coach Search

Tyler Maher
A frontrunner has emerged in the Denver Broncos' search for a new head coach.
A frontrunner has emerged in the Denver Broncos' search for a new head coach. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

One month after firing Nathaniel Hackett in his first season as head coach, the Denver Broncos have had time to interview several candidates and weigh their options. Now, they appear to be closing in on one name in particular who has emerged as a frontrunner for Hackett's old job.

Broncos Head Coach Rumors

According to a recent report, the Broncos are eyeing San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans to be their new head coach.

Based on his success with San Francisco, it's not hard to see why Denver's targeting Ryans. The 49ers have been one of the best defensive teams in the NFL under his watch, giving up the ninth-fewest points and third-fewest yards in 2021. They've been even better this year, ranking first in both categories.

Before he was a coach, Ryans spent a decade as a player in the NFL. He was a talented linebacker for the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year and making two Pro Bowls during his 10-year career.

Ryans smoothly transitioned into coaching after his playing days were over, joing San Francisco as a defensive quality control coach in 2017. He was then an inside linebackers coach there for three years before being promoted to defensive coordinator.

While Ryans is obviously talented and capable, he'd be a curious choice for Denver. The Broncos already have a strong defense that allowed the seventh-fewest yards in the NFL last year. Where they really need help is on offense, especially after finishing 2022 dead-last in scoring. Given his defensive background, it's hard to see how Ryans would help Denver improve on that side of the ball.

If the Broncos do hire Ryans, they may just end up with more of the same: terrific defense sabotaged by an unwatchable offense.

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