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A first look at potential candidates for Broncos' head coaching opening

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Following the Broncos' decision to part ways with former head coach Vic Fangio, General Manager George Paton will now begin his search for the 18th head coach in franchise history.

In the days to come, more concrete information will become available about which coaches the Broncos plan to interview before ultimately making their hire.

For now, though, we'll take a look at a few of the names that have been mentioned in the media as possible candidates.

The following candidates are listed in alphabetical order, by last name.

ERIC BIENIEMY

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs

After four years as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator, could Bieniemy be ready for his shot as a head coach? The Chiefs' offense has ranked in the top three in yards and the top five in points in three of the last four seasons. Bieniemy has Colorado connections, as he played at CU and was the teams' offensive coordinator from 2011-12.

TODD BOWLES

Current position: Defensive coordinator, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One of the best defensive minds in the game, Bowles is a former head coach who could be set for another opportunity. Bowles led the Jets to a 10-6 record in 2015 before the team slipped from 2016-18, but he has been a key part of the Bucs' defensive dominance that helped lead them to the Super Bowl last year.

MARCUS BRADY

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Indianapolis Colts

After nearly a decade of experience in the Canadian football League, Brady is in his first year as the Colts' offensive coordinator. He is not the team's play caller, but he's helped guide an offense that ranks second in rushing offense and seventh in scoring.

JIM CALDWELL

Current position: N/A

Caldwell last coached in 2019 with the Dolphins, but he has a pair of stints as an NFL head coach. He guided the Colts to a Super Bowl appearance during his time leading the franchise from 2009-11, and he helped the Lions to three winning seasons in four years from 2014-17.

BRIAN CALLAHAN

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals

A former Broncos offensive assistant, Callahan has spent the last three seasons as the Bengals' offensive coordinator. Behind quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals' offense ranks fifth in scoring in 2021.

BRIAN DABOLL

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Buffalo Bills

Daboll has eight years of experience as an offensive coordinator, and he's helped the Bills rank in the top three in scoring in each of the last two seasons. If hired by the Broncos, he would be a first-time head coach.

NATHANIEL HACKETT

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Green Bay Packers

Hackett doesn't call the plays in Green Bay, but he's a key part of a Packers operation that ranked first in scoring in 2020 and has Aaron Rodgers poised for another potential MVP award in 2021. Hackett also has experience as an offensive coordinator from stops in Buffalo and Jacksonville.

JIM HARBAUGH

Current position: Head coach, University of Michigan

Harbaugh just led the Michigan Wolverines to their first College Football Playoff appearance, but could he be an option if he's ready to rejoin the NFL ranks? In four seasons in San Francisco, Harbaugh posted three winning seasons and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance.

BYRON LEFTWICH

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A fourth-year offensive coordinator, Leftwich has helped the Bucs to a top-three scoring offense in each of the last three seasons. He worked with Tom Brady as Tampa won the Super Bowl last season, and the 41-year-old coach may be ready for his opportunity as the head guy.

JEROD MAYO

Current position: Inside linebackers coach, New England Patriots

Mayo is the lone person on this list without coordinator experience, but he's considered an up-and-coming coach. Mayo joined New England's staff in 2019 and has helped lead one of the league's best units.

KELLEN MOORE

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Dallas Cowboys

A third-year offensive coordinator, Moore is considered one of the league's rising stars. The Cowboys ranked first in the league in scoring through 17 weeks, and they also finished first in total offense in 2019. Moore would be a first-time head coach.

KEVIN O'CONNELL

Current position: Offensive coordinator, Los Angeles Rams

If the Broncos want to tap into the Sean McVay coaching tree, O'Connell could be an option. The Rams' offense improved from 22nd in points in 2020 to ninth in 2021. He would also be a first-time head coach.

DOUG PEDERSON

Current position: N/A

Pederson is the only man on this list to have won a Super Bowl as a head coach, and Pederson seems poised to re-enter the coaching ranks after a year off. He led the Eagles to three winning seasons in five years and posted the league's third-best scoring offense in 2017 en route to a Super Bowl title.

DAN QUINN

Current position: Defensive coordinator, Dallas Cowboys

Quinn nearly had a Super Bowl title to his name, as he led the Falcons to the Super Bowl and held a late lead in 2016. He guided Atlanta to a pair of winning seasons during his six-year stint with the Falcons, and the defensive-minded coach could step back into the spotlight after revitalizing Dallas' defense this year.

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