Jan 30, 2023 - Sports

Final contenders for Broncos next head coach emerge

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson takes the field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Jan. 1. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos' miserable season ended with a glimmer of hope — the chance for a new head coach.

Catch up quick: First year head coach Nathaniel Hackett got canned on Dec. 26 with two games left in the season. The Broncos were 4-11 at that point.

  • However, his firing created a coaching opening for one of the league's most iconic franchises.

Yes, but: The next Broncos head coach inherits a team struggling to find its identity after trading three players and five picks for star quarterback Russell Wilson. He was short on star performances this season, but Denver's defense kept them competitive in some games.

Details: At least eight people have interviewed for the head coaching gig but two names have risen to the top.

  • DeMeco Ryans. He's the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and 9News reports he will likely be interviewed by the Broncos a second time. The 49ers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Championship.
  • Sean Payton. The former New Orleans Saints coach has made it to the top of some lists though he's also been linked to the Arizona Cardinals.

Bottom line: The next Broncos head coach will have little room for error after the team finished 5-12 — their worst record since 2010.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show DeMeco Ryans is the defensive coordinator for the 49ers, not offensive.


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