With each passing hour it appears as if the Denver Broncos will be looking for a new offensive coordinator in the off-season. Relax Bronco fans; Peyton Manning is not going anywhere. I am talking about the offensive coordinator who stands on the sideline. Mike McCoy, already a hot name for the Chicago Bears job, has also been linked to four other openings including the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers. It’s a virtual certainty at this point the McCoy will land one of the head coaching jobs; there is only one thing that could stand in the way.
Teams can interview McCoy this week as the Broncos have a bye, but that’s all they can do. If any team decided the McCoy was the guy they wanted, they still could not offer him the job until the Broncos season is over. The Broncos enter the playoffs as the top seed in the AFC and are a favorite to reach the Super Bowl.
If the Broncos were to reach the Super Bowl, then McCoy could not be hired until early February. That does not sound like a big deal but for teams who need to rebuild, time is precious. They need to get a new coach in place so he can hire assistants, evaluate talent and the team can develop its off-season plan. The NFL is a 24/7 business and very few owners are willing to wait in limbo while other teams are passing them by.
The guess is that while the time factor could hinder McCoy’s chances with some teams; he will end up with one of the jobs. While it’s always difficult to lose talent, it would not be a devastating blow for the Broncos. The first thing to remember is that Manning is really the offensive coordinator and with a season in Denver under his belt, he will only get more comfortable going forward. The second factor here is the Broncos would have no shortage of qualified candidates.
Any offensive coordinator would jump at the chance to work with Manning and the Broncos offense. As I wrote earlier this season; the smart money remains on Tom Moore who was with Manning for years with the Indianapolis Colts. Moore knows Manning better than anyone and there would be no adjustment period. Moore is currently a consultant with the Tennessee Titans but has expressed an interest in being a coordinator again; the Broncos would be the perfect fit.
In other coaching/personnel news surrounding the Broncos; as of Tuesday no team has requested permission to speak with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. That’s great news for the Broncos who have had seven different coordinators in seven seasons on that side of the ball. Del Rio has turned the Broncos into a top five defense and you would have to believe that they would only be better in 2013 after a full season in the system. Things can change quickly but as of now it looks like the Broncos have a decent shot to hold onto Del Rio at least for one more season.
The Broncos have also denied permission to the Chargers who had wanted to talk to Director of Player Personnel, Matt Russell. The Broncos, namely John Elway, love what Russell brings to the front office and are not about to let him go. Russell is also a Colorado guy and has said himself that he is in no hurry to go anywhere. The fans hear about Elway, John Fox and others but Russell deserves a ton of credit as well. He puts together the draft board, oversees the scouting department and works with Elway in terms of free agency. The Broncos have big plans for Russell and they are certainly not going to let him go to a division rival.
It’s fun to win and be one of the best teams in football but when that happens, other teams come hard after your talent. The Broncos will not stand in the way of anyone who wants to advance their career, but they also will not sacrifice anything they have built.
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