The Broncos jettisoned head coach Josh McDaniels on Monday, and speculation is underway as to who might replace him in the Mile High city. Browns fans have to be concerned this off-season about losing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ryan has been showered with praise for his work in confusing some of the best Quarterbacks in the league. Just today Ron Jaworski was on ESPN radio calling Ryan a genius- “Rob Ryan is doing some of the most unique stuff in the league. His Amoeba D and Creep schemes are nearly impossible for opposing qb’s to figure out.”
Now, we all know that just because a man is a great coordinator doesn’t mean that he will be a good head coach. Ryan however, has the family legacy going for him, and will at some point get the chance to guide an entire team. Even Eric Mangini went on record this season saying he hopes Ryan gets his shot.
The good news, if you’re looking for it, is that at least early on the Broncos don’t appear to have Ryan on the short list.
According to ESPN, there are 2 guys at the top of that list-
“Two candidates to watch in Denver: Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, whose contract is up the first week in January, and Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun. There will be an exhaustive search, but those are two names to monitor, especially Calhoun. He spent three years as a Broncos assistant coach, a season as the Texans’ offensive coordinator and is considered one of the bright minds in college football. Plus, his asking price probably wouldn’t break the bank, which helps considering that Josh McDaniels and Mike Shanahan each are on the Broncos’ payroll for 2011.”
Further, they list these as the coaching potentials for the Broncos- Darrell Bevell — Vikings offensie coordinator could be nice consolation prize if Frazier’s unavailable. Brian Billick — Former Super Bowl-winning head coach is the type of offensive-minded coach Bowlen prefers. Troy Calhoun — Air Force coach well-respected in the NFL, known as a high-character coach; however, he released a statement saying he’s not interested. Bill Cowher — The Denver opening could be the one that finally lures him back to the sideline. John Fox — He should be free of Carolina soon. Leslie Frazier — Vikings’ interim coach finished second to McDaniels two years ago. Jason Garrett — In the unlikely event Jerry Jones lets him go, Broncos will come calling. Jon Gruden — Current Monday Night Football analyst is in the mix. Jim Harbaugh — No college coach’s stock is higher right now. Gary Kubiak — On the hot seat in Houston, and Denver could be very interested if the Texans let him go. Mike Leach — Because his name seems to come up with every opening. Ron Rivera — San Diego defensive coordinator could be ready to make the jump to a head coaching gig.
No Rob Ryan on that list. Which of course means he’s probably a lock.