Could Denver Coaching Change Have Cleveland Implications?

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.

  • AMC

    What about the other possible Cleveland implication – any chance McDaniels ends up replacing Daboll as O coordinator next year? I think I’d be ok with that actually.


    @AMC….I like where you’re head is at…

  • DP

    I remember writing way back when that one of the only guys I was more opposed to hiring as HC than Mangini was McDaniels. A lot of people were saying we were fools to pass him up when Denver was 6-0 and we were 1-5… but McDaniels might have been worse as the “HMFIC” than Mangini was last year. If that’s possible. As bad as any trades Mangini might have made, at least all of the players we got from the draft trade (with the exception of Ratliff) and the Edwards trade have PLAYED for the Browns.

    Quinn for Hillis and a pick might go down as one of the worst most lopsided trades of all time, even if Hillis’s body breaks down after a few years. [edited because it’s not “worst” for the Browns]

  • jimkanicki

    more interesting question (to me) is whether josh mcdaniels could be our next OC. he honcho’d the 2007 pats to 37 points/gm. not sure if he and mangini are in any way friendly, but they certainly have the common denominator of belichick. they’d be on the same page in most areas.

    as for king triton, if he’s not gone this year, it’ll be next year. he’s going to a head coach somewhere and good for him. i would hope mangini is grooming a replacement.

  • jimkanicki

    ^^OOPS!! great minds thinking alike!

  • ben


    FWIW, McDaniels, regardless of how well/poorly he coached, doomed himself by making the terrible roster moves he did.

  • humboldt

    Daboll as head coach of the Broncos = upgrade over McDaniels

  • 5KMD

    hey DP, didn’t the Browns get 2 picks along with Hillis?

  • Shamrock

    @1 Great point I’d be in favor of that big time. Also I might be the only one here that if Ryan left it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. I appreciate his fire and desire but I don’t think that is unreplacable.

  • mgbode

    First, Rob Ryan likely doesn’t get his shot this year because NFL owners like the ‘hot name’ and unless Rexy wins the SB, they will want to see 2 consistent years from our defense for Rob to get that ‘hotness’ factor.

    Second, just say no to McDaniels as OC. He is great if you just want to inflate QB numbers. But, if you want to have a running game, then forget about it. This is the same HC/OC who couldn’t find a place to play Peyton Hillis and owned the #29 rushing attack in the NFL before being fired.

    Just say no to pass-wacky OC’s for Cleveland. Thank you.

    (besides, he was still in NE when the first spygate thing happened and he’s been involved in his own. I doubt Mangini wants anything to do with him and vice versa)

  • mydogsnameisbuckeye

    Don’t forget that McD and Hillis weren’t the best of friends… That’s why he was included in the Quinn trade. Not sure I like that idea a whole lot unless Mangini can keep him in line. The kid has an ego bigger than Dan Gilbert’s bank account.

  • Stinkfist

    they took half of our defense a few years ago (thanks by the way). they gave us hillis and picks for quinn (thanks by the way). hopefully they dont want anything more to do with us

  • Denny


  • MD

    @ben Who the ‘F’ wants Brady back

  • MrCleaveland

    A friend of mine in the real estate business says Ryan just sold his house in Strongsville.

    To Gruden.

  • mgbode

    @Stinkfist – we still have plenty of bottom-rung roster players we can ship to the Broncos if they would like. I’d gladly trade them D’Qwell for the low, low price of a 3rd round pick (as an example).

  • bobby

    I just cant see Ryan getting a gig as a head coach this year.

    1- just look at leslie frazier and the SD DC, along with a handful of others that always seem to be mentioned with any opening.

    2- Rob is extremely overrated. The browns team D is still ranked near 20 something. OK, some of that has to do with the anemic offense that has 12 3 and outs in a game but that fact is still there.

    3- Family aint looking so hott after last night.

    Aside from that Id be really interested to see how he does with more talent on D. Hopefully we’ll be able to watch next year if there’s no coaching switch in berea.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    On the subject of McDaniels…no, please. As a regular listener of’s “Hang Up and Listen” podcast (highly recommend it), I’ve heard a reporter that covered the Broncos say that McDaniels is a jerk and a tyrant that will throw anyone under the bus, in public no less, to make himself look better. This guy just sounds like a blow-hard, cheating, bad attitude guy.

    On Rob Ryan…please Browns management. Please find a way to give this guy a raise so that the team can keep some continuity. Good defensive coordinators are not that easy to find. I am especially disturbed by the possible o-coordinator and d-coordinator scenarios for next year if Ryan is gone.

  • JackGonzo

    I wouldn’t be shocked if Bowlen gave one last kick in the pants to McDaniels…and hires Mike Nolan as his head coach.

    I’m not opposed to McDaniels being the OC, but I think Daboll IS improving. The Broncos offense has played well this year for the most part considering their record…at least Orton has played well I should say. I say give Daboll another year, let him and McCoy form a bond of sorts and have him continue to learn from Holmgren.

  • NJ

    Never trust a John Carroll guy.

  • Robbie

    How much of the Rob Ryan praise is related to the celebrity status of Rex Ryan? Sure, his defense shut down the likes of New Orleans and New England, but it then gave it up to the Jets, Jacksonville and Carolina to end those games.

    I’m playing devil’s advocate, obviously.

    Ultimately, if Mangini is to carry on the Belicheckian mold, he’ll replace the coordinators that leave without missing much of a beat.

    And, I don’t know much about McDaniels, but I’m not opposed to him replacing Daboll, just on the fact that KC is doing well with two high-profile ex-head-coaches and Baltimore hasn’t done badly using ex-head-coaches on its staff. It can be done.

  • MuptheM

    @ 20. I’m adhering to WFNY rules. Therefore I won’t explain in detail where I would like my newly purchased Twinkie to go.

  • Believelander

    And yes, at some point, when you give your offense six turnovers and then surrender a game-losing touchdown, it was the offense’s fault. The leads we keep losing in the 3rd-4th quarter would not be lost if our offense would, you know, continue to score points in the second half. It’s a novel concept.