The Broncos season has come to an end, but the speculation begins on whether Gary Kubiak will step down as coach of Denver due to health concerns.
This would make Denver as the top spot for many coaching candidates throughout both the NFL and college coaching ranks.
But whoever would step in as the replacement of Kubiak has to be able to handle a few different question marks, which may eliminate someone early in the process:
1.) John Elway calls the shots for the Broncos concerning personnel, so the person who they bring into Mile High must be someone who doesn't mind not "shopping for the groceries, but has to cook a fantastic meal".
2.) They have to be able to decide if they can groom Paxton Lynch to be the next starting quarterback for the Broncos, or be able to cut bait rather quickly.
3.) Lastly, there is a lot of pressure for the head coach to be able to win QUICKLY in the Mile High city. The next head coach must be able to handle that pressure, but also make sure they are successful from the start.
So who is out there that may be able to guide the Broncos to a championship in the near future? Here are five possibilities that I think could be exactly what we need in Denver. The question is...are they willing to take the leap and guide the team to the top of the NFL?
Only time will tell.
Sean Payton - New Orleans Head Coach
The NFL rumor mill has been churning over the past two weeks that New Orleans would definitely listen to the possibility of trading Payton to another team, with Los Angeles being mentioned the most out of any team. But with the Denver position opening up, wouldn't he rather coach a team that is much closer to winning than what the Rams are? Plus, look at what he did with Drew Brees when he first arrived in New Orleans. Could he perform the same magic with Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or even Tony Romo (if he joins Denver)?
Adam Gase - Dolphins Head Coach
Yes, I know completely that he is the coach of the Dolphins and has only been year for one year. But we've seen many coaches leave their positions after only a year, and I wouldn't mind seeing Gase pull some magic to make this happen. The former Broncos offensive coordinator under John Fox has done wonders in Miami that many former coaches couldn't accomplish. Imagine if Denver had hired him before Kubiak, and where we might be today? With all respect to Kubiak, Gase should've been more considered as coach before the 2015 season began.
Peyton Manning - Former Broncos Quarterback
Maybe he is enjoying his retirement enough that stepping back onto the field as a coach doesn't interest him right now. But try to convince me that Manning wouldn't be a great head coach in the NFL. Exactly, that's a tough argument to be had. Many people look at Manning's job as a "field general" in the 2015-2016 championship season as the reason the Broncos walked away with the trophy. And can you already sense the excitement that would engulf Broncos fans if he came back to lead the team? This type of move would be risky, but in the end reward and exciting.
Kyle Shanahan - Atlanta Offensive Coordinator
The Denver defense is already loaded, and will still be one of the best (if not the best) in the league in 2017. However, the offense showed their struggles this year and may need a top notch offensive coordinator to lead the team heading forward. Shanahan is one of the most talked about candidates right now, and he may find the Denver job the most lucrative in the entire league. Plus he may benefit the most, out of all the candidates, working next to Elway.
Josh McDaniels - Patriots Offensive Coordinator
Ok, so I added in Josh McDaniels in here just to make sure you were paying attention. And it looks like you were. But honestly, Denver hired McDaniels at the wrong time. Hiring McDaniels now would make sense because of how many more years he has under his belt learning from Bill Belichick, and he may know how to handle the media now.
But, the chances of this happening are at zero percent. Unless Elway knows something that we don't.