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Evans: Making sense of this Denver Broncos head coaching search

Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub reacts against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Toub is among three candidates up for the Denver Broncos head coach opening. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll give John Elway this. He said his coaching search would be three to four people. And, boy, has he stuck to that.

I, personally, am underwhelmed by the list of candidates. I believe the job of NFL head coach has become so big that experience is a necessity, especially for a job like the Denver Broncos’.

It’s why I would like to see them hire a former head coach, like a Mike McCoy, even at the risk of setting off all the coaching “retread” critics out there. It says something about the pressure of working for Elway and the expectations inside the building at Dove Valley that even a veteran coach like Gary Kubiak admitted it was too much at times.

As far as the three candidates the Broncos have shown interest in? The common denominator is all three would be first-time head coaches.

That’s telling.

Like it or not, Elway has power, and he wants to wield it. It’s no secret that his last two head coaches, Kubiak and John Fox, didn’t always agree in lock step with John. By hiring a first-time head coach, Elway’s influence would grow.

I’m not calling him another Jerry Jones. I’m not saying he wants a puppet as a coach. But Elway definitely wants a coach he can “work with.”

Is that a bad thing? Elway is the boss, and he has established himself as one of the best general managers in the game. So, for the time being, it’s not.

Let’s take a look at each candidate.

I’m not a huge fan of Kyle Shanahan. I believe his ability to come in and magically transform the offense with his Xs and Os gifts is overrated.

He will be hired by someone because of his talents as an offensive coordinator, but that’s not the job he would be getting. It’s a head coach the Broncos seek.

Shanahan wouldn’t be spending all of his time with the quarterbacks; his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach would. Instead, Shanahan would be busy sitting in on defensive meetings, on special teams meetings, talking to the media four days a week.

In short, he wouldn’t be doing the same things in this new position as the things he was doing in his old position that made him a head coach in the first place.

Vance Joseph? At least he wouldn’t be hired because of his whiz-bang talents on the defensive side of the ball. Anyone who watched that pathetic display by the Miami Dolphins against the Pittsburg Steelers would understand that couldn’t be the reason the Broncos are interested.

If they hire Joseph, it will be because they are getting a master motivator and communicator and a molder of men who will coach his coaches and “run” the Broncos as if he was a CEO.

The only problem there is he hasn’t done that yet in his coaching career. It also puts a lot of pressure on hiring two surefire hits with the coordinators, as they will be asked to carry a huge responsibility.

If the Broncos hire the inexperienced Joseph, then the offensive coordinator (McCoy?) now becomes more important than Joseph because of the need to fix the offense. Plus, because Joseph is technically a defensive guy, is the relationship between he and the defensive coordinator hurt?

Which brings us to the unheralded Dave Toub.

Should he be considered unheralded? He’s one of only three guys on Elway’s short list. That should count for something, right?

Toub is growing on me, if these are going to be the only three choices. He wouldn’t be tied to the offense or defense, so the coordinators are both empowered to go out and do their thing.

As a special teams coordinator, he’s used to dealing with guys from the offense and defense, which earns him team-wide credibility. He checks the box as that coaching CEO I believe in so much.

He knows the Kansas City Chiefs, who aren’t going away anytime soon, as well as the Broncos and the rest of the AFC West. Don’t overlook that last part, as this division is shaping up to be tough for the next few years. Having someone from this division coach Denver isn’t such a bad thing.

Give me a combination of Toub at head coach, Wade Phillips at defensive coordinator, and McCoy at offensive coordinator, and I’d be somewhat satisfied with Elway’s coaching search.

Podcasts

Schlereth and Evans

Spend your morning tapping into the wealth of sport knowledge from three-time Super Bowl champion and former Broncos offensive lineman Mark "Stink" Schlereth and longtime Denver sports radio voice Mike Evans. Schlereth spent 12 seasons in the NFL, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl with the Redskins and two with the Broncos. He's also a longtime NFL analyst for ESPN and supporting cast member of "Ballers" on HBO. Evans has graced the sports radio airwaves for two decades, 15 years in Denver. He's a proud graduate of Syracuse University.

Polumbus and Cecil

Inject your morning routine with great football discussion and analysis with former NFL offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus and Fan Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey. Tyler, a native of Denver, went to Cherry Creek High School and played football at the University of Colorado before an eight-year NFL career that culminated with a Super Bowl 50 championship with the Denver Broncos. Lammey, one of the nation's most respected football analysts, gets you the inside scoop from reports from the Broncos' UCHealth Training Center to college football all-star games; East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl to the NFL combine and draft. He's an authority on NFL prospects from across the country.

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Let Sandy Clough, one of the most recognizable voices in Denver sports radio, guide you through your work day every weekday leading into the afternoon. Sandy's been the authority in sports radio for nearly four decades in Denver. No other show will give you the insight and experience that Sandy provides.

Stokley and Zach

Kick off your afternoon with Stokley and Zach, featuring two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Stokley and radio veteran Zach Bye. Stokley earned his two NFL titles with the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts and spent two stints with the Denver Broncos. Bye hails from the Empire State and is the former voice of the University of Albany Great Danes football, basketball and lacrosse programs. Follow them on Twitter: @bstokley14 and @byesline.

The Drive with Big Al and D-Mac

Big Al and DMac help you get through the end of your day with the best afternoon sports radio talk show in Denver. DMac is a 1991 graduate of Syracuse University and has covered Colorado sports for The Fan since 2008. Alfred Williams, a College Football Hall of Famer, won the 1990 Butkus Award and was the captain for that year's consensus National Champion University of Colorado squad. He played nine years in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.

Morning Brew

Each morning at 6:30, get your day started right as Schlereth and Evans serves up The Morning Brew. Mark Schlereth and Mike Evan take you around the world of sports, taking in and breaking down the top stories of the day. So tune in to get your fix before you head out into the world for the day. Brought to you every morning by McDonalds.

Terry Wickstrom Outdoors

Terry Wickstrom, the authority in everything outdoors, talks fishing, hunting, camping and more every Saturday morning.rnWickstrom, host of the popular television show "Angling Adventures" and previously "Mountain States Fishing," is a nationally published outdoor author, an accomplished multi-species angler, and has served on the "pro staff" of many top fishing industry companies.rn

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Jerry Walters and Cousin Ray Best provide up-to-the-minute details about golf in Colorado, rules and all the professional tours. The Boys of Summer interview the biggest names in golf every Saturday mornings throughout the golf season.

About the Author

Mike Evans

Mike Evans co-hosts Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan’s “Schlereth and Evans,” along with Mark Schlereth. Listen weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. He’s a proud graduate of Syracuse University. Follow Mike: @MikeEvans1043

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