When Troy Calhoun’s name was being mentioned as Fisher DeBerry’s possible replacement at Air Force in December of 2006, everyone in the Broncos organization spoke highly of Calhoun. They all endorsed him as a great candidate for the Falcons.

Calhoun was with the Broncos for three years, rising to assistant head coach in 2005. He went to the Texans as their offensive coordinator in 2006, then came back to Air Force to succeed DeBerry.

Now, there’s plenty of speculation he’s on the list of candidates for the Broncos’ head-coaching job, which opened when Josh McDaniels was fired. A Broncos spokesman said it’s “way too early” to speculate on candidates.

Calhoun, who is on the road recruiting, did not return messages Monday night. Monday morning, before McDaniels was fired, he was asked about being associated with head-coaching openings.

“Don’t pay any attention to it,” Calhoun said. “If you’re all in, in regards to recruitment, and helping your current guys prepare for their bowl game and all the other things ... that’s peripheral stuff that fortunately you don’t have to be a participant in.”

There are reasons the Broncos-Calhoun rumors make sense, for both sides.

For the Broncos, they could hire a coach with impeccable character who would help the team move on from a videotaping scandal. Unlike big-name coaches on the market like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, Calhoun would be in owner Pat Bowlen’s salary range, and he would probably not command full personnel control. There’s a familiarity with Calhoun among the Broncos’ highest brass.

Calhoun says he loves Air Force, but a chance to be an NFL coach might be too tough to pass. If Calhoun left, former Air Force and current Texas A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter is the likely favorite to be his successor with the Falcons.