ENGLEWOOD — The Broncos are in the heart of their coaching search, having already interviewed four of their eight candidates.

Owner and CEO Greg Penner, along with GM George Paton, have put together an impressive list from former Saints coach Sean Payton to University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. Here's a break down of all eight candidates and where they stand in the process:

Ejiro Evero, Broncos defensive coordinator

Record: NA 

Interview date: Jan. 10

Evero is the lone in-house candidate for the job and one of only two candidates who has no previous head coaching experience. But that doesn't mean Evero isn't qualified for the job. He helped the Broncos have one of the top defenses in the NFL in his first season as a defensive coordinator.

He's also garnered interest from around the league, interviewing for the Texans and Colts' openings as well. The Broncos also blocked a request from the Falcons to interview him for their defensive coordinator opening, wanting him to remain in Denver as the defensive coordinator even if he doesn't land the job. 

Sean Payton, former Saints coach

Record: 161-97

Interview date: Jan. 17

Payton is the hottest name in this year's coaching cycle, after he left the Saints last year following 15 years in New Orleans. He's one of the most successful coaches in the NFL over the past two decades, having only four losing seasons in 15 seasons of coaching and winning Super Bowl XLIV. 

A long-time offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before becoming a head coach, Payton is considered one of the brightest offensive minds in football. Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson called Payton a "wizard" when asked about him as a candidate. Payton is also scheduled to interview with the Cardinals, but the Broncos are getting the first shot at him, meeting with him Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. 

Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan coach

Record (NFL): 49-22-1

Interview date: Jan. 9

Harbaugh has been flirting with a return to the NFL since the moment he left in 2015. The former 49ers coach was extremely successful during his four seasons in San Francisco, reaching the Super Bowl in only his second season and reaching the NFC Championship each of his first three seasons, becoming the first head coach in NFL history to do so. 

The problem with Harbaugh is no one seems to know what he wants. Michigan has released several statements saying they hope to retain Harbaugh while Harbaugh has said he expects to be back at Michigan, but is also interviewing for NFL jobs. The Broncos, along with other teams, would like to land Harbaugh, but they also know he's a wildcard.  

Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator 

Record: 46-44

Interview date: Jan. 18

Quinn isn't the biggest name in this year's cycle — the Broncos are the only team interviewing him — but he is a familiar one. He's the only candidate who also interviewed for the job last season and was a finalist before the Broncos chose Nathaniel Hackett. 

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The Cowboys defensive coordinator has several connections to the Broncos, working alongside Paton in Miami with the Dolphins and coaching Wilson in Seattle with the Seahawks as the defensive coordinator. He's also been relatively successful as a head coach, helping the Falcons reach the Super Bowl in his second season. 

Jim Caldwell, former Colts, Lions coach

Record: 64-54

Interview date: Jan. 11

Caldwell hasn't been in the NFL since the 2019 season, but is one of the most well-respected coaches around the league due to his track record. A long-time quarterbacks coach, Caldwell is considered a "quarterback whisperer" which is why some believe he might be a perfect fit with Wilson. 

He's also bee successful as a head coach, including in Detroit where he was fired in 2017 after four seasons despite posting a winning record in back-to-back seasons. Caldwell was most recently the Dolphins' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach in 2019 and has interviewed for several head coaching jobs since. 

Raheem Morris, Rams defensive coordinator

Record: 21-38

Interview date: Jan. 17

Morris is considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, helping the Rams win the Super Bowl last season. He also checks the head-coach-experience box, having been the Buccaneers' from 2009-11 at only 33 years old. 

Those three seasons didn't go well for Morris, who was eventually fired after losing 10 games in a row to finish the 2011 season. Though, many believe Morris deserves a second chance at a head coaching gig, having learned from his time in Tampa Bay and now learning under Rams head coach Sean McVay. 

DeMeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator 

Record: NA

Interview date: Jan. 17

Ryans is arguably the top first-time-head-coach candidate this cycle, having become one of the best young coaches in football. Only 38 years old, Ryans has risen through the coaching ranks quickly, serving a quality control coach for the 49ers in 2017, linebackers coach from 2018-2020, and the defensive coordinator since 2021. 

A former second round pick out of Alabama, Ryans also played 10 seasons in the NFL for the Texans (2006-11) and Eagles (2012-15). He's been requested to interview for nearly every head coach opening, after leading the 49ers to having the best defense in the NFL this season. 

David Shaw, former Stanford coach

Record (college): 96-54

Interview date: Jan. 11

Shaw is the most unlikely candidate of the group. He recently resigned as Stanford's head coach, following his second consecutive 3-9 season. Still, he's regarded as one of the best coaches in football, having coached both in the NFL and college. 

The Broncos are likely interviewing Shaw due to his connection to the ownership group, with Penner having attended Stanford and minority owner Condoleeza Rice having several strong ties to the university as well. Shaw is also close with Harbaugh, coaching alongside him at Stanford, which is why some believe if Harbaugh is hired, Shaw could be his offensive coordinator. 

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