Packers Lions Football

Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett gestures Jan. 9 against the Lions in Detroit.

Those who oppose the Broncos’ leading head coaching candidate may win and lose. Who knows?

Dan Quinn might consider the Broncos an unworthy second, third or even worst choice.

After all, the once noble Broncos have been ignoble for six years. The team hasn’t had a true owner, a terrific quarterback, a solid offense since Super Bowl 50. And for years, Denver hasn’t been a dream destination for outstanding unrestricted free agents, college football stars and exceptional players seeking trades.

Woody Paige: Broncos head coach interviewee Dan Quinn should address past, future hiring policies

Nobody from the Broncos was voted to the Pro Bowl, and the franchise can’t earn a coveted Monday Night football slot or a game in London. Hard Knocks doesn’t knock. And while the record sellout streak stadium continues as a myth, the number of no-shows escalates to Jacksonville’s level. Enthusiasm among the crowd that does show wanes, and the boos intensify. NFL opponents aren’t afraid any more of playing at Mile High. A team that dominated in a dozen 7-1 and 8-0 records at home has compiled an 18-23 mark in the past four seasons.

Of the Broncos’ 10 contenders, nine don’t have head coaching experience. Coaches that aren’t coordinators or were in the first season as coordinators most likely would take the job in Colorado because they might not get a chance somewhere else, or ever again. But, will Quinn, Nathaniel Hackett, Kevin O’Connell and Eric Bieniemy, who have interviewed, or will, with other franchises consider Denver their best option?

Various media outlets have ranked the eight coach-seeking locales – Minnesota, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Houston, Miami, New York (Giants), Chicago and Denver.

Woody Paige: Pat Bowlen's daughter among possible Broncos future owners

Despite what those of us who live in and love Colorado believe, the Broncos aren’t at the top of most lists. Even coaching jobs with the Texans and the Jaguars are considered superior to the Broncos in some evaluations.

The Jags do have Trevor Lawrence, and the next coach obviously would be an upgrade over Urban Meyer. The Vikings, who haven’t chosen a general manager yet, seem to be a hot spot despite the frigid conditions, because the franchise was close to the postseason and has Kirk Cousins as quarterback (if that’s a positive) and plays in an indoor stadium.

Despite 300 days of sunshine in Denver, as the Chamber of Commerce claims, the Broncos may not be so attractive for reasons already stated. Will the Broncos end up with a lousy owner and a lousy starting quarterback?

The George Paton Search Committee Magical Mystery Tour is about to end – and the general manager should hand out T-shirts to his companions on the trip, but not to other associates who have participated in the Zoom conference calls.

The new coach could be offered a contract by Monday.

Paton said the Broncos will get the decision “right’’, but wouldn’t the actuality of ending up with their fourth alternative be “wrong’’? Do they extend the process to a second round, which is possible, and expand the list to longer than Adrian Messenger’s?

What if Bieniemy favors Minnesota, where he was the assistant head coach and running backs coach? Kellen Moore might desire to be in south Florida with a franchise that won nine games, and Hackett could return to the Jaguars, where he was offensive coordinator previously.

Quinn, who scheduled interviews with five teams – the Broncos, the Bears, the Dolphins, the Vikings and the Giants — could go back to his roots.

Woody Paige: Broncos head coach interviewee Dan Quinn should address past, future hiring policies

Quinn was born and grew up in Morristown., N.J., which is only 21 miles from MetLife Stadium.

The Broncos were quite impressed with Lions’ first-year defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who probably will be a head coach because of his leadership, energy, intelligence and 15-year career as an NFL cornerback.

But the Broncos’ group felt that the 49-year-old Glenn would be a tough sell consideringhis short stint as a coordinator, that the Lions were one of the four worst defenses in the league and allowed the Broncos 38 points.

The anti-Quinn forces in Colorado firmly are against another “old (51-old?) defensive-minded head coaching retread who blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl and was fired in Atlanta after an 0-5 start in 2020.’’

Their wish may be granted – if Quinn isn’t the Broncos’ pick, and the franchise isn’t his.

Be careful what you wish for.

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