Broncos Next Head Coach Odds: Cowboys’ Dan Quinn Betting Favorite

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The Carolina Panthers were the first team to fire their head coach, dumping Baylor’s Matt Rhule following a Week 5 blowout loss to San Francisco – although Rhule landed on his feet at Nebraska. The Indianapolis Colts fired Coach Frank Reich following an offensively embarrassing 26-3 loss at New England in Week 9.

After the Reich firing, a few sportsbooks listed Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett to be the next coach dismissed, and that happened on Monday with a 4-11 record. The last straw for the team’s new ownership group was a 51-14 loss at the struggling Los Angeles Rams on Christmas and on national television.

Hackett, a former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, became just the fifth coach in NFL history to be fired before the end of his first season. His offense was nothing short of horrific this year, averaging a league-worst 15.5 points per game, the team’s fewest since 1971, and there were also more than a few questionable in-game decisions by Hackett.

Senior assistant coach Jerry Rosburg was named interim head coach, but he’s not getting the full-time job. Broncos general manager George Paton said the team would consult Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and also a member of the team’s ownership group, in its search for a new head coach.

Let’s break down the favorites to replace Hackett.

Back To Cowboys’ Quinn?

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, right, fist bumps fans along the sideline before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Broncos had two other finalists with Hackett: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who isn’t available now as he’s in charge with the Minnesota Vikings and might win NFL Coach of the Year. Quinn is available and the +100 favorite. Paton and Quinn already have history as they were on staff together in Miami in 2005 and 2006. Denver’s defense is already very good.

Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, currently working in TV, is +400, and he will be hugely in demand this offseason. Payton is considered one of the top offensive minds in the league and that’s badly needed in Denver to fix Russell Wilson.

One quirk, though: Payton reportedly already has Vic Fangio in mind for his defensive coordinator wherever he returns, and Fangio was fired by the Broncos as their head coach after the 2021 season and a 12-21 record. That might be weird. Denver also would have to give compensation to the Saints for Payton.

Current San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is +800 with Reich at +1000 and Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen at +1100.

Some bigger-name coaches on the list: Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh (+1200), former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (+6000), ex-Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher (+7500), and two-time Broncos Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan (+10000).

Manning seems much more likely to run a team or even be part of an ownership group than coach. The Broncos haven’t made the playoffs since he retired after winning Super Bowl 50.

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