The Denver Broncos have begun their head coaching search, beginning with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. In their second wave of interviews, current Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan is one of their 10 candidates. General manager George Paton is doing his due diligence to find the team’s next head coach.
Callahan could be a natural fit as he started his pro coaching career as a Broncos assistant from 2010-2015.
The Broncos put in a request to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan last night, per source. Details on when the interview will take place are being worked out.
Callahan worked in Denver from 2010-15, under Josh McDaniels, John Fox and Gary Kubiak.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 12, 2022
Callahan is fond of his time in Denver but is a much different coach now than while he was with the Broncos.
Over his coaching career, Callahan has worked directly with Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr as their quarterbacks coach. Recent success developing Joe Burrow is a strong selling point on his resumé.
Callahan is young for an NFL head coaching candidate (37). However, he has been tutored by some of the NFL’s premier head coaches. In his time in the NFL, Callahan has worked for Jim Caldwell (quarterbacks), John Fox (offensive assistant), Jon Gruden (quarterbacks), Gary Kubiak (offensive assistant), Josh McDaniels (coaching assistant), and Zac Taylor (offensive coordinator)
Talyor was smart to grab Callahan as the Bengals offensive coordinator in 2018. Callahan has been an intricate piece to the Bengals’ rise from being the 30th scoring offense in 2019 to eighth in 2021 per Pro Football Reference.
Callahan could be the remedy to the Broncos offensive woes
Callahan’s hire would come at a critical time for the Broncos as the team is in prime position to draft a quarterback with the ninth overall selection in April. Like the Bengals, Denver has an offense of quality pieces at the skill positions. Also similar to the Bengals in 2020, the Broncos are looking for the right trigger man.
The Bengals offensive coordinator may be the right guy to identify the Broncos’ future at quarterback.
Callahan’s history of working with and developing high-performing quarterbacks must be on the mind of Paton as the team interviews for the team’s next headman. The current Bengals offensive coordinator was a key voice in the team’s decision to draft Burrow in 2020 and is clear about what he looks for in a franchise quarterback (see video clip below). His track record should be enticing to the Broncos brass looking to solve the biggest issue with the team’s success.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) February 26, 2020
The Denver offense was bland and failed to keep the team ahead of the sticks. Callahan’s development of his quarterback is clear with his ability to scheme up easy completions. This is exactly what the Broncos need regardless of who suits up at quarterback next year.
Great job by the Bengals having a plan and making it easy on the QB. Brian Callahan is doing a great job in the development of Burrow. pic.twitter.com/EyB2ujEX8U
— Quincy Avery (@QuincyAvery) October 6, 2020
Callahan can bring a complete offensive philosophy to Broncos
Callahan is may have the most complete view of the offense out of any candidate available. The son of former Raiders headman Bill Callahan, Brian has in-depth knowledge of offensive line play. Bill currently holds the position of offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns and is renowned as one of the NFL’s best.
The younger Callahan took notes from dad.
The Bengals’ Callahan’s ability to scheme runs for Joe Mixon is enticing for the Broncos. Callahan’s creative run designs could do wonders for rookie stud running back Javonte Williams on the roster.
#RuleTheJungle HB Joe Mixon is excelling on schemed Zone Run’s like this one below explained by @GregCosell. Credits to OC Brian Callahan for his OL expertise. LA #BoltUp may see similar attacks from CIN on the ground Sunday. #NFL@MattBowen41 | @Ben_Baby | @larrytouchdown pic.twitter.com/mZQIUV4LMt
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) December 4, 2021
Callahan’s well-rounded offensive background is very appealing and could really hit home in his interview with Paton and Co.
Don’t let the name fool you, Callahan has the grit to be successful as a head coach
One may assume Callahan has gotten to this position because of connections to his father. That could not be further from the truth. Following his graduate assistant role with UCLA, Callahan turned down an opportunity to work with his dad.
Callahan wanted to earn his keep.
“I didn’t want my first job to be from my dad,” Callahan said. “Never really wanted my dad to give me a job, either. I never wanted to work for him. Always wanted to work with him at some point, but his advice was to earn your own way in the profession. I think I did.”
Callahan’s workman’s approach and aptitude are what brought him career success, not his last name. That said, his NFL legacy does help build connections throughout the league. For instance, this could pay dividends for Callahan because he can use those connections to build a quality staff as an NFL head coach. An ability to pull a strong team of coaches will provide a positive impression on general managers Callahan interviews with in the future.
This includes his meeting with Paton in the upcoming days.
It is easy to see why Paton asked for an interview with Callahan as his NFL resume is impressive. His NFL pedigree, coaching success, and NFL connections make him a desirable candidate for any head coach opening.
Callahan may not get the Broncos head coaching job, or any during this cycle for that matter. However, Callahan will find himself in a head coach sooner than later as a result of his grit and a strong resume.