The Denver Broncos have yet to name their next head coach for the foreseeable future. While it appears the Walton-Penner Family Ownership group is embracing patience, could it potentially lead to them missing out on their top candidate?

Denver Broncos head coaching search taking a patient approach

The Denver Broncos are in the process of narrowing down their list of initial candidates for their vacant head coaching job. After concluding their first round of interviews last week, the Broncos have yet to announce who their potential finalists are for the job as the hiring cycle begins to heat up.

While Broncos fans were hoping to find clarity on the direction the team is leaning regarding who the next head coach will be, CEO Greg Penner has not let anything leak outside of the building. On Monday it was initially reported by’s Jeff Duncan that Sean Payton, a presumed favorite for the Broncos’ job would interview on Wednesday. Subsequently, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport shared the same sentiment.

Nearly ten minutes after the initial report from Duncan, every credible reporter including Rapoport backtracked on the report noting that nothing for the Broncos had been set in stone regarding when or whether they would interview the former New Orleans Saints head coach.

So what is to believe throughout this whole process? When following the trail of breadcrumbs, everything points to Payton’s camp leaking some of these things out. In this hiring cycle specifically, Payton holds all of the leverage for teams vying for his services, including the Denver Broncos. He has the power to stay retired from coaching, sticking with his broadcast job with FOX if he doesn’t vibe with any particular team’s situation.

While no official interview has been scheduled with Payton for Denver specifically, there is a widespread belief that he is a finalist for the job.

Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans updates

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is a name that has generated some speculation as a potential finalist for the Broncos head coaching job according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. If the Broncos are truly interested in Quinn as one of their finalists, they’ll have competition with the Arizona Cardinals who have already scheduled a second interview with Quinn. Denver interviewed the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator last Friday to conclude their first round of initial interviews.

One reason the Broncos could be delaying their announcement on final candidates could be linked to San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. Denver cannot interview Ryans a second time until after the NFC Championship this Sunday. The Broncos interviewed Ryans last Thursday for their vacant head coaching job, ahead of the San Francisco 49ers showdown with the Cowboys. The 49ers defensive coordinator has been considered one of the hottest names in this current hiring cycle not named Sean Payton.

While he would be a first-time head coach, there is a belief around the NFL that Ryans would likely assemble a staff that features a veteran coaching presence in opposition to having an entirely new and inexperienced staff, something the Broncos had in 2022. Some names to consider for a potential Ryans’ staff include former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich as an offensive coordinator possibility.

One thing is certain, the Broncos will have a new head coach in 2023, but will it be their top candidate whoever that may be?