There is a certain level of romanticism behind the idea of the Denver Broncos hiring Kyle Shanahan to be their next head coach.  He’d be replacing a man he spent many years coaching under in Gary Kubiak. He’d be returning to his childhood home, to continue the work of his father before him, bridging the divide that has grown between the Broncos and the Shanahans since Mike was let go.

Everyone loves reconciliation, redemption, homecomings.  If rumors are true, these notions are enough to entice Kyle Shanahan, who reportedly has the Broncos at the top of his list.

“The word around the league right now…the word with people involved in coaching searches and gathering all of this information is that that’s the job Shanahan has his eyes on…going to Denver where his father coached,” said NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Wednesday.

But is the feeling mutual?

Sure, the Broncos set the interview.  Why wouldn’t they?  His offensive acumen makes him a logical choice. He’s young, hungry and has ties to the organization…all things Broncos general manager John Elway seems to value this time around.

One has to wonder if Shanahan’s family ties to the organization work in his favor or to his detriment? It did not take all that long after Broncos owner Pat Bowlen called Mike Shanahan his “coach for life” for him to be shown the door.  Many of us surely remember that emotional press conference.  It was there that Shanahan said that he and Bowlen would be “best friends forever.” Even if that statement still holds true however, due to the advancement of his Alzheimer’s, Bowlen is no longer in charge at Dove Valley.

Calling the shots now are Joe Ellis and John Elway.  The former was around for Shanahan’s firing.  As for the latter, Mike and John were close when they winning Super Bowls together; but sources say that the relationship has grown icy in the years that have since passed.

John Elway is a proud man, is he willing to swallow a little pride and mend a fence?  Is Joe Ellis willing to disregard the notion that Kyle Shanahan might have his father bending his ear from time to time?  Perhaps, especially if they think his hiring provides the best path to another Super Bowl, but there is another factor in play.

Vance Joseph.

Joseph interviewed for the head coaching gig before Kubiak was hired.  He was thought to be the team’s top choice for defensive coordinator before they brought in Wade Phillips. Though, on the surface, it may look like it would behoove the Broncos to pick an offensive guy, that may change if Phillips is not retained.

Many people are speculating that Joseph is indeed the candidate that the Broncos are most interested in.  Some have even said it’s “his job to lose.” He has also coached under Kubiak, and has a connection with Broncos executive Matt Russell through their time at the University of Colorado.

Despite the fact that he only has one year as a coordinator under his belt (a year in which the Miami Dolphins defense struggled), Joseph has become a popular name as several teams search for a new head coach

Only time will tell which direction Denver decides to go.  There is a lot on the line for both the Broncos and their next coach, as the organization has a “Super Bowl or bust” mentality.  Be it Shanahan, Joseph or someone else, the Broncos better choose right. The Mile High City would not take kindly to another season without the playoffs.