REPORT: Broncos inform several coaching candidates they’re no longer in the running, as sleeper candidate emerges

Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell looks on during a joint practice against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Aug 19, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell looks on during a joint practice against the Las Vegas Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report made by Mike Klis of 9News from Monday morning, the Denver Broncos and general manager George Paton have been calling up coaching candidates to let them know they’re no longer under consideration.

According to that same report, the only three that have been confirmed to still be in the running are well-known favorites Dan Quinn (Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator) and Nathaniel Hackett (Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator), as well as a sleeper candidate that has emerged from seemingly nowhere, Kevin O’Connell (Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator).

Those being the final three, was then confirmed in a tweet from 850KOA’s Broncos insider, Benjamin Allbright.

Earlier, we mentioned in an article that it seemed that Quinn, Hackett and Jonathan Gannon (Philadephia Eagles defensive coordinator) had been made the finalists for the job, but it now appears that O’Connell has replaced Gannon as that other name in the running.

We’ve already taken a deeper look at O’Connell’s potential fit with the team, but it’s worth re-visiting in a more cursory sense here. O’Connell entered the NFL as a journeyman backup before eventually transitioning to becoming a coach in 2015 as the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach, and quickly ascended to becoming the Washington Football Team’s offensive coordinator just a few years later in 2019.

In 2020 he became the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator, and although he hasn’t been their play-caller, it’s undeniable he’s been very impressive in his role overseeing the offense. He’s made Cooper Kupp the first wide receiver to legitimately receive MVP consideration, and he’s overseen the greatest evolution of the Rams offense under Sean McVay, as they swapped out Goff for Stafford and had to adapt the offense to match. They did so flawlessly.

Although Quinn and Hackett seem like far more likely hires, don’t count out O’Connell yet.

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