Have the Denver Broncos found their next head coach already? There's one report out there now that says the job is Vance Joseph's to lose. They're scheduled to interview Joseph next week.
On Thursday, a new wrinkle emerged. Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan reportedly thinks that the Denver job is the best of the bunch available this year. He's scheduled to interview with Elway et al this weekend in Atlanta.
Elway and the Broncos are obviously familiar with Shanahan's father, who coached the Broncos to consecutive Super Bowl wins some two decades ago. Of course, that relationship didn't end on a high note, but maybe the sins of the father don't matter here.
The younger Shanahan has worked for Kubiak in the past, spending three years with him in Houston. He runs a similar offense. He might even be open to keeping the assistant coaching staff in place.
There's a history between Joseph and the Broncos too. Gary Kubiak wanted to hire him as his defensive coordinator in 2015, but the Bengals wouldn't let him out of his contract as their defensive backs coach. He and Broncos scouting director Matt Russell played college football together at CU Boulder.
Joseph's worth in his first year as the Dolphins defensive coordinator speaks for itself. Not only have the Dolphins allowed fewer points this season, their pass defense has improved from the fourth-worst in the NFL to the 15th-best, according to Football Outsiders.
By themselves, the numbers might not mean a whole lot, other than helping Miami get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, but it's been Joseph's work with the players that stands out the most. Under his leadership, cornerback Byron Maxwell went from Philly's free agent mistake to Miami's No. 1 corner. But it didn't come easy. Joseph benched Maxwell in the fourth game of the season. He also wasn't afraid to sit malcontent Mario Williams, who's been a non-factor in spite of the Dolphins spending big to acquire him in the offseason.
The Broncos will have some competition for Joseph. He's also got interviews with the Bills, Rams, and 49ers.