The Broncos fired Vic Fangio today after three years as head coach and a 19-30 record. I bet a lot of coaches are salivating at the idea of taking over this role.
The Broncos' only glaring hole is at the quarterback position. That could be resolved via an Aaron Rodgers trade this offseason. Or perhaps they connect on a lower-level pigskin slinger. Either way, with a lockdown defense and explosive playmakers on offense, this is the top coaching opening this offseason.
So who takes over in Denver? I'm guessing one of these coaches.
Nathaniel Hackett, Packers Offensive Coordinator
Could the Broncos steal the Packers quarterback and install their offense in Denver? That would certainly be an enticing element of hiring Hackett.
He's been the Packers offensive coordinator since 2019, leading them to a Top 15 offense every year, including the top-scoring offense last year. He runs a balanced attack and I'd wager Rodgers would be happy with him as his head coach next year. There's a familiarity there as well as a history of success.
How much of that success is a result of Matt LaFleur is yet to be seen. But Hackett, who's been coaching as an offensive coordinator/QB coach in the NFL since 2013, is likely to get a chance this year and the Broncos will, at minimum, kick the tires.
Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator
Although still young in his coaching career, Leftwich has already become one of the hot names on the market. Even with Jameis Winston as his starting quarterback in 2019, Leftwich led the Bucs to the third-highest-scoring offense in the league. Since Tom Brady came in, they've been the No. 3 and 2 scoring offense the last two years. Oh, and they won the Super Bowl last year.
You could say some of that success is because of Brady. But 2019 wasn't. This year the Bucs have dealt with a ton of injuries and their offense keeps humming. That's the sign of a smart offensive coordinator who knows how to overcome obstacles.
Is Leftwich ready to be a head coach? There's no way to know. But he's already getting interest from the Jags (his former team) for their head coaching role and will be given the chance to prove himself in the top spot either next season or very soon.
Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
Unlike Leftwich, Eric Bieniemy can't seem to get a chance as a head coach. Despite his success as chiefs OC for the last four years (they've been a top 6 scoring offense each year), it seems no one wants to give the 52-year-old a shot to lead their team. Perhaps the Broncos will.
The aforementioned success on offense has to entice a Broncos team that has struggled on that side of the ball since Peyton Manning retired. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they've struck out in the draft and free agency trying to replace Manning. Their success next year will hinge on whether or not they can finally do so. But whatever happens there, Bieniemy deserves a chance to prove himself based on his success with the Chiefs. And no, not all of that credit belongs to Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.