As Sean Payton builds his first staff with the Denver Broncos, he’s following the Walton-Penner’s motto of swinging big, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.

In the two weeks since Payton’s had the job in the Mile High City, he’s already been connected to Vic Fangio and Brian Flores as candidates he was looking at to become the Broncos’ next defensive coordinator. With those two now off the table in Denver — Fangio is going to the Dolphins and Flores to the Vikings — Payton continues to look at big-name candidates to lead the Broncos’ defense.

Payton has made it clear he isn’t going to rush the process of building his staff. He’s stuck to that as he only hired one coach on his first week of the job.

Here is everything you need to know about Payton’s coaching staff.

You can find the initial developments on the staff here.

Most recent updates

Sunday, Feb. 19

  • Rex Ryan interviewed for the Broncos’ vacant defensive coordinator job in Denver on Saturday. According to Adam Schefter, Ryan has said he will only leave his ESPN analyst job ”for the perfect situation.”
  • Vance Joseph will interview with the Eagles for their defensive coordinator position on Monday, according to Mike Klis.

Saturday, Feb. 18

  • The Broncos want defensive backs coach Christian Parker and defensive line coach Marcus Dixon to stay on the defensive staff regardless of who the defensive coordinator is, according to Mike Klis.

Friday, Feb. 17

  • Former tight end coach Jake Moreland has been hired by the Texans for the same role, making if official he will not be back in Denver.
  • Mike Westhoff has been hired as the Broncos’ assistant head coach and will oversee special teams. Westhoff has 29 years of NFL experience as a special teams coach. He most recently coached under Sean Payton as New Orleans’ special teams coordinator from 2017-2018. Westhoff, 75, is considered to be one of the best special teams coaches in the game. He will help special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica turn Denver’s unit around.
  • Veteran special teams coach Ben Kotwica is on track to be the Broncos’ next special teams coordinator, a source told DNVR. Kotwica was most recently the assistant special teams coordinator with the Vikings. He has eight years of experience as a special teams coordinator in the NFL with three different teams.

Thursday, Feb. 16

  • Vance Joseph will interview for the Broncos’ defensive coordinator position on Friday in Denver.
  • The Cardinals will release Vance Joseph from his contract. Denver will be able to interview Joseph for their defensive coordinator role.
  • Former Broncos quarterback coach Klint Kubiak was hired to a “top role” on Kyle Shanahan’s staff with the 49ers.
  • Rex Ryan is considered “the favorite” to be Denver’s next defensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport.
  • The Broncos interviewed former Saints co-defensive coordinator Kris Richard to be their defensive coordinator. Richard was New Orleans’ defensive backs coach under Sean Payton in 2021 before being promoted in co-defensive coordinator last year. The Saints and Richard parted ways following the 2022 season. Richard was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator from 2015-2017.
  • Long-time special teams coach Mike Westhoff put out a cryptic tweet, potentially indicating that he may join the Broncos’ staff. Westhoff has 29 years of NFL experience as a special teams coach. He most recently coached under Sean Payton as New Orleans’ special teams coordinator from 2017-2018. Westhoff, 75, is considered to be one of the best special teams coaches in the game.
  • Former Broncos outside linebacker coach Bert Watts is officially leaving the team to join the Panthers staff as their safeties coach. Watts spent last season in Denver working with the team’s young outside backers.

Wednesday, Feb. 15

  • Rex Ryan has emerged as “a top candidate” to become the Broncos’ next defensive coordinator. Sean Payton has already interviewed Ryan, who is currently an ESPN analyst. Ryan last coached in the NFL in 2016.
  • Sean Payton is hiring Logan Kilgore as an offensive quality control coach. Kilgore was Arch Manning’s high school offensive coordinator.
  • The Broncos are hiring Declan Doyle to be their tight ends coach. Doyle spent the past four seasons as a Saints offensive assistant.
  • Dan Dalrymple is “firmly in the mix” to become Denver’s next strength and conditioning coach, according to Mike Klis. Dalrymple spent 16 years as New Orleans’ strength and conditioning coach with Sean Payton. In fact, Payton hired him for the job in 2006.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

  • Broncos’ former offensive coordinator Justin Outten has been hired by the Titans to be their running backs coach/run game coordinator. Outten will officially not return to Denver.
  • Denver’s former offensive quality control coach Ramon Chinyoung has been hired by the Cowboys to be their assistant offensive line coach.
  • Sean Payton is allowing wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni to look for other jobs. On Monday, Azzanni interviewed for the Bills’ receiver job. On Tuesday, Azzanni interviewed with the Jets, whose offensive coordinator is Nathaniel Hackett. Azzanni could also remain in Denver, according to Tom Pelissero.

Sunday, Feb. 12

  • Shortly before Super Bowl LVII kicked off, it was reported that Sean Payton interviewed Rex Ryan for the team’s open defensive coordinator job. Ryan is currently an analyst for ESPN and hasn’t coached in the NFL since being fired by the Buffalo Bills following the 2016 season. Ryan has been a head coach for eight seasons (six with the Jets and two with the Bills) as well as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator from 2005-2008, where he led one of the NFL’s best units.

Current staff

  • Head Coach — Sean Payton
    • Assistant head coach — Mike Westhoff
  • Offensive Coordinator —
  • Defensive Coordinator —
  • Special Teams Coordinator — Ben Kotwica

Offensive Staff

  • Quarterbacks coach —
  • Running backs coach —
  • Wide receivers coach —
  • Offensive line coach — Zach Strief
    • Assistant offensive line coach —
  • Tight ends coach —
  • Offensive assistant —
  • Offensive quality control coach —

Defensive Staff

  • Defensive line coach —
  • Inside linebackers coach —
  • Outside linebackers coach —
  • Defensive backs coach —
    • Assistant secondary coach —

Zac Stevens was born and raised in Denver, went to the University of Denver and now covers the Denver Broncos. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from DU in 2014, Zac worked for the Cleveland Browns as a remote scout. He then jumped straight into the journalism industry at the beginning of 2016 covering the reigning world-champion Broncos and joined DNVR soon after. Catch him on Twitter @ZacStevensDNVR and daily on the DNVR Broncos podcast as the co-host.