The Denver Broncos’ search to find their next head coach is one step closer to being complete. And the search is potentially entering its final stretch.

After interviewing eight candidates in the first round, Greg Penner and the Broncos are narrowing their list down for a second-round of interviews.

While Greg Penner, Condoleezza Rice and George Paton flew to the candidates in the first round, in the second round, the candidates are expected to be invited to Denver.

Here are the latest updates about where the head coaching search stands and what to know about all of the candidates.

You can find the initial developments on the head coaching search here and the first-round of interview developments here.

Most recent updates

Sunday, Jan. 29

  • Saints’ general manager Mickey Loomis could be holding up a deal for Sean Payton to become a coach somewhere as New Orleans is reportedly asking for multiple first-round picks for their former coach, according to Tom Pelissero.
  • Sean Payton said on Fox that the door is not closed on him returning to the NFL as a head coach this year. He added he, and other candidates looking for head coaching jobs across the league, will learn a lot more this week.
  • This past week, Denver informed Raheem Morris, David Shaw, Jim Caldwell and Ejiro Evero that the team was going in a different direction in their coaching search.
  • According to Ian Rapoport, the Broncos’ head coaching job is one that Jim Harbaugh would consider leaving Michigan for. “Harbaugh has remained willing to listen and has told people if he were to return to the NFL, the Broncos’ job is one he’d want,” according to Rapoport.

Saturday, Jan. 28

  • Greg Penner flew to Ann Arbor to have an in-person meeting with Jim Harbaugh last week. Denver did not offer Harbaugh a contract during the meeting, but it did re-open the door to Harbaugh possibly becoming the Broncos’ next head coach.

Friday, Jan. 27

  • There could be a “mystery candidate” in the Broncos’ coaching search, according to Mike Klis. On 104.3 The Fan, Klis said, “I don’t know their names, but I do know they’ve talked to a couple other unknown candidates that aren’t on their top-8 list.”
  • Shortly after the Texans interest in Ryans broke on Friday morning, according to Ian Rapoport, the Broncos “have kind of moved their attention elsewhere.” Rapoport added, with the Texans and Ryans planning to meet next week, “that timeline simply does not work for the Denver Broncos. They would like to move maybe a little bit quicker. So they are looking elsewhere.”
  • DeMeco Ryans is the Broncos top candidate, according to Woody Paige. Paige added the Broncos will have to “beat the Texans” to land him.
  • DeMeco Ryans has emerged as a top candidate for the Houston Texans head coaching job, according to Ian Rapoport. The 49ers’ defensive coordinator is expected to meet with the Texans next week after the NFC Championship game. Rapoport included there is “mutual interest” from both sides and if all goes well, Ryans could be Houston’s next head coach.

Thursday, Jan. 26

  • Sean Payton tweeted that there is “zero truth” to a report earlier on Thursday stating he fears a power struggle with a member of Broncos ownership. Payton added he had a “great” visit and Broncos ownership is “fantastic.”
  • Dan Quinn has informed teams he is withdrawing himself from head coaching jobs and will remain the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator for another year. Quinn made this same move a year ago.
  • DeMeco Ryans has emerged as a top candidate to be the Broncos’ next head coach, according to Mike Klis. As the week has unfolded, this possibility has grown and grown. Since the 49ers are playing in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, Denver cannot interview Ryans a second time until after Sunday’s game, regardless of if San Francisco wins or loses.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

  • According to Ian Rapoport, Jerry Rosburg may be back with the Broncos. His contract being terminated was a procedural move due to it being expired.
  • Jerry Rosburg has been let go by the Broncos and will not be on the coaching staff moving forward, according to Field Yates.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

  • Ejiro Evero has second interviews lined up with the Colts and the Texans, according to Tom Pelissero.
  • Tom Pelissero said on NFL Network not to count out DeMeco Ryans when it comes to Denver’s open job.
  • Denver’s defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will have a second interview with the Texans on Wednesday.
  • Sean Payton’s second interview with the Broncos has been delayed, Jeff Duncan confirmed. Duncan added, in his opinion, ”the longer this goes, the likelihood of Payton staying at Fox increases.”
  • Sean Payton will meet with the Cardinals on Thursday.
  • Dan Quinn is flying to Arizona for a second interview with the Cardinals.

Monday, Jan. 23

  • In a potential turn of events, Sean Payton is not only interviewing with the Cardinals on Thursday, in Arizona, but his interview with Denver has been delayed, according to Howard Balzer. There has been no official word as to if Payton is still expected to be in Denver at any point on Wednesday. The former Saints head coach interviewed with the Panthers on Monday.
  • The Broncos’ coaching search remains “wide open” and Greg Penner has not narrowed in on any specific candidate.
  • Denver is working through scheduling second interviews with the hope of them being finalized in the coming days.
  • Sean Payton plans to fly to Denver on Wednesday night with the expectation that he’ll have a second interview with the Broncos that night or on Thursday, according to Jeff Duncan. Additionally, Duncan added, “All signs point to the Denver Broncos as the leader in the Sean Payton sweepstakes.”
    • The former Saints head coach has his first interview with the Panthers on Monday.

Sunday, Jan. 22

  • Jerry Rosburg expressed his interest to be the Broncos’ next full-time head coach to team ownership in his year-end meeting. The team is going to consider the plan he laid out.

Candidate list

Interviews scheduled

  • No interviews finalized as of yet.

Completed second-round interviews

  • No second-round interviews have taken place yet.

Completed first-round interviews

  • Jim Harbaugh
    • Harbaugh had his first interview with Denver virtually on Monday, Jan. 9.
    • On Monday, Jan. 16, a week after his interview with the Broncos, Harbaugh told Michigan he will return as their head coach in 2023.
    • However, a week later, Greg Penner flew out to Ann Arbor to meet with Harbaugh in person.
  • Ejiro Evero
    • Denver’s defensive coordinator was the first candidate to have an in-person interview with the team on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
  • Jim Caldwell
    • Caldwell interviewed with the Broncos on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
  • David Shaw
    • The former Stanford coach interviewed with the Broncos on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
  • Sean Payton
    • The former Saints coach interviewed with the Broncos on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
  • Raheem Morris
    • The Rams’ defensive coordinator interviewed with Denver on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
  • DeMeco Ryans
    • The 49ers’ defensive coordinator had an in-person interview with the Broncos on Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Bay Area.
  • Dan Quinn
    • Dallas’ defensive coordinator interviewed with the Broncos on Friday, Jan. 20 in the Dallas area.

Remaining candidates

  • Sean Payton, former Saints head coach
  • Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan’s head coach
  • DeMeco Ryans, 49ers’ defensive coordinator

Candidates no longer in the running

  • Dan Quinn, Cowboys’ defensive coordinator
  • Ejiro Evero, Broncos’ defensive coordinator
  • Raheem Morris, Rams’ defensive coordinator
  • Jim Caldwell, former Lions & Colts head coach
  • David Shaw, former Stanford head coach
Author

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.

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