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Published on 07/09/2012 at Mon Jul 09 07:00.
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(Image courtesy of the Denver Broncos)

After recording an 8-8 record and a playoff berth last season, Denver’s top two 2011 coordinators — Mike McCoy and Dennis Allen — suddenly became head coaching candidates.  The Oakland Raiders were granted permission to interview both coaches (and they ended up hiring Allen) and the Miami Dolphins considered signing McCoy.

Allen was considered the one responsible for Denver’s somewhat of a defensive turnaround last season and McCoy was credited with creating a potent offense by evolving his playbook to tailor to his players’ unique skill-sets.  Heading into the 2012 season, McCoy remains a 2013 head coaching candidate and the man who replaced Allen — new Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio — could be on track to returning to the top of the coaching food chain.

If quarterback Peyton Manning performs well and the Denver Broncos win their division again this season, McCoy will emerge as one of the most sought after coaches in the league.  On the other side of the ball, if the defense benefits from Manning’s presence and improves on their 2011 campaign, Del Rio will be viewed in the same regard—if not better—than Allen was last offseason.

Del Rio has coached under John Fox before (in Carolina during the 2002 season) and was top dog in Jacksonville from 2003-to-2011.  During that time period the Jaguars enjoyed dominating defensive success with limited offensive production and unfortunately, limited overall success.  While his head coaching resume is far from exceptional (69–73 overall), Del Rio’s defenses consistently ranked among the top ten during his tenure in Jacksonville.

If Denver’s defense ranks among the top ten in 2012 and sends several defenders to the Pro Bowl, it will direct warm fuzzy wuzzies towards Del Rio in league circles.  And if some of the young rising stars on defense, such as Von Miller breakout under Del Rio’s coaching, it could lead to the sixteen-year coach interviewing with other teams next offseason.

McCoy is a similar case.  If the offense excels under Manning, it would open the door for McCoy to follow in Allen’s footsteps and accept a head coaching gig elsewhere in the NFL.  If McCoy did move on, it would open up the door for the Broncos to sign Manning’s former Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore, who said he is going to return to coaching in 2013.  But that’s a different subject for a different time.

As of now, McCoy and Del Rio are Denver’s top two coordinators.  If the team has a successful 2012 season, they may have two vacant coaching positions heading into 2013.

Alternatively, if the Broncos do well enough under McCoy and Del Rio, the two coaches may not want to leave a winning team.  Both of the coaches have worked under Fox in the past and have been successful coaching with him.  If the two coordinators love their situation in Denver, teams may not be able to pry them away.  Only time will tell.

  • Jeffrey Koch

    Dennis Allen is a traitor going to the hated raiders

  • Brantley Massey

    i was not that impressed with Allen. Denver had a decent defense but it was still ranked in the twenties. He probably wont last long, young coaches seem to not do to well even when they show promise. He was only a coordinator for one year with a saints team that was never good on defense. I am very happy with the signing of del rio

  • herc_rock

    This is such nonsense. The guy spends ONE season here and he’s supposed to have undying loyalty to the franchise? No way. Sure, I hope he falls flat on his ass and gets canned halfway through the season after posting a 1-7 record, but a “traitor” he is not.

  • TheTroglodyte

    The league in general seems to think very highly of McCoy for how he handled Tebow. A full season of working with Peyton is really going to boost his resume. I would be shocked if McCoy is still in Denver in 2013.

    I think Del Rio is going to enjoy not having the extra stress of the HC position for a couple years. In addition to that, I think some teams will want to wait and see 2 – 3 years of solid results and how the team reacts to him as a leader. He wasn’t liked by an awful lot of Jag players.

    I’m sure he will get some interview offers but I doubt he gets hired away until at least 2014.

  • Mokptt

    This is one of my biggest peeves in Denver, what is it…how many years have we had a new DC in a row, it has to be some kind of a record.

  • Jeffrey Koch

    Traitor for going to the hated raiders if he had to go he should have tried somewhere else

  • MrEast

    Del Rio, probably not right away.

    McCoy, as soon as he possibly can.