For the third time in six seasons Denver Broncos general manager John Elway is faced with the task of finding a new head coach for his team after Gary Kubiak stepped down on Dec. 2, 2017, for health reasons.
Kubiak, 55, suffered flu symptoms and was taken to the hospital after the Broncos game against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 9. He was diagnosed with “a complex migraine that caused extreme fatigue and body weakness,” according to a team announcement.
Kubiak then missed the following Thursday night game against the San Diego Chargers, and although he did coach for the rest of the season following the loss to the Chargers, Kubiak decided it was best for him to not return for next season.
With Kubiak not returning, Elway has the big task ahead of him of finding a new coach. Although the team is in a better place than during some coach hunts in the past, finding the right candidate is still very crucial. Some of the top candidates for the position are Kyle Shanahan, Vance Joseph, and Dave Toub.
Shanahan, 37, has spent 13 years coaching in the NFL and is currently the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator. Although he has only been in Atlanta for two years, he improved the offense from 21st to first for points scored, 11th to first for yards per play, and seventh to second for total yardage. These improvements are proof of the much needed offensive change Shanahan is capable of making in Denver. It does not hurt that he already has some navy and orange in his blood as he is the son of former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan.
Joseph, 44, just completed his 11th year of coaching in the NFL, but just his first as a defensive coordinator. Joseph has spent most of his coaching career as a secondary coach and defensive backs coach, but was the defensive coordinator at the Miami Dolphins during the 2016 season. Although the Dolphins did not have the strongest season defensively, Joseph showed his coaching strengths and did his best to keep the team together through injuries and the struggles. The Broncos have a history of liking Joseph which is evident when they offered him the defensive coordinator position two years ago, although the offer was vetoed by the Cincinnati Bengals who he was with at the time.
Toub, 53, may seem the most unlikely of the three as the current special teams coach at the Kansas City Chiefs, but some are calling him their favorite man for the job. Toub, who has been with the Chiefs since 2013, helped improve the special teams drastically. With Toub as the coach, the Kansas City special teams has not been ranked worse than ninth and even peaked in the third spot in 2013, his first year with the job. He also had great special teams success during his nine years in Chicago with the Bears prior to getting the job in Kansas City.
It is evident that Elway has a tough job ahead of him with great candidates to choose from, even some not in this article, but with other teams looking for a head coach as well he needs to act quick if he wants to ensure he gets the candidate he wants.
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