Denver Broncos: 5 Candidates to Replace McCoy as Offensive Coordinator

Travis WakemanFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2013

Denver Broncos: 5 Candidates to Replace McCoy as Offensive Coordinator

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    With the news that Mike McCoy has left his post as Denver Broncos offensive coordinator to accept the head coaching position in San Diego, Denver has to make its first key decision of the offseason in replacing him.

    This season, the Broncos ranked fourth in the league in total offense and building on that will be a challenge. So, does the team look for a candidate in-house or perhaps go with someone familiar with Peyton Manning?

    Here is a look at five candidates who could end up calling the plays on offense in 2013. 

Brian Callahan

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    Brian Callahan has been in Denver for the previous three seasons, and for the last two, he has been the team's offensive quality control coach.

    After a playing career at UCLA, he served as a graduate assistant before moving to Junipero Serra High School in California where he worked as a quarterbacks coach.

    He was brought into the Broncos' system in 2010, and that year, he had a large role with the running backs after Josh McDaniels was relieved of his head-coaching duties.

    Callahan comes from a coaching family as well as his father took the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl and is currently on the coaching staff of the Dallas Cowboys.

Eric Studesville

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    Remember this guy? That's right, he was the man who replaced McDaniels on an interim basis for the final four games of the 2010 season. Currently the Broncos running backs coach, Studesville has a coaching career that dates back to 1991 when he worked at the University of Arizona as a graduate assistant.

    Aside from the Broncos, Studesville has coaching experience with the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Buffalo Bills, and after what he has done the last couple of seasons with Willis McGahee and his resurrection of Knowshon Moreno this season, he is quickly becoming regarded as one of the best running back coaches in the league.

    Studesville stepped into an undesirable spot in that 2010 season and even won a game, defeating the Houston Texans in the season finale.

    There was a reason John Fox kept Studesville on his staff after the Broncos brought him in as head coach, and it's not too far-fetched to think the organization would promote him.

Adam Gase

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    Another candidate from within, Adam Gase just completed his second season as the Broncos' quarterbacks coach and he also served two years as the team's wide receivers coach.

    Gase also has been an offensive assistant in Detroit and San Francisco after starting his career at Louisiana State where he was on the staff of Nick Saban.

    In the past two seasons, Gase has worked with Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning to varying success and may be the creative mind the Broncos would like to have as a play-caller.

Tom Moore

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    Many may see this as a long shot, but the team should consider Tom Moore for one very important reason... his familiarity with Manning.

    Moore was with the Indianapolis Colts for nearly Manning's entire tenure there and the two were very productive together. Manning is definitely a guy who likes to be surrounded by people he is comfortable with, such as Brandon Stokley and Jacob Tamme this season, so for that reason, Moore makes some sense.

    Moore has coached very position on offense at one time or another and, at 74 years old, was hired in November as an offensive consultant for the Tennessee Titans.

    Moore may not be interested in being a full-time coordinator, but it wouldn't hurt to check.  

Ken Whisenhunt

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    If Denver had the pick of the litter for its offensive coordinator, it might just be Ken Whisenhunt.

    Coming off a disappointing year in Arizona, Whisenhunt was fired after the season but has since had interviews for the head-coaching vacancies in San Diego (filled by McCoy) and Philadelphia.

    Whisenhunt was very successful as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh from 2004-06, winning Super Bowl XL there before taking the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl just a few years later.

    With Whisenhunt, Denver would field a solid coaching trio along with Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. If Whisenhunt is not given a new head-coaching gig, the Broncos need to take a long, hard look at him.