The Broncos certainly have an interesting selection on their hands.
Today's list of possible NFL coaches ranges from proven, old-school veterans like Bill Cowher and Marty Schottenheimer, to new and innovative young minds like Steve Spagnuolo and Josh McDaniels.
Whom should they pick?
My first instinct, along with several Broncos fans that I know, was to blurt out "Cowher!"
Bill Cowher is a proven coach with a solid philosophy and a track record to prove that it works. He provides a defensive strategy that is basically still in tact today in Pittsburgh. This strategy produces not just defensive stops but also scoring opportunities.
Cowher's philosophy is an exciting prospect for Broncos fans, and we certainly won't be disappointed if he becomes the next head coach. However, upon my own further review, Cowher should not be the No. 1 choice for Bowlen and Company.
Many NFL insiders suggest that Cowher will either want General Manger-like control of an organization, or to at least bring in "his people" to manage player personnel.
This model, in my opinion, seems too old-school for today's NFL. While it may provide for some interesting short term improvements, even playoff appearances, will it work for the long term?
Bowlen would like nothing more than to have another coach that provides him with a good gut-feeling for the next 10 years. A coach with total control, or at least control of the people who manage personnel, will likely create conflicts and power struggles within the organization.
This struggle can wear down the organization to the point where a coach like Cowher, who's already proven and Super-Bowl-ringed, would simply retire again and go on about his merry way (see Bill Parcells after his short Jets and Cowboys tenures).
If I were in charge, I would shorten the list down to the "Young Guns." Get a smart, up-to-date General Manager. For head coach, hire a fiery coordinator with a chip on his shoulder.
Fill the rest of the staff with coaches that all have something to prove. And keep Jeremy Bates. His young, innovative mind is the main reason why Denver was second in total offensive yards last season.
They say the NFL is a copycat league. The team to copy is the one with the best track record in the modern NFL: New England. They have a great GM (whom Denver should go after) and a very talented coaching staff.
Belichick started as a relatively unsuccessful and unproven head coach with a chip on his shoulder and became a Hall-of-Famer under this very model. The Patriots have created a dynasty with this model.
Get out your Xerox, Bowlen, and make some copies!