Broncos Rumors: Bengals OC Brian Callahan to Interview for DEN Head Coaching Job

Erin WalshJanuary 11, 2022

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 29: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan look on during training camp on July 29, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have reportedly requested to interview Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan for their vacant head coaching position, per Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post. 

Callahan joined the Bengals before the 2019 season and is credited with turning around the Cincinnati offense, making it one of the best in the AFC.

Peter Schrager and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported last month that Callahan would be someone to watch during the offseason's head coaching cycle. 

Callahan is in his third season as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator and has been instrumental in the Bengals' offensive success this season. The Cincinnati offense ranks second in the NFL with a 106.9 rating, per NFL.com, and that's largely because of the success of its young players.

Quarterback Joe Burrow had a tremendous season, bouncing back from a torn ACL and MCL that ended his 2020 rookie season early. The LSU product completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. 

In addition to Burrow, rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase has put together an unbelievable season, catching 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. He set the NFL's rookie receiving record and the Bengals' record for the most receiving yards in a season, which Chad Johnson held since 2007. 

Second year wide receiver Tee Higgins also finished with 74 catches for 1,091 yards and six scores, while running back Joe Mixon rushed for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

Callahan got his start in coaching with the Broncos, serving as a coaching assistant under Josh McDaniels in 2010. He was then elevated to the team's offensive quality control coach from 2011-12 before serving as an offensive assistant from 2013-15. 

The 37-year-old helped guide Hall of Famer Peyton Manning in Denver before joining the Detroit Lions as a quarterbacks coach from 2016-17, where he helped Matthew Stafford to two of his best seasons in Detroit.

Callahan then joined the Raiders in 2018 as a quarterbacks coach, where he worked with veteran signal-caller Derek Carr. 

Based on Callahan's established relationship with the Broncos, it should come as no surprise that the franchise is interviewing him. He'd be working with veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and former 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock, who hasn't been able to reach his full potential. 

In addition to Callahan, the Broncos have requested to interview New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Packers quarterbacks coach/pass game coordinator Luke Getsy.

Broncos general manager George Paton said earlier this week that the team's top priority this offseason is to hire a head coach who is a good leader, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold

"The No. 1 quality is leadership," Paton said. "We're looking for someone to lead this entire organization, to lead this community and to lead our players. That's the No. 1 trait we're looking for. Obviously, we want the best football coach. I'm not worried about what side of the ball, and I'm not worried about a playcaller. We want leadership. That's our No. 1 priority."