ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With Gary Kubiak having announced his retirement as Broncos coach, the team has begun a search for his replacement and it could go back to someone with ties to their glory days in the 1990s.
During a news conference Monday, general manager John Elway said there were “three or four” possibilities that he is excited about.
One of the candidates might be Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the son of former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan who coached Elway to two Super Bowl titles.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos have requested permission to interview Shanahan to replace Kubiak.
Shanahan is one of the hottest assistant coaches on the market after helping revive the Falcons offense that helped Atlanta to an 11-5 record and the NFC South division title this year.
The Falcons earned the No. 2 seed in the NFC and have a bye this week before opening the playoffs in the divisional round on Jan. 14.
The Los Angeles Rams have also asked to interview Shanahan.
Elway said no members of the current coaching staff will be considered for the job, including defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, whose contract is up, or special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.
This will be Elway’s third coaching search since becoming the executive vice president of football operations in 2011.
He hired John Fox in 2011 to replace the fired Josh McDaniels. Fox resigned after a second home playoff loss after a bye in three years in January 2015.
Elway then tapped his friend and former teammate Kubiak to get the Broncos over the top after playoff disappointments under Fox, including a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Fox, who won four division titles, was hired within days by the Chicago Bears.
Elway said he feels confident with quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch on the roster, and said discussions with coaching candidates will center on how to develop them.
Shanahan runs a similar offensive scheme with the Falcons as Kubiak did with the Broncos. The Falcons averaged 33.5 points a game this season, the highest in the league.
Mike Shanahan coached the Broncos to Super Bowl wins in the 1997 and 1998 seasons during a 14-year career with the organization. He was fired after the 2008 season.
Other possible candidates include Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard, Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Joseph interviewed with the Broncos two years ago before Kubiak was hired.