Nov 5, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw before the game against the Washington State Cougars at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Broncos interview ex-Stanford coach David Shaw

The Denver Broncos interviewed former Stanford coach David Shaw on Wednesday about their head coaching vacancy, ESPN reported.

Shaw, 50, resigned from Stanford on Nov. 27 after 12 seasons. The winningest coach in Cardinal history compiled a 96-54 record after succeeding Jim Harbaugh before the 2011 season, including a 3-9 mark in 2022.

The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett on Dec. 26 after a 4-11 record in his first season on the job. Denver finished with a 5-12 record.

Shaw coached in the NFL before joining the Stanford staff as an assistant in 2007, working as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (1997), then-Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-05).

Other names linked to the Broncos’ coaching search include former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is also considered a candidate.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Denver Broncos helmet before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Broncos to be ‘ultra aggressive’ in coaching search

The Denver Broncos’ ownership group will be “ultra aggressive” and do whatever it takes to hire the head coach it wants, ESPN reported Sunday.

The Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett this week after a 4-11 start. Denver has not been back to the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50 after the 2015 season.

The Walton-Penner group paid a record $4.65 billion for the franchise last summer and will use that same “energy and determination” to land a new coach, per the report.

As ESPN noted, there is no salary cap for what owners can spend on a head coach or his staff. The Walton-Penner group “is not expected to spare any expense to upgrade the franchise,” the report said.

Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is the highest-profile candidate available and will likely command a lucrative deal. The Saints will also receive draft-pick compensation from any team that hires Payton.

Meanwhile, interim coach Jerry Rosburg debuts in his new role Sunday on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs (12-3). The Broncos are 0-14 against the Chiefs since November 2015.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Detailed view of a memorial sticker on a Denver Broncos helmet in reference to American football player Demaryius Thomas before the game against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos front office begins coach search, say fans deserve better

The Denver Broncos offered a view of the road moving forward on Tuesday, one day after head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired.

At a press conference Tuesday, Broncos CEO Greg Penner offered an apology to “Broncos Country” with the team now in search of its fourth different head coach since Gary Kubiak led the club to a Super Bowl victory at the end of the 2015 season.

“When we purchased this great franchise in August, this was not the season we were expecting, and it has been a season that has been disappointing for our fans and what they deserve,” Penner said.

With high hopes after the addition of quarterback Russell Wilson in the offseason, the Broncos are 4-11 this season and just 3-10 under Wilson. The decision to fire Hackett came after Wilson threw three interceptions in Sunday’s brutal 51-14 loss on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Rams.

Wilson has completed a career-low 60.1 percent of his passes for 3,019 yards with just 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

“We saw flashes of Russ this year. He will be the first one to tell you he didn’t play up to his standard,” Penner said.

Said general manager George Paton: “We know he can play better and will put in work to be better.”

Penner said Tuesday he intended to part ways with Hackett at the end of the season but sped up the timetable after Sunday’s embarrassing defeat.

Paton went a step further.

“I take full responsibility for where we are as a football team,” he said. “I brought in the head coach, I brought in most of the players, those are my decisions and there’s no one to blame but me.

“I just want to be clear. This isn’t just about the coaching. This isn’t just about Nathaniel. This is about the entire football operation. This about the personnel, the players, the staff, everyone involved with our football team. It has to be better across the board. I have to be better.”

The Broncos signed Wilson to a five-year, $245 million contract extension with $165 million guaranteed before the start of the season. That was after trading tight end Noah Fant, defensive tackle Shelby Harris, quarterback Drew Lock, first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, second-round selections in 2022 and 2023 and a 2022 fifth-rounder to Seattle.

The Broncos rank last in the NFL in scoring with just 15.5 points per game.

Denver will complete the season with assistant Jerry Rosburg as the interim head coach. The interim position was offered to defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, but he declined, preferring to focus on the defense.

Evero is expected to be a candidate for a full-time position, although he has never been a full-time NFL head coach. Each of the team’s last three head coaches – Hackett, Vic Fangio and Vance Joseph – were all first-time head coaches when they were hired by the team.

“I am a big believer that if start with the right culture, right people, right resources and expectations, we can build a winning team,” Penner said. “And I don’t think it takes a number of years. The focus will be turning it around next year.”

–Field Level Media

Dolphins running back Chase Edmonds (2), catches the ball as he prepares for the game against the Jets, in East Rutherford. Sunday, October 9, 2022

Jets Vs Dolphins

Broncos activate three players for game vs. Rams

The Denver Broncos on Saturday added three players to the active roster before Sunday’s game against the Rams in Los Angeles.

Chase Edmonds, a running back, returned to practice this week after being on injured reserve. He had been suffering from a high ankle sprain.

In two games for the Broncos this season, Edmonds, 26, has rushed for 15 yards on four carries. He has rushed for 1,686 yards on 379 carries and has 11 touchdowns in 67 regular-season games for Arizona (2018-21), Miami (2022) and Denver.

Cornerback Lamar Jackson and linebacker Wyatt Ray were promoted from the Broncos’ practice squad.

Jackson, 24, has appeared in 19 career regular-season games with the New York Jets and Chicago Bears since 2020. He’s recorded 28 tackles in his career.

Ray, 26, has appeared in 20 career games with the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals since 2020. For his career, he has 18 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) celebrates after an NFL International Series game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Jaguars 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos place WR KJ Hamler (hamstring) on IR

Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler had a setback with his ailing hamstring and was placed on injured reserve Saturday.

Hamler, 23, has not played since the Week 8 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.

He has just seven catches for 165 yards and no touchdowns in seven games this season. The 2020 second-round pick has 42 receptions for 620 yards and three scores in 23 career games (six starts).

Also Saturday, Denver activated running back Mike Boone from injured reserve to the 53-man roster. He has not played since the Week 7 loss to the New York Jets. In six games, Boone, 27, has run 15 times for 82 yards and added 61 yards on six receptions.

Hamler is one of five players ruled out by the Broncos (3-8) for Sunday’s game in Baltimore against the Ravens (7-4).

Cornerback K’Waun Williams (wrist, elbow, knee), linebacker Dakota Allen (hamstring), defensive end Jonathan Harris (knee) and fullback/tight end Andrew Beck (hamstring, illness) will also miss the Week 13 game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (91) hits Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers, Broncos focus on better quarterback play

Scrutiny has fallen on Denver quarterback Russell Wilson, with his first season with the Broncos not going as planned.

The Carolina Panthers are also struggling with quarterback issues but they don’t have just one QB to place all the blame on.

Both teams are looking for improvement under center as Denver visits Carolina for Sunday afternoon’s game in Charlotte, N.C.

The Panthers are turning to Sam Darnold, who was the 2021 opening-day starter, to begin this game at quarterback. It will be his first start of the season.

Darnold, who made 11 starts last year, will be the third starter at quarterback in as many weeks for Carolina. Baker Mayfield’s return to that role didn’t go well vs. the Ravens.

The Panthers (3-8) didn’t score a touchdown last week at Baltimore.

“We’ve flushed it,” Carolina interim coach Steve Wilks said. “Our mindset is on Denver.”

But if the Panthers think they have problems on offense, just look at Denver.

The Broncos (3-7) have lost two games in a row.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to get that rhythm back,” Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “Russell is so positive, it seems like he’s in a good place.”

The Broncos are last in the NFL in scoring at 14.7 points per game.

“Trying to find consistency and rhythm on offense,” Denver receiver Courtland Sutton said. “We’ve just got to finish at the end of the day. Losing is not OK. We have to win out to have any chance (of reaching the playoffs).”

Wilson has thrown just seven touchdowns passes to go with five interceptions. Most glaring might be that he has been sacked 32 times.

It’s unclear if receiver Jerry Jeudy will be back after missing a game with an ankle injury. Already gone from the Broncos is running back Melvin Gordon, who was waived after coughing up five fumbles despite a team-best 318 yards on the ground.

That moves Latavius Murray into the role as top running back for Denver. Running back Chase Edmonds was placed on injured reserve.

“That means more opportunities for me, so I have to take advantage,” Murray said.

Wilson will be back in the state where he played for North Carolina State before transferring to Wisconsin. The Broncos will also have receiver Kendall Hinton, a former college quarterback at Wake Forest, playing in his home state and his role has increased the past few weeks.

While acknowledging the fluid situation at quarterback — and with PJ Walker’s status unclear as he deals with an ankle injury — Wilks said attention should be spread to other spots.

“When you say inconsistent, I think you can really pinpoint it across the board at each position,” Wilks said. “We’re trying to find the right mix.”

The offensive line and secondary have been trouble spots at times for the Panthers. Now they’re addressing indecisiveness from running backs, something that was put on the list of areas to address after the Baltimore game.

“We’re all looking at options across the board,” Wilks said. “At every position right now, we’re trying to figure out who’s going to give us the best opportunity to win.”

The Panthers have won only once in seven meetings with Denver, that coming in 2008 at home. The most devastating loss for Carolina in the series came in the Super Bowl to end the 2015 season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom, Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third quarter during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos waive veteran RB Melvin Gordon III

The Denver Broncos waived running back Melvin Gordon III on Monday, a day after his costly red-zone fumble in the team’s overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

It was his fifth fumble in 10 games (six starts) this season.

The Broncos were up 10-7 and had a third-and-1 from the Raiders 3-yard line and Gordon took the handoff. He reached for first-down yardage, but the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby knocked the ball away. Right guard Quinn Meinerz recovered the fumble, and Brandon McManus attempted a 25-yard field goal that Crosby blocked.

The Raiders went on to win 22-16.

“In that situation, he’s got to be smart with it and he can’t fumble,” Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “He knows that. You just can’t do that. It’s unacceptable. We’ve got to find a way to get the ball in the end zone.”

Gordon carried the ball just three times in the second half and finished the game with eight carries for 31 yards. On the season, the 29-year-old veteran has 318 yards on 90 carries with two touchdowns and 223 yards on 25 catches.

“My share of opportunities kind of dwindled after that, but that’s my fault,” Gordon said.

A first-round selection by the then-San Diego Chargers in the 2015 NFL Draft, Gordon has 8,929 yards from scrimmage and 69 touchdowns in 109 games (94 starts) for the Chargers (2015-19) and Broncos. He has 26 career fumbles.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) talks with quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Broncos hand play-calling duties to Klint Kubiak

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett is turning over offensive play-calling duties to assistant Klint Kubiak on Sunday, ESPN reported.

The Broncos (3-6) enter Sunday’s contest against the visiting Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) ranked last in the NFL with 14.6 points per game.

Kubiak, the team’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, called the plays for the offense this week in practice, per the report.

It is not clear whether Kubiak, 35, will handle the duties for the remainder of the season. The Broncos are in their first season under Hackett.

Kubiak, whose father is former Houston Texans and Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, was the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator last season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) is checked by trainers after getting injured in the first quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy exits with ankle injury

Denver Broncos wideout Jerry Jeudy sustained a left ankle injury Sunday and was ruled out for the remainder of the game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.

He was hurt on Denver’s first snap of the game when quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass intended for Jeudy fell incomplete.

Jeudy, 23, was taken to the locker room on a cart and was ruled out in the second quarter.

Jeudy, a 2020 first-round pick by the Broncos, has 30 receptions for 449 yards and three touchdowns this season.

–Field Level Media