While newly hired Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton has been in the building this week to sign his new five-year deal and he’s also been trying to assemble his new coaching staff.
Since Payton will call plays on offense, he’s turned his focus onto the defensive side of the ball to figure out his plan for the defensive coordinator position.
Ejiro Evero is currently under contract as Denver’s defensive coordinator for two more years, but there’s been a little drama surrounding him.
According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN, the Minnesota Vikings requested permission on February 1 to interview Evero for their defensive coordinator position.
Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Broncos have not given Evero permission to speak with other teams for an equal role.
Payton and Evero talked Wednesday night and were expected to discuss their future on Thursday as well, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver.
Klis also reported that the word among his sources is that Evero could end up in Minnesota with the Vikings with head coach Kevin O’Connell where the two coached alongside each other with the Los Angeles Rams.
In 2022, Evero called plays for the first time in his NFL coaching career and had the Denver defense playing at an elite level all season until Christmas day.
Denver gave up 51 points to the Los Angeles Rams, quarterbacked by Baker Mayfield.
Through the first 12 games of the season, Evero had his defense giving up an average of 17 points per game. In the final five games, Evero’s defense gave up an average of 31 points per game.
Evero is still in play for a head coaching gig with either the Indianapolis Colts on Arizona Cardinals, but there’s a real chance that he’s not coaching in Denver defense next season.
After the Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett, Evero was offered the interim job for the final two games of the season, but declined.
Broncos Requested Permission to Speak With Brian Flores
According to Rapoport, the Broncos have requested to interview Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach and senior defensive assistant Brian Flores for their defensive coordinator position.
Flores was also the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2019-2021 before getting fired after a 24-25 overall record.
In the final two seasons, Miami owned back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2002-2003.
On February 1, 2022, Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, Broncos, Dolphins, and New York Giants for alleged racial discrimination.
Flores accused former Broncos general manager John Elway and the rest of the Denver staff for conducting a “sham” of his head coaching interview with the team in 2019. Flores claimed that the Broncos officials conducting the interview showed up an hour late and were hungover.
The Broncos quickly responded by stating the complaint was “baseless and defamatory,” while providing details of the interview that contradicted Flores’ claims.
Last season, Flores worked on Mike Tomlin‘s coaching staff with the Steelers.
Broncos Have Interest in Young Defensive Candidate
Payton and the Broncos have requested permission to interview Sean Desai for their defensive coordinator position.
Desai also interviewed with the Vikings last week to be their defensive coordinator, but has withdrawn his name from consideration to focus on the Denver job.
In fact, former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio recommended Denver to Desai, per Klis.
Desai worked with Fangio from 2015-2018 as a defensive quality control coach for the Chicago Bears. Once Fangio took the job in Denver, Desai became the safeties coach and then defensive coordinator in 2021.
In the one year he called plays for the Bears, Desai’s defense ranked 22nd in the NFL in scoring.
Last season, Desai was the associate head coach and defensive assistant for the Seattle Seahawks.
If hired, Desai will run a 3-4 scheme as we’ve seen in Denver dating all the way back to Wade Phillips calling plays in 2015 when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50.
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