It appears the Denver Broncos' interview with Vance Joseph went so well Tuesday afternoon, he, team general manager John Elway and some other football operation staffers carried their discussion into the night at a well-known steakhouse.
One guess where they broke bread. That's right, at one of the Elway's restaurants in the Denver area.
With Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan closing the gap in recent days, will Joseph, who entered the Broncos' head coach search as the candidate to beat, still be Elway's preferred choice by Wednesday morning?
Joseph met for at least four hours Tuesday with Elway and his search committee in the Pat Bowlen conference room at the team’s UCHealth Training Center. The Broncos’ five-man group: Elway, who is in charge of the interview process; chief executive officer Joe Ellis; director of player personnel Matt Russell; vice president of public relations Patrick Smyth and team administrator Mark Thewes.
It appears the interview went well for Joseph.
“We enjoyed visiting with Vance Joseph at our facility today,’’ Elway stated on his Twitter account. “He has great leadership qualities and a strong vision of what it takes to win.’’
As was always the plan, Joseph was to overnight Tuesday in Denver. The interview went so well, Elway wanted to keep talking. If Joseph is the Broncos' choice, Elway will have to move quickly. Joseph is scheduled to fly Wednesday morning to San Diego for a head coach interview with the Chargers. He is to then to meet Thursday with the 49ers in San Francisco before possibly another interview Friday with the Rams in Los Angeles.
Joseph, the former University of Colorado backup quarterback who just finished his 12th season as an NFL assistant defensive coach, began his jam-packed, Western interview swing under the relative cloak of secrecy.
He boarded a United commercial flight Tuesday morning that took off from Miami and landed in Denver at 10 a.m. Nothing secretive about a commercial flight except that instead of leading the passengers into the B terminal at Denver International Airport, Joseph was whisked away at the tarmac by a security officer.
There would be no passenger train with a 9News cameraman awaiting in the main terminal for Joseph.
Joseph, 44, was then transferred to Broncos staffers who drove him to the team’s headquarters for a four-hour interview with the same search committee that met Friday with Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub in Kansas City and Saturday with Shanahan in Atlanta.
The Broncos did not extend Joseph a contract offer following their interview at team headquarters Tuesday evening. Will the two sides get around to talking contract Tuesday night? If Joseph is allowed to fly Wednesday to San Diego, focus will turn to Shanahan as the Broncos’ leading candidate.
But for now, it appears Joseph remains the man to beat. Shanahan and Toub are coaching for teams that are participating in playoff games this weekend. The Broncos would have to wait until Shanahan’s Falcons or Toub’s Chiefs are eliminated before they can be secretly lifted from a DIA tarmac and brought to UCHealth Training Center.