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Broncos interview head coach candidates Sean Payton, Raheem Morris on Tuesday

Payton gets top billing among this year's candidates while Morris may be a top sleeper candidate for Broncos.

DENVER — The Broncos ownership group led by CEO Greg Penner along with general manager George Paton have finished their head coach candidate interviews Tuesday with Sean Payton and Raheem Morris, a source told 9NEWS.

The interviews took place at a Los Angeles-area hotel.

Payton, the former 15-year head coach of the New Orleans Saints, and Morris, the L.A. Rams' defensive coordinator who has NFL head coach experience, are the fifth and sixth head coach candidates the Broncos have interviewed.

The interviews started last Monday, Jan. 9 with a Zoom interview with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. A week later, Harbaugh announced he is staying at Michigan.

The Broncos also interviewed their own defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero for the head job last Tuesday, Jan. 10, followed by interviews last Wednesday, Jan. 11 with former Stanford head coach David Shaw and former Colts and Lions' head coach Jim Caldwell.

The Broncos' search contingent of Penner, George Paton and owner Condoleezza Rice are to interview 49ers' defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on Thursday in the San Francisco area before concluding their first round of interviews with Cowboys' defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on Friday in the Dallas area. Ryans and Quinn are both leading defenses who are among the 8 teams who will play in NFL second-round playoff games this weekend.

Sean Payton, 59, is from Naperville, Ill., and Eastern Illinois. He compiled a 152-89 regular-season record with the Saints from 2005-2011 and from 2013-2021. (He was suspended from the 2012 season because of the infamous Bountygate Scandal).

Sean Payton also won 9 postseason games while suffering some heartbreaking playoff defeats. His Saints beat the Peyton Manning-Jim Caldwell Colts in the 2009-season Super Bowl.

Morris, 46, was Tampa Bay's head coach from 2009-11 and the Atlanta Falcons on an interim basis in 2020. 

Credit: AP
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton works during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)



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