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Broncos' Evero earning attention as possible head coach candidate

Denver's first-time defensive coordinator leads the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Every year about this time, there is a new batch of “hot” NFL head coach candidates.

Ejiro Evero, boss of the Denver Broncos defense that tops the NFL by allowing a mere 16.6 points per game, is among those mentioned.  It’s not just Evero’s success as defensive coordinator but his smart, professional demeanor that will make him such an attractive candidate. For example, how he handled the question Thursday of whether he’d like to one day become an NFL head coach.

“Most coaches that come into the profession aspire to achieve that,’’ Evero said. “It’s definitely very flattering and a great honor (to have his name mentioned as a potential head coach candidate) but I’m not worried about that. My feet are on the ground. I’m worried about trying to beat the Raiders. All the success we’ve had by no means is just on me. We’ve got a lot of great players, great coaches, great assistant coaches. It’s a team effort. I’ve said from Day 1, this is not my defense. This is our defense. We’re doing this together.”

Evero, 41, is as hot as his best friend and college football roommate at UC-Davis is not. Nathaniel Hackett is the Broncos’ head coach who hired Evero to be his defensive coordinator – even though Evero had relatively little experience. Evero had 14 years of NFL coaching experience but most of it was on the lowest levels of quality control and defensive or offensive assistant.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero takes part in drills during the NFL football team's training camp Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at the Broncos' headquarters in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Sean McVay made Evero his safeties coach from 2017-20, then promoted him to secondary coach and passing game coordinator last year, when the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl.

It was Hackett who gave Evero his first big chance at a coordinator job and while Evero has prospered this year going into the Broncos’ game Sunday afternoon against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High, Hackett is struggling with a 3-6 record and is the play caller for a Broncos offense that ranks dead last in scoring with 14.6 points per game.

“Twofold, this league is full of ups and downs and when you’ve been through it long enough you’re going to understand there’s always going to be a narrative,’’ Evero said. “You’ve got to focus in on your job, one day at a time, believe in your process. Things have not gone the way we wanted but I believe in our process. I 100% believe in our head coach. And the story’s not over yet. We still have a lot of football ahead of us and the first step in this game.”

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