DENVER — When replacing a person who has just been fired, it’s not uncommon for the people hiring to fill the position with someone who displays near-opposite qualities.
Perhaps, Broncos Country was confused, then, to learn a defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, is the odds-on favorite to replace Vic Fangio, who was a defensive-oriented head coach.
The biggest difference between the two, though, is in personality.
Fangio is a thinker who by nature is a low-key, all business, shut-off-the-music type of teacher. Quinn brings the energy.
"High energy," former Broncos’ tight end Jacob Tamme, who played for Quinn with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015-16, said in a phone interview with 9NEWS. "Brings enthusiasm every day and expects the same out of the other coaches on his staff. And of the players.
"Definitely, he is high energy but Dan’s also authentic. Sometimes that "motivator" label gets used strangely. He’s high energy but authentic and it’s evident in how he conducts himself and that’s motivating in of itself. It’s how he operates. His motivation is built in."
Tamme had a nice 9-year NFL career, catching 67 passes from Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts in 2010, compiling another 52 passes from Manning with the Broncos in 2012, and then 59 receptions from Matt Ryan with Quinn’s Falcons in 2015.
Tamme was having another nice season with the Falcons in 2016 until he tore up his shoulder midway through the year. That’s the season the Falcons made it to Super Bowl 51 and built a 28-3, third-quarter lead against the Patriots before succumbing to Tom Brady’s heroic comeback.
From his Danville, Ky., cattle farm and home investment management business Tuesday, Tamme said he hopes his former team and former coach can be a match.
"That would be a cool fit in my book," Tamme said. "I would love to see it. I’ll tell ya, I absolutely loved playing for Dan Quinn. We had a couple of good seasons. The second one was a great season. Dan built something really, really good there in Atlanta. That was my last year when we got beat in the Super Bowl. After that from the outside looking in, you think, man, we had something really good going.
"I thought he created an atmosphere that was a ton of fun and also very competitive. That’s a good combination and what it takes in this league. Players certainly respected him but also you felt like he respected you as well with the job it took. He built a great culture."
The Broncos’ head coach search committee led by general manager George Paton is interviewing Quinn on Tuesday evening in the Dallas area. Quinn is considered the leader because he is the only candidate on the Broncos’ 10-man list to have previous NFL head coach experience and also because he has a previous working relationship with Paton. They both worked for the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06 – Paton as director of player personnel; Quinn as defensive line coach.
Each has come a long way since.
Quinn’s head coaching record
2016: 11-5, won two playoff games, lost to Pats, 34-28 in overtime of Super Bowl 51
2017: 10-6, won a playoff game
Total: 43-42, 3-2 in postseason
Like Paton, Quinn is 51.
Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, whom the Broncos’ search committee interviewed last week in Green Bay, would make sense as a possible offensive coordinator for Quinn, although all vacant coordinator positions would require teams to interview at least one minority candidate under the NFL’s recently enhance Rooney Rule.
Prior to meeting with Quinn on Tuesday evening, Paton’s Platoon had also interviewed Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (Thursday), Getsy (Friday), Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (Saturday) and Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (Tuesday afternoon before Quinn).
Following the Quinn interview, the Broncos’ contingent will fly out Tuesday night to the Boston area where they will interview Patriots’ inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo on Wednesday morning, then fly to Philadelphia to interview Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon on Wednesday evening. Then its Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, followed by Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan (possibly by Zoom) and Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy in Kansas City on Friday.
It’s unclear whether the Broncos will have a second round of interviews with two finalists over the weekend. The Broncos are expected to announce their new head coach sometime next week.
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