At first the Broncos didn’t succeed, so they tried again.
To a much better result.
9News’ Mike Klis reports Denver will interview San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello for the team’s offensive coordinator vacancy. The meeting is taking place Monday, three days after San Francisco blocked the Broncos’ interview request.
General managers John Elway and John Lynch — who have developed close ties — negotiated over the weekend, with the former convincing the latter to pursue a promotion.
Groomed by Kyle Shanahan, who once was a candidate for the Broncos’ head-coaching position, Scangarello’s first NFL gig came in Atlanta, where he served as an offensive quality-control coach alongside Shanahan, then the offensive coordinator. Scangarello spent 2016 as the OC of Wagner College before Shanahan got the 49ers’ head job and recruited Scangarello to run the QBs.
He put himself on the NFL map last season for his work with third-string Niners QB Nick Mullens, who replaced the injured Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard. Despite a limited supporting cast, Mullens — a 2017 undrafted free agent — exceeded all expectations, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 2,277 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions across eight starts. For comparison’s sake, his 90.8 passer rating was significantly higher than $36 million starting Broncos QB Case Keenum’s (81.2).
Mullens torched the Broncos for 332 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-14 upset victory in Santa Clara last season. After the game, and as his stature grew (if incrementally), he credited Scangarello for bringing him to the Bay Area.
“Coach Scangarello, he pretty much found me,” Mullens said, via 49ers Webzone. “I was at East-West Shrine game in [St. Petersburg, Florida] and I guess he liked the things that I did in that game and in those practices. And then he followed up with me with a phone call after that.
“Then I took a visit here to the facility in [Santa Clara, California]. The 49ers showed me the most interest all the way through the draft process. So, in the sixth round, they gave me a call, said they wanted to sign me as a free agent.”
The Broncos finished 24th in scoring and 19th in total yards this season.
They were expected to install Gary Kubiak as the offensive boss under new head man Vic Fangio, but a disconnect in philosophy — Elway wants a new-age offense — prompted the sides to split. While under contract as a front-office executive, he’s been granted permission to seek outside opportunities. Kubiak has interviews scheduled with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings.
Fangio, introduced last Thursday, is in the midst of assembling his coaching staff. He’s reportedly expected to retain special teams coordinator Tom McMahon, defensive line coach Bill Kollar, linebackers coach Reggie Herring and strength and conditioning coach Loren Landow. The Broncos are also courting Mike Munchak to become the new offensive line coach.
On the defensive side, Bears secondary coach Ed Donatell is the favorite for title-only coordinator duties, reuniting with old pal Fangio, who confirmed he’ll call plays. The Broncos are also interviewing Chicago outside linebacker coach Brandon Staley.