Whisenhunt may be headed to Denver as offensive coordinator


With the Eagles job taken and the Jaguars showing no apparent interest in hiring him and the Cardinals highly unlikely to re-hire him, former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt appears to be out of head-coaching options.

And so, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Whisenhunt could be the next offensive coordinator in Denver.

It’s unclear whether Bowen is reporting the move as a done deal.  He says he’s “hearing” it, which may or may not be some sort of journalistic safe harbor on Twitter.

Making the move a little surprising is that Whisenhunt will be working for free, unless the Broncos pay him more to be the offensive coordinator than the Cardinals were going to pay him to coach.  (Not even the Cardinals are that cheap.)

But it’s a smart investment of his time.  Whisenhunt already was likely to be on the list of coaching candidates in 2014; if the Broncos have another playoff season, Whisenhunt will be even more desirable.  The only potential drawback is that the Broncos could play so deep into the 2013 postseason that no team will wait to hire him.

For that reason, Whisenhunt should consider asking for his official title to be “consultant,” which would allow him to take a head-coaching job elsewhere before Denver’s postseason run ends.

With quarterback Peyton Manning essentially running the show, the Broncos would likely be fine.

37 responses to “Whisenhunt may be headed to Denver as offensive coordinator

  1. Maybe he can make Demerius Thomas pull a Larry Fitzgerald and become a third-tier WR injury sub on your fantasy team.

  2. Don’t think he’ll have to worry about going too deep into the playoffs. And if they do, Whisenhunt can always kneel it with 30 seconds to end the season earlier.

  3. I guess once people get a notion in their heads, no amount of factual evidence will convince them otherwise.

    Exhibit A: The belief that Peyton Manning “runs the show” with the Broncos offense.

    In order to continue believing that, you need to believe that 1) Manning would have chosen to kneel down with 31 seconds to go and 2 timeouts, and that 2) he would have chosen to run the ball on 5 straight plays during their last 4th quarter drive, and 3) that he would have run 3 straight running plays and punted on their first OT drive.

    And you have to believe all of those things are true despite the fact that such decision making is the hallmark of the team’s head coach, John Fox, and certainly not Peyton Manning.

  4. Is it possible he could screw Peyton’s game up badly, too? Nah. Kurt Warner managed to stay good and retired. It’s all the other Cardinal QB’s whose careers he buried. Maybe the good one’s don’t pay attention to him.

  5. “The only potential drawback is that the Broncos could play so deep into the 2013 postseason that no team will wait to hire him.”


    Wouldn’t count on it.

  6. It’s no secret that the reason Mannings first comments about leaving Indy 4 Arizona was the attraction of Whisenhunt as a coach.

    As for leaving for a head coaching job while the season is on that doesn’t sound like Whisenhunt.

  7. Watch, Manning will throw two picks in a game and Whisenhunt will pull him for an undrafted rookie.

    Whiz didn’t “resurrect” Warner as much as they, along with Todd Haley, fed off each other with synergy. Peyton Manning is NOT Kurt Warner. Warner was stubborn but eventually listened to advice from Whiz and Haley and fixed some of his mechanics, in return Whiz and Haley gave Warner some Latitude in adjusting plays.

    Manning doesn’t need mechanical fixes. Manning can really be his own OC.

  8. Do you really need an offensive coordinator with Peyton Manning under center?

    He makes every coordinator look like they’re the next coming of Bill Walsh, and following one successful season, they become a head coach again.

  9. “The only potential drawback is that the Broncos could play so deep into the 2013 postseason that no team will wait to hire him.”

    Peyton Manning is their QB, so that’s not very likely.

    Expect the Broncos to go 14-2 with a first round bye followed by a divisional round loss in the playoffs.

  10. Whiz will definitely get another HC job….that AZ job was limited by a bad brand name, lack of credible owner, under performing GM that never resolved the QB/Oline situation, and the huge task of changing a culture. Graves wanted all of the credit…that was obvious. Changing the culture of “that” organization is a huge plus for Whiz…it stuck for a few years, but resurfaced the last year when players gave up because a lack of legitimate QB.

  11. Will it really matter who the OC is if fox ultimately has the last call? I’m pretty sure Manning and McCoy wouldn’t have run on 3 and 7 let alone kneel down with 2 TO’s left,I’m just saying…

  12. “Resurrected” Kurt Warmer’s career? Give me a break! Kurt Warner saved Whisenhunt’s career. Have you looked at Arizona since Kurt Warner left? Sheeesh

  13. With no real upgrade in play, Cardinals fans are already missing Ken Whisenhut. I know I’d like him back! Should have waited one more year. The real problem was at the GM position. I think it was Whiz’s stubbornness that was his undoing.

  14. Why ISN’T he a candidate in Jax? He’s been to the Super Bowl, had success with the Steelers, didn’t have a QB for two seasons and got sacked.

  15. great job, peyton gets to tell you what plays they are going to run. Here coach, study my playbook.

  16. The job of an OC is to draw up a scheme that would work for everyone on offense. Majority of them in the league do call the plays but when theres an important decision to make the HC makes the call.

  17. Assume Arians goes to Zona, leaving the Colts OC position vacant- wouldn’t you think Arians would rather spend his time grooming a young Luck than have Elway tell Wiz “Whatever Peyton says, goes.”

  18. I wouldn’t do it if I were him. Why would you want to be an OC for a head coach that is fundamentally opposed to the forward pass and gets some strange joy out of punting?

    C’mon, Whiz, wouldn’t you rather be the OC for a team that has Cam Newton, Steve Smith and a head coach who doesn’t know anything about offense and will let you completely run the show?

  19. Anyone else find it frustrating that the coaching positions are so unevenly timed? As a Seattle fan we stand to lose our offensive and defensive cordinators, yet no one knows for sure.

    They were being interviewed the WEEK OF the playoff game (which had to be distracting!), and now alternitives like Whisenhunt are being hired without certainty at the position by teams like Seattle (and a host more).

    The NFL needs to create some timeframes that coach hiring is done – too crazy otherwise.

  20. Think of how crazy this is to think about:

    If the defensive cordinator for Seattle (Gus) was still playing in the playoffs, no team would annouce him as next years coach – yet teams are trying to get that done ASAP. Does that mean Gus had in the back of his mind that he needed to NOT go further in the playoffs to better his chance at HC????

    I am not saying this is the case, but my point is that it is nuts to have all this going on during the playoffs.

  21. John Elway is trying to a arrange an interview for Whisenhunt with Peyton Manning. Elway and Manning will have to see whether Whisenhunt is a good fit for Peyton Manning’s offense. Mr. Manning doesn’t share his offense with just anyone. Given Whisenhunt’s background it will be interesting to see whether Ken will be able to handle Peyton’s system of audibles and no-huddle offense.

  22. The NFL needs to create some timeframes that coach hiring is done – too crazy otherwise.


    I think the other thing this would do is cut down on the crazy turnover of coaches. If the hiring window was from the day after the Super Bowl until March 1, for example, teams may not be as quick to turn over staffs quite as much.

  23. NFL is a crazy, cruel business with many casualties. Denver made great strides this season and Elway’s is determined to get to the top of the mountain again, so they probably will. Too bad those Ravens had to mess up the Pats/Broncos clash in the mountains, but, maybe next year.

  24. Your gonna get more of coaches interested in this position to coach Peyton Manning. Former head coaches like Bilick and Gruden are a couple more names that could be interested. Your talking about coaching a guy that gets you 12 wins easy. So some of these guys who are on the cusp, who can’t get a job as a head coach will become likely candidates in my opinion.

    Then again, what do I know, Vance Johnson will probably be the next coach.

  25. If manning liked whiz he would have signed with Arizona. He rejected him already and will probably be nun to happy that he is his new OC. And whiz is a Cowher guy …. Head strong and do things his way …. How’s that gonna gel with Manning? He isn’t a softie like McCoy

  26. I ahmgree with a few of you on here, I too think its unfair for a team to pursue a guy when his concentration should be all on his team in the playoffs. You can’t interview candidates before the regular season is over so why should the losers be able to interview through the playoffs. They need to change this system until after the SB so guys can keep their full focus on going deep in the playoffs. McCoy probably knew before the broncos game that he was being promoted to HC for another team which means big pay raise.

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