No early leader for Broncos job

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Two years ago, when the Denver Broncos were last looking for a new head coach, Gary Kubiak quickly emerged as the favorite. This time, don’t expect that to happen.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Broncos likely will engage in a broader search than they did in 2015, once Kubiak officially announces his decision to retire.

With the defense still the strength of the Broncos, don’t be surprised if they hire a new coach with an eye toward keeping the current defensive staff in place. The contract of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be expiring; some are suggesting he will be retiring, but the Broncos would like to keep him around.

And although those parameters could be interpreted as meaning that a defensive coach from another team would not be hired to be the head coach, keep in mind that the Steelers hired Mike Tomlin a decade ago with Dick LeBeau in place as the defensive coordinator. The Steelers continued to run LeBeau’s 3-4 defense even though Tomlin emerged as a 4-3 specialist.