Broncos’ coaching move moves along with Kevin O’Connell, interviewer Brian Callahan

Broncos general manager George Paton and team leaders checked another time zone from their travel box on Thursday, en route to Los Angeles to interview Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell after conducting a virtual meeting with Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.

Since January 13, Paton and Co. flown from Denver to Detroit to Green Bay to Denver to Dallas to Providence, RI, to Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

Callahan and O’Connell were the eighth and ninth candidates interviewed by the Broncos. Next up is Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Friday.

Like Green Bay assistants Nathaniel Hackett and Luke Getsy, who were interviewed last week, Callahan and O’Connell are non-play-calling coordinators.

Callahan, 37, was first up, two days before Cincinnati plays its first AFC Divisional playoff game in 31 years as it visits top-seeded Tennessee.

Callahan, who was the Broncos assistant from 2010-15, went on to coach quarterbacks in Detroit (2016-17) and Oakland (2018), before coach Zac Taylor hired him as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator in ’19.

The Bengals have improved from two to 10 wins over three years and from 29th to 13th in scoring this year.

Callahan told reporters this week that it has been “really easy” to keep his attention on the Titans game.

“My focus is 100% on this game and on our players; there is no other focus for me, ”he said. “Everything I do outside of that framework is in my own time late at night (or) early in the morning. These (interviews) are things you slowly prepare for over time and you get a chance to gather. your thoughts.

“All of these things are personal awards, and that’s because the team has been successful, and you get individual benefits from the collective success, and that’s definitely where I’m right now. It’s an honor to be involved in a process like ( Broncos’).

Callahan is the son of Bill Callahan, former head coach of the Raiders (reached the Super Bowl after the 2002 season) and Nebraska and currently the Cleveland Browns’ offensive line coach.

Prior to joining the Broncos in 2010, Brian Callahan worked as a graduate assistant at UCLA and two years as a California high school coach. In five years, he had three titles with the Broncos: Coach Assistant (2010), Offensive Quality Control Coach (2011-12) and Offensive Assistant (2013-15). After the Super Bowl victory in February 2016, he traveled to Detroit to work with offensive coordinator and former Broncos assistant Jim Bob Cooter.

With the Raiders, Callahan coached quarterback Derek Carr, who passed 4,049 yards, the first in a series of four consecutive 4,000-yard seasons.

This year for the Bengals, quarterback Joe Burrow finished with 4,611 yards (sixth in the league), 34 touchdowns (eighth) and a 108.3 passing rating (second).

O’Connell, 36, played 40 games as a quarterback for San Diego State and was a third-round draft pick of New England (No. 94 overall); in the first round, the Patriots selected Jerod Mayo, who interviewed the Broncos on Wednesday.

O’Connell later spent time with Detroit (when current Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was a rookie for the Lions), Miami and the Jets and Chargers. He appeared in two regular season matches.

O’Connell began his coaching career in Cleveland (2015), followed by San Francisco (one year) and Washington (three years, including the offensive coordinator in ’19). He joined the Rams last year.

The Rams switched to Stafford, who won their first career playoff game Monday over Arizona. The Rams play in Tampa Bay on Sunday.

“(O’Connell’s) ability to stay cool – he’s the guy I talk to most of the time on game day and during the week and on the training ground,” Stafford told reporters on Wednesday. “He’s done an incredible job helping me get into this offense. I would not be here playing in the division round if it were not for such a guy who spent a lot of time with me and helped me. . “

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