Denver Broncos Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It turns out that Sean Payton may not be the only NFL head coach turned TV personality that’s planning on making his return to the sidelines.

Payton reportedly interviewed a surprise candidate this week as his defensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos. Fox’s Jay Glazer reported early Sunday morning that former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan — now with ESPN interviewed for the defensive coordinator opening on Payton’s staff.

Rather than be retained by Payton, former Broncos DC Ejiro Evero elected to take the same position on the Carolina Panthers coaching staff under Frank Reich. To fill the opening created by Evero, Payton looked to a familiar family member, as Rex’s twin brother, Rob, served as his defensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2013-15.

This isn’t the first time Payton has looked for a former NFL head coach to be his defensive coordinator. New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen was Payton’s defensive coordinator in New Orleans after an unsuccessful stint as the then-Oakland Raiders head coach. Allen, who ultimately succeeded Payton, served as his DC from 2015-21.

As for Rex, he coordinated the Baltimore Ravens defense from 2005-08 before a couple of stints as a head coach in the AFC East. He was responsible for coordinating and overseeing some of the league’s best defenses between his time in Baltimore and New York, as he won four playoff games and clinched multiple AFC Championship Game berths as Gang Green’s head man.

The NFL world reacted to the shocking Broncos coaching news.

[Jay Glazer]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.