Morris is an intriguing candidate in Denver

January, 1, 2009
1/01/09
6:44
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Denver Broncos are going to talk to several candidates as they work to replace Mike Shanahan.

Names are starting to surface and there will be many familiar ones on the list, but one of the most intriguing candidates is a little known name: Tampa Bay secondary coach Raheem Morris. Denver will interview him in the coming days.

In NFL circles, Morris is considered a potential coaching star. In the summer, I wrote a column looking at assistant coaches who could be hot head coaching candidates in 2009. Morris' name was mentioned by many NFL insiders as I did the reporting for the column.

He is considered a bright young defensive mind and a motivator.

There are a lot of reasons why Morris could be a great fit for Denver. The Broncos need an overhaul on defense. Denver's offense is strong and is good enough to make a playoff run. It has been the Denver defense that has been bringing the team down in recent seasons.

Also, if Denver brought in a defensive-minded coach, it could keep several current assistant coaches on the offensive side of the ball, including passing game coordinator Jeremy Bates, who just signed a three-year contract. Bates has a good working relationship with Denver quarterback Jay Cutler and his presence could make the transition from the Shanahan era more smooth on offense.

The Broncos are not afraid of bringing in a young coach. They are looking for a youthful, enthusiastic coach. Morris, 32, could be just what the team needs. One of his mentors is Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin.

If Morris were to replace Shanahan, he could depend on Tomlin for advice since Tomlin went through a similar situation as he also replaced a legendary Super Bowl winning coach.

Because Denver is going to look at several coaches, Morris may not be a favorite to land the job. But he surely is an intriguing candidate.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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