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Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Bowlen will have his pick of coaches

By Bill Williamson

Posted by's Bill Williamson

For the first time in 14 years, Pat Bowlen will be making a significant hire as the owner of the Denver Broncos.

What will he do? Whatever he wants.

Bowlen is the possessor of the greatest job in the NFL as a result of his firing of coach Mike Shanahan.

Bowlen is in a great position. He can either hire a true successor to Shanahan and bring someone who is both the coach and general manager, or he can hire a new general manager and bring in a coach with less power.

Often in the NFL, after a long string of going in one direction, owners try the opposite. Thus, Bowlen could hire a general manager and a coach. There have been rumblings around Denver recently that if there was a change, Bowlen would go that route.

However, there is the Bill Cowher factor.

Bowlen could think the team is a Cowher away from being a Super Bowl contender. Cowher certainly would give the team a new direction. It is the best job on the market, without a doubt. Jobs like this don't often open.

That could be a workable marriage that would give Denver instant juice.

If not, Bowlen could jump in the Scott Pioli sweepstakes. Pioli is the most attractive general manager available.

Pioli could then hire New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He would be a perfect fit in Denver. The team's centerpiece is quarterback Jay Cutler. McDaniels has a great reputation working with quarterbacks. That could be a fit.

Cutler is going to need a strong offensive mind to continue his development.

Other coaching possibilities could be Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick, or perhaps a defense-minded coach to shore up one of the worst units in the league -- New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz or San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

Whatever decision he makes, Bowlen will have virtually the entire league at his disposal. The Denver job is the jewel of the league right now.