JANUARY 14: Atlanta will not have the opportunity to meet with Evero, it appears. The Broncos are expected to block the Falcons’ request, as first reported by Denver7’s Troy Renck (on Twitter). Veteran Cardinals reporter Mike Jurecki corroborates that sense, and adds that Denver is not expected to allow Evero to take part in any potential DC interviews (Twitter link). That news comes as little surprise, given his head coaching candidacy with the Broncos in particular, but it will leave the Falcons to look elsewhere for Pees’ successor.
JANUARY 13: The Falcons are in need of a new defensive coordinator after veteran Dean Pees announced (for the third, and what is expected to be final, time) his retirement. They are eyeing a replacement who has generated plenty of other interest during this year’s coaching cycle.
Atlanta has requested an interview with Broncos DC Ejiro Evero for the opportunity to hold the same title with the Falcons, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Seeing as a hire taking him from Denver to Atlanta would constitute a lateral move, the Broncos have the option of denying the request.
The same is not true, of course, of the head coaching inquiries Evero has received. The 42-year-old is a candidate to replace Nathaniel Hackett in Denver, an opportunity he earned after guiding the team’s defense to a respectable performance on the season, especially within the context of the team’s immense struggles on offense. The Broncos had the league’s seventh-best total defense in 2022, Evero’s first season as a defensive coordinator.
His risking stock has also been reflected by the interest shown in him externally. The Colts had an interview with Evero yesterday, and the Texans are also set to meet with him during their HC search. Given his age, relative lack of coordinator experience and background on the defensive side of the ball, Evero could be considered an outside option to land a HC gig this offseason. Today’s request, if granted, would give him another option to consider outside the Mile High City, though.
The Falcons had Pees at the helm of their defense for the past two seasons. During both campaigns, the unit struggled across the board as the team worked their way out of multiple cumbersome contracts to set up their rebuild. That process will be aided by the fact Atlanta is projected to have the second-most cap space in the league, and that they hold three of the upcoming draft’s top 76 picks.
The Falcons thus have plenty of potential to augment a defense led by d-lineman Grady Jarrett and cornerback A.J. Terrell. Evero would have vastly experienced shoes to fill if he were to replace Pees, but he would represent a noteworthy addition for the Falcons if he were to land the position.