David Shaw

David Shaw Addresses Broncos Hire

After frequently receiving interest for a head coaching position, David Shaw is set to return to the NFL. The former Stanford coach will spend the 2024 season in a front office role with the Broncos.

Shaw has a relationship with head coach Sean Payton dating back to their shared time together on the Eagles’ staff in 1997. The former interviewed for Denver’s HC vacancy before the latter was ultimately tapped for the job. To little surprise, Shaw’s standing with general manager George Paton also played a role in yesterday’s hire.

“I got to know [Paton] pretty well during that process and we just stayed in touch and this offseason we talked about different things, and I thought there might be a role [where] maybe I could fill a need for the Broncos,” the 51-year-old said, via Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette“It’s a very good opportunity… I’m very excited to be back in the NFL with some great people.”

Shaw had a successful run at Stanford, compiling a 96-54 record and winning two of three Rose Bowl appearances. The four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year took a year away from the sidelines in 2023, but he interviewed for the head coaching positions of both the Titans and Chargers this offseason. Given that, Shaw was understandably asked about his plans for returning to the coaching ranks in the future.

He declined to offer a firm response on that point, adding that his attention is currently on his Broncos role. Providing further detail in that respect, 9News’ Mike Klis notes Shaw will break down film on college and pro players as part of his responsibilities. Know for his success in player evaluation, Denver’s new senior personnel executive will primarily work remotely, Klis adds.

Paton and Payton remain the central decision-makers guiding the Broncos’ roster decisions, and the latter will face heightened expectations in 2024 with his preference for QB prospects (Bo Nix) now in the fold. Still, Shaw will be a key figure in the organization’s front office, and it will be interesting to see how he fares in his new role and the extent to which it opens up other opportunities for him around the league.

Broncos Hire David Shaw

David Shaw has long been mentioned as a candidate to return to the NFL coaching scene, and he is now set to join a pro franchise for the first time since 2005. The former Stanford head coach is taking on a position with the Broncos, as first reported by Mike Klis of 9News. The move is now official, per a team announcement.

Shaw will hold the title of senior personnel executive. That is a different role than what he had interviewed for in recent years – the 51-year-old had been attempting to become an NFL head coach – but he will nevertheless face high expectations as part of Denver’s front office. Shaw’s arrival follows that of Cody Rager, who in January became the team’s VP of player personnel.

The Broncos hired Sean Payton during the 2022 head coaching cycle; their interview process included a meeting with Shaw. The latter was again on the radar of interested teams this offseason, interviewing with the Chargers and Titans for their respective HC vacancies. After being unable to land a role on the sidelines in the NFL, Shaw will now transition to an executive position allowing him to reunite with Payton. The pair worked together as assistants on the Eagles’ staff in 1997.

Shaw took over from Jim Harbaugh at Stanford in 2011, and he had a strong run as head coach through 2022. Compiling a 96-54 record and leading the program to three Rose Bowl titles, he drew praise for his pro-style offense. Shaw was away from coaching last season, and this gig will involve new front office responsibilities. Several members of the Broncos’ ownership group – including Greg Penner, Carrie Walton Penner and Condoleezza Rice – have longstanding ties to Stanford, and Klis notes general manager George Paton remained in touch with Shaw following his head coaching interview.

Now, Shaw will aim to offer insight on both pro and college personnel in Denver while serving in a different role than what he is familiar with. Success in the Mile High City could lead to further opportunities in Denver or renewed interest from around the NFL.

2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

The Commanders’ hire has wrapped this year’s cycle. Barring a team making an 11th-hour change, the 2024 HC carousel has come to a stop. The final breakdown produced five defensive coaches being hired compared to three with backgrounds on offense. Many teams are still searching for offensive and defensive coordinators, however.

Updated 2-1-24 (10:37am CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Hired

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

David Shaw To Interview For Titans’ HC Position

Add another offensive-minded coach to the list of head coaching candidates in Tennessee. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Titans will host former Stanford head coach David Shaw this weekend to interview for their vacant head coaching job.

Shaw was out of coaching in 2023, taking a year off after re-signing from his longtime position as head coach of the Cardinal. Shaw held his position at Stanford for 12 years, winning three conference titles in his first five years at the helm. Shaw had been a homerun hire out of the gate, amassing an 82-26 record over his first eight years in Palo Alto. Unfortunately, a 14-28 record over his last four years, including two consecutive 3-9 seasons to close out his tenure, seemingly forced his hand, ending his time at Stanford.

Before serving as a head coach at the collegiate level, a position Shaw had been promoted to after time as an offensive coordinator for the Cardinal and passing game coordinator at the University of San Diego under Jim Harbaugh, Shaw had an extensive career as an NFL assistant. After starting as an offensive quality control coach in Philadelphia in 1997, Shaw spent three years in the same role for the Raiders. In 2001, Shaw was promoted to quarterbacks coach in Oakland and would leave the next year to coach quarterbacks and wide receivers in Baltimore.

Shaw’s college coaching career saw him bring up such NFL successes as Andrew Luck and Christian McCaffrey. His pro-style offense has often been a point of interest in the NFL, bringing his name up in several head coaching searches in the past. Despite all the interest, this will only be Shaw’s third NFL head coaching interview following an interview yesterday with the Chargers and last year with the Broncos.

You can find the full list of all candidates for vacant NFL head coaching jobs at PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker, but for convenience, the Titans are as follows:

Chargers Interview David Shaw For HC

The Chargers’ HC candidate list has expanded to 15 names. This now includes former Stanford coach David Shaw, who was in Los Angeles interviewing for the Bolts’ position Thursday.

Although Shaw has not coached in the NFL since 2005 and did not coach during the 2023 season, he spent 12 years as the Cardinal’s head coach. The Pac-12 program dismissed the successful HC following the 2022 campaign, but Shaw has still been on NFL radars. He interviewed with the Broncos last year.

NFL teams must interview two external minority candidates to comply with the Rooney Rule, but the Chargers had already done so by meeting with Leslie Frazier, Raiders DC Patrick Graham and 49ers DC Steve Wilks. Rams DC Raheem Morris is set to interview with the Bolts on Friday, while Lions DC Aaron Glenn received an interview request as well. Shaw is the sixth Black candidate to either meet with the Bolts or receive a slip.

Shaw, 51, is a San Diego native who coached in the NFL — with the Eagles, Raiders and Ravens — from 1997-2005. Shaw spent four seasons in Baltimore before becoming a Jim Harbaugh assistant at the University of San Diego and then Stanford. After Harbaugh left for the 49ers, Shaw took over in Palo Alto and went 96-54, coaching superstars Andrew Luck and Christian McCaffrey. Shaw’s pro-style offense has attracted NFL interest in the past.

Courtesy of PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker, here is how the Chargers’ search looks as of Thursday afternoon:

Raiders Interested In David Shaw?

Raiders interim head coach Antonio Pierce has established himself as a legitimate candidate to take over the full-time gig following the 2023 season. Of course, that won’t stop Mark Davis and co. from eyeing other options. As Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal passes along, a “name to keep an eye on” in the sweepstakes is former Stanford head coach David Shaw.

Shaw spent more than a decade running Stanford’s program, earning three conference titles and five bowl victories. He was fired following two-straight 3-9 campaigns, and he’s spent the past year out of football entirely.

Shaw actually spent time with the Raiders early on in his coaching career, serving as the team’s offensive quality control coach and later the quarterbacks coach. He spent four seasons with the Ravens before getting recruited by Jim Harbaugh to be the receivers coach at the University of San Diego. He followed Harbaugh to Stanford, serving as the offensive coordinator before getting promoted to head coach when Harbaugh left for the 49ers.

This isn’t the first time the coach has been connected to head coaching gigs. Shaw was a candidate for the Broncos head coaching job last offseason before the organization traded for Sean Payton.

Depending on how the Raiders finish the season, Shaw might not even have a shot at the job. Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes that a 6-3 record for Pierce “would get him the full-time job.” Following last weekend’s loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders are now 2-2 under the interim head coach, meaning they’ll need to go 4-1 the rest of the way to reach that record. Of course, Pierce could also earn the job without the strong finish; as Tafur writes, Davis “loves” how the players have responded to their new head coach.

2023 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, 10 NFL teams hired new head coaches. Following the Panthers, Broncos and Texans’ hires, this year’s vacancy count sits at two. Last year’s Saints and Buccaneers moves, however, showed these job openings can emerge at unexpected points.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-14-23 (1:30pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Latest On Broncos’ Coaching Search

As the offseason enters its fourth week, this Broncos ownership group’s first coaching search looks to have skidded off track. A host of updates have emerged in recent days regarding the new owners’ HC pursuit, but the team’s preferred candidates are mostly out of the picture.

Jim Harbaugh loomed as a frontrunner early but bowed out of the race, while Dan Quinn was well-regarded during his time in the derby. He recommitted to the Cowboys for a second straight offseason. The Texans look to have the inside track for DeMeco Ryans, who had gained steam with the Broncos late last week. For the time being, the Sean Payton-to-Denver talk has faded.

While CEO Greg Penner flew to Ann Arbor to meet with Harbaugh, the meeting caught other Broncos HC candidates off-guard, according to The Athletic’s Mike Sando (subscription required). Harbaugh said the Broncos’ job would be the one he’d want if he returned to the NFL, with this stance emerging not long after the longtime Michigan HC recommitted to his alma mater. But the Broncos are not believed to have made an offer. Harbaugh remains at Michigan, and Denver’s set of second-tier candidates do not appear closer to landing the job.

Despite this rocky search, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes the other batch of candidates the Broncos have met with — Rams DC Raheem Morris, former Lions HC Jim Caldwell and ex-Stanford HC David Shaw — have not gained momentum for the job. With DC Ejiro Evero also not being connected to the post since interviewing nearly three weeks ago, this would leave Payton still atop the team’s wish list. Indeed, the Caldwell-Evero-Morris-Shaw contingent has been informed no second interviews are on tap, 9News’ Mike Klis notes.

Payton made the Broncos his first interview; that occurred more than two weeks ago. Initial reports indicated Payton was behind the new Broncos ownership contingent, but a subsequent offering suggested pause. Payton directly refuted that he feared a power struggle with one of the team’s new owners, and the former Super Bowl-winning HC addressed his status over the weekend. The door remains open for Payton, per Renck, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport suggested the franchise still wants to swing for a “big, big, big” hire.

Payton, 59, is the only candidate who would seem to fit that description, and other teams may be realizing they will not be able to entice him to leave FOX this year. Linked to preparing a big Payton push, the Panthers hired Frank Reich. The Cardinals adding a host of new candidates Monday points to them realizing Payton is likely an unrealistic goal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com offered during a Pat McAfee Show appearance (video link). Payton interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday. It will take a first-round pick and at least some Day 2 selections to pry Payton’s rights from New Orleans, but the way this search is going, hints of desperation may soon come out of Denver.

If the Broncos cannot lure Payton from FOX, they will either need to circle back to what appear to be their lower-tier candidates or add names to the list. As of Monday night, no new names are on the radar, Klis reaffirms, adding the Broncos will not send the Saints two first-round picks for Payton. That was a rumored Mickey Loomis ask weeks ago. For a team that entered the offseason preparing an “ultra-aggressive” search for an experienced HC to execute a turnaround, this figures to be a pivotal week for its new ownership contingent.

Broncos, Jim Harbaugh Met Over HC Vacancy; Team To Expand HC Search?

JANUARY 29, 9:40pm: Troy Renck of Denver7 is in line with the NFL Network pair in terms of the new names being added to Denver’s search with things having not gone according to plan so far. However, 9News’ Mike Klis reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos are actually still focused on their original list of candidates who are still available, and that “there is a plan” the organization is on course to follow. In any case, Denver will be a key team to watch as the HC story unfolds in the coming days.

JANUARY 29, 7:30am: Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com hear that, even after Harbaugh’s announcement that he would be remaining at Michigan, he continued to have conversations with Penner and Broncos GM George Paton. Penner did not make an offer to Harbaugh during last week’s summit, though it does not appear that the door to a Harbaugh-Denver partnership is closed quite yet. Indeed, Harbaugh has reportedly said that the Broncos’ job is the one that he would want if he elects to return to the pros.

Both NFL.com and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter) say that the Broncos could begin to expand their head coaching search given that some of their top choices in Payton, Harbaugh, Ryans, and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn are either out of the running entirely or no longer appear to be likely options. If that happens, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan could get a call, and the club has reportedly done research on Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.

In addition, NFL.com reports that candidates like Raheem Morris, David Shaw, Jim Caldwell, and Ejiro Evero could all be back in play, although Troy Renck of Denver7 suggests otherwise (Twitter link).

JANUARY 28: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was once again one of the names most commonly floated as a candidate in advance of this year’s NFL head coaching cycle. However, he ultimately remained committed to staying in Ann Arbor for at least the 2023 season, a decision which seemed to mark the end of his involvement in discussions surrounding the league’s remaining vacancies.

Despite that, Broncos CEO Greg Penner flew to Ann Arbor to meet in person with Harbaugh last week, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The latter interviewed with Denver virtually as part of their initial list of candidates to replace Nathaniel Hackett; his experience made him – along with Sean Payton – a serious contender for the position before he made it official he will once again stay at the college level.

As Schefter notes (and several others have since corroborated), the sit-down was primarily a matter of Penner doing his due diligence with Harbaugh. Denver’s HC search has been far more methodical this offseason than the one in 2022 which resulted in Hackett being hired for his first opportunity as a bench boss. His marked lack of success in that post has, in part, steered the organization towards an experienced coach. Harbaugh no longer being in the running could change that to an extent, especially if Payton ends up on another staff or remains as a Fox analyst for the 2023 season.

Harbaugh, 59, interviewed with the Vikings last year and was connected to the openings in Denver, Carolina and Indianapolis in 2023 prior to his announcement confirming he will still coach the Wolverines. In the wake of that decision, the Broncos have shifted their attention to the likes of defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans. The latter seems to be a top target for Penner and Co., though signs are now pointing to him being the frontrunner for the Houston vacancy.

That could put more pressure on the Broncos to land Payton, something which would require draft compensation being sent to the Saints and a sizeable contract being doled out for his services. Earlier this week, however, Payton’s second interview with Denver was put on hold, so uncertainty remains on all sides in that situation. In any case, Schefter adds that some feel this cycle was likely be the last in which Harbaugh was a serious candidate to re-join the NFL coaching ranks, though this in-person meeting suggests he could still draw interest in 2024.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

DeMeco Ryans Advancing In Broncos’ Search; Sean Payton Souring On Team’s Ownership?

7:35pm: Payton has provided information straight from the source, disputing that there is any truth to Maske’s report of his fears of a power struggle in Denver with a tweet this evening. Payton denies that any issue exists with Broncos’ ownership stating that they were fantastic and that they “had a great visit.”

Ryans is still gaining traction and Caldwell and Shaw are also strong contenders, while Quinn has stated his desire to remain in Dallas, but if Payton is to be taken at his word, he should still be considered one of the favorites for this position.

3:01pm: Vowing to be “ultra aggressive” in its first coaching search, the Broncos’ new ownership came into this process with a goal of adding an experienced head coach. Recent developments may be leading the team in a different direction.

DeMeco Ryans has emerged as a frontrunner in this race, Mike Klis of 9News reports. The second-year 49ers defensive coordinator met with the Broncos and Texans late last week, nixing interviews with the Cardinals and Colts, and has been steadily rising in this race. While the Broncos are still considering Sean Payton, Jim Caldwell and Dan Quinn, Ryans’ rise is obviously notable considering his accomplishments with the 49ers this season.

But the team has cooled on Payton, Denver7’s Troy Renck adds (via Twitter). Payton also looks to have lost some interest in this job. A sense of what might have changed emerged Thursday. Recently, the former Saints HC was believed to be high on the Broncos’ new ownership group. Now, it might be a negative for the FOX analyst. Payton fears a potential power struggle with one member of the contingent, Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets. Payton would want to work with Russell Wilson, who reached out to him recently, and is believed to be high on Denver’s defensive pieces. But an issue with ownership may well nix this potential partnership.

Rob Walton, CEO Greg Penner and co-owner Condoleezza Rice have been the ownership group’s key members during this search, joining GM George Paton. The latter is the only experienced football staffer involved here, given the ownership contingent arriving last summer, but Penner is set to make the final call on the team’s second HC hire in two years. It does not seem Rice, who joined the group after the Walton family, is Payton’s concern. The veteran HC has “loved” his interactions with the former Secretary of State, Maske adds (on Twitter).

The Broncos have not gone through second interviews yet, separating their search from this year’s other four. The Panthers just made their hire — Frank Reich — after interviewing he and Steve Wilks twice. If the Broncos want to hold a second interview with Ryans, they must wait until Jan. 30 because of the 49ers’ advancement to the NFC championship game.

David Shaw was believed to be a sleeper candidate for this position, but Klis omitted the longtime Stanford HC from the team’s mix Thursday. Shaw stepped down from his Cardinal post after three losing seasons in the past four years. Penner and Rice’s Stanford ties were thought to represent key connective tissue to Shaw, but Denver going with an NFL-seasoned coach makes sense given the recent failures of college hires.

Ryans, 38, has helmed the NFL’s top-ranked defense this season and has been viewed as likely to land one of this year’s jobs for a bit now. All five HC-needy teams reached out to the former linebacker. The Texans remain in the mix for their former defender, per Klis, but they certainly look to have competition from the Broncos.