Justin Outten

Broncos Hire Justin Outten As OC

The Broncos are set to hire Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten as their new offensive coordinator (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). He’s now set to guide the offense for the new regime and take over where Pat Shurmur left off. 

[RELATED: Broncos Hire Nathaniel Hackett As Head Coach]

The Broncos were also said to be considering Klint Kubiak for the OC job, but he’s likely to wind up as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota, so he figures to be a huge asset to new head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Outten has been with the Packers since 2019. The Packers were the first team to employ him as a position coach, so this move to OC in Denver marks a huge step up. Before that, he was an intern under Kyle Shanahan with the Falcons and a high school assistant coach.

Interestingly, the Broncos’ first OC target was Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich, but the Packers installed him as their own OC. After that, they eyed Green Bay wide receivers coach Jason Vrable, but Packers head coach Matt LaFleur blocked the request. Chargers tight ends coach Kevin Koger was also in the running for Denver, but it sounds like Outten has edged him out.

Even with Outten on board, Hackett is expected to call the plays for his West Coast offense.

Broncos To Interview Packers’ Justin Outten For OC; Klint Kubiak On Radar

Nathaniel Hackett‘s offensive coordinator search has hit multiple snags, with the Packers nixing meetings with multiple candidates. The new Broncos HC is still aiming to bring over a Green Bay assistant to be his right-hand man on offense in Denver.

Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten is expected to interview for the Broncos’ OC job, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Outten has been with the Packers since 2019. Although Outten was never a position coach prior to the Green Bay gig, he spent time under Kyle Shanahan with the Falcons as an intern in 2016. A high school assistant coach for eight years prior to trekking to Atlanta, Outten spent three seasons with the Falcons and emerged on the Broncos’ radar over the weekend.

The Broncos are also planning to interview Klint Kubiak, Klis adds, though they might not be targeting him for their OC job. The second-generation coach is being considered for another top staff position. This could mean a gig as quarterbacks coach, Kubiak’s role in Minnesota prior to rising to offensive coordinator in 2021. Klint Kubiak was with the Broncos as an offensive assistant from 2016-18, the first of those seasons coming during father Gary Kubiak‘s HC stint. The Panthers interviewed Klint Kubiak, 34, for their OC role last month.

The Packers promoted Hackett’s initial Broncos OC target, O-line coach Adam Stenavich, to replace him as OC. Matt LaFleur also nixed Hackett’s plans to interview Green Bay wide receivers coach Jason Vrable. This led the Broncos to Outten, who joins Chargers tight ends coach Kevin Koger as OC candidates. It is interesting this job could come down to two tight ends coaches with a combined four years of position-coaching experience. But Hackett is planning to bring the West Coast Offense back to Denver; Outten and Kubiak have recent experience in this system. Hackett is expected to call plays for the Broncos.

While the Broncos requested a defensive coordinator interview with Ravens D-line coach Anthony Weaver, Rams secondary coach Ejiro Evero — a longtime friend of Hackett’s — can probably be considered the favorite for that job.

Packers Promoting Stenavich To OC

With former-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett leaving to become the head coach of the Broncos and quarterbacks coach/passing-game coordinator Luke Getsy expected to join Matt Eberflus‘ new staff as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, the Packers needed to move quickly to start rebuilding their offensive staff. The first such move was reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport in a tweet this evening announcing that Green Bay will be promoting offensive line coach and running game coordinator Adam Stenavich to be the team’s new offensive coordinator.

Stenavich got his first NFL opportunity in 2017 as the 49ers assistant offensive line coach after some college coaching stints at Michigan, Northern Arizona, and San Jose State. After two seasons in San Francisco, Stenavich got hired in Green Bay at his most recent position before getting today’s promotion.

The Packers had previously denied the Broncos’ request to interview Stenavich and this most recent report confirms the suspicions that soon followed that denial. Stenavich will be shouldered with the burden of building a new offensive coaching staff. It is expected that, after being denied Stenavich, the Broncos will pursue Hackett’s former tight ends coach Justin Outten to become the offensive coordinator in Denver, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter).

In three seasons with Stenavich as the run game coordinator, the Packers have ranked 15th (2019), 8th (2020), and 18th (2021) in the NFL in total rushing yards. Combining the rushing offense’s inconsistency from year to year with questions in the air about quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ future, Stenavich could have a difficult task in front of him following a season where the Packers’ offense helped Green Bay to the NFC’s only first round bye.

Broncos Still Eyeing Packers Assistants, Request DC Interview With Anthony Weaver

The Broncos have gone through a few offensive coordinators since Gary Kubiak‘s departure, and their pursuit of landing Nathaniel Hackett‘s first OC has run into some interesting hiccups.

After the Packers denied the Broncos permission to speak with Adam Stenavich for their OC gig, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel adds the team also sought a meeting with Green Bay wide receivers coach Jason Vrable. That interview will not happen, either, per Silverstein, who indicates tight ends coach Justin Outten is on Denver’s radar. Vrable is believed to be under contract. QBs coach Luke Getsy — a Broncos HC interviewee and Bears OC target — is believed to be a coaching free agent, per Denver7’s Troy Renck (on Twitter).

Hackett appears intent on bringing a Packers assistant to Denver. While that makes sense ahead of Hackett’s effort to install his offense, it is interesting how far down the chain the new Broncos HC will go to fill his coordinator spot. Outside candidates would make sense at a point, and the Broncos are planning to interview Chargers tight ends coach Kevin Koger for the OC job. Koger, 32, spent the 2019 and ’20 seasons as a quality control staffer with the Packers but has only been a position coach for one season.

Additionally, the Broncos sent out a defensive coordinator interview request for Ravens D-line coach Anthony Weaver, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Weaver interviewed for the Baltimore DC job that went to Mike Macdonald, who is returning to the Ravens from Michigan. Weaver, 41, spent the 2020 season as the Texans’ DC. He also worked with Hackett in Buffalo, with the two each assistants on Doug Marrone‘s Bills staff in 2013.

NFC North Notes: Packers, Vikings, Bears

The Packers will not be hiring Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Green Bay was reportedly one of five teams with interest in Rizzi, who also holds the title of assistant head coach in Miami, but the two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement. Per Silverstein, Rizzi’s price tag is believed to be “high,” but he’s still expected to land with another club in the near future. The Dolphins would like to retain Rizzi (whom they interviewed for head coach), but they figure to install an all-new staff under presumptive head coach Brian Flores, so it’s unclear if there is still a fit in South Beach.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Like the Packers, the Vikings expressed interest in hiring Rizzi, but they’ve since gone in another direction. Minnesota has hired Rizzi’s assistant in Miami, Marwan Maalouf, as their new special teams coach, tweets Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio. Maalouf served as the Colts’ special teams coach in 2012 before joining Miami the following season. He’s replacing Mike Priefer, who left the Vikings to take the Browns’ ST job. Last year, the Vikings ranked 20th in Football Outsiders’ special teams metrics, while the Dolphins were one spot behind at No. 21.
  • Rick Dennison preferred to stay on as the Jets‘ offensive line coach under new head coach Adam Gase, but New York instead hired Frank Pollack to guide their front five. However, both the Vikings and Packers remain “strong possibilities” for Dennison, per Marvez (Twitter link). Dennison had been expected to immediately follow Gary Kubiak — who was recently hired as a Vikings’ offensive advisor — to Minnesota, but that union hasn’t yet happened. Green Bay, meanwhile, has already hired Adam Stenavich as its offensive line coach, so Dennison would come aboard in a different position.
  • Early reports suggested the Packers were interested in retaining incumbent tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, but Green Bay has instead hired Falcons quality control/assistant offensive line coach Justin Outten as their new TEs coach, tweets Silverstein. Angelichio was one of a few assistants that was expected to stick around under new Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur, but things must have changed over the past several weeks. Outten, for his part, joined Atlanta as an intern in 2016, and was coaching in the high school ranks as recently as 2015.
  • The Bears hired former Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino last week, and now Chicago has formally announced his title. Monachino will serve as a senior defensive assistant/outside linebackers coach under defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who previously employed Monachino in both Indianapolis and Baltimore.

Extra Points: Young, Falcons, Cowboys

Here’s the latest from around the league as teams continue to prepare their free agency plans and Combine itineraries. We’ll begin with a player who’s interested in another NFL comeback.

  • Vince Young‘s agent Leigh Steinberg hinted Saturday that the quarterback was interested in a return to football, but Young will have to work his way through another league — and another country — before reaching the NFL again. Steinberg announced on Twitter today that he’s begun negotiations with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. Given that Young hasn’t thrown an NFL pass since 2011, he faces a long road back to the league, but the CFL could be the first step in that (admittedly long) journey.
  • The Falcons announced that they’ve hired a swath of new coaches, including Kyle Flood (assistant offensive line), Dave Brock (offensive assistant), Justin Outten (offensive assistant), Charlie Weis Jr. (offensive assistant), and Charlie Jackson (defensive assistant). Flood, a longtime collegiate staffer, was fired as Rutgers’ head coach amid controversy in 2015.
  • Jerome Henderson will return as the Falcons‘ defensive passing game coordinator after missing out on the 49ers’ defensive coordinator position, as Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (Twitter links) Henderson has re-signed with Atlanta. Henderson, who originally joined the Falcons prior to the 2016 campaign, was in consideration to serve as San Francisco’s co-defensive coordinator with Robert Saleh, but Saleh alone landed the job. (Editor’s note: PFR originally relayed Marvez’s report indicating Henderson had resigned from the Falcons before the scribe’s source realized he had forgotten a hyphen. We have removed the original post in order to eliminate any confusion.)
  • Would the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman with their No. 28 overall pick sound crazy given their line’s status as arguably the NFL’s best? However, right tackle Doug Free is entering a contract year, and Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes the team could consider Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk with its top pick in a developmental scenario. Archer expects Free to return for the 2017 season. If nothing else, cutting Free — and saving $5MM — would create a hole not easily filled in a weaker tackle market. But the 33-year-old blocker might be entering his final season in Dallas. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft (Insider link) has Ramczyk going to the Seahawks at No. 26 and the Cowboys taking Florida cornerback Teez Tabor.
  • The Bears have infiltrated a Las Vegas sports book’s top picks for Tony Romo‘s landing spot. Sportsbook.ag’s R.J. Bell (via the Dallas Morning News) projects the Bears as Romo’s fourth-most likely 2017 employer — behind the Texans, Broncos and Cowboys. Houston’s emerged as the favorite despite the organization’s known stance being to avoid getting involved for Romo. Interestingly, the Chiefs are down at No. 5 after being viewed as a primary destination. ESPN.com also projected a Bears/Romo partnership as being more likely than many believe.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.