Broncos’ Head Coach Search: Paton pushing for Dan Quinn in Denver? Hackett still in the mix?

The Denver Broncos' head coach search continues with Dan Quinn and Nathaniel Hackett potentially leading the pack.

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton and his search committee have been racking up frequent flyer miles to interview 10 potential head coach candidates. The two names that are currently in the mix? Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

Paton hasn’t been alone in this search. He’s leaned on a search committee that includes executive director of football operations Kelly Kleine, director of player personnel Darren Mougey, salary cap expert and top negotiator Rich Hurtado (a former Philadelphia Eagles executive and NFL sports agent), chief communications officer Patrick Smyth, and director of player development Ray Jackson.

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Will George Paton push for Dan Quinn as the next Denver Broncos head coach?

As the Broncos contemplate this pivotal decision, multiple sources predict that Paton is likely to advocate for the most proven commodity and consensus favorite for the job: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, a former Atlanta Falcons head coach.

Quinn is highly regarded around the NFL for his leadership, people skills, and defensive acumen. He remains the expected leader to become the replacement for Vic Fangio.

Should Quinn get the job, he’s expected to try to bring Cowboys secondary coach Al Harris, a former Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl cornerback, along as part of the coaching staff. Jaguars interim coach and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a former Seattle Seahawks colleague, is another candidate for a potential Quinn staff.

Quinn went 43-42 with the Falcons before being fired after five games two years ago. The Falcons made it to one Super Bowl. Nonetheless, they famously squandered a 28-3 lead as the New England Patriots and Tom Brady engineered an epic comeback.

Nathaniel Hackett to get a second interview in Denver

Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who doesn’t call the plays in Green Bay and has a strong relationship with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is also expected to get a second interview with the Broncos, sources confirmed.

For a quarterback-needy roster, Hackett’s potential presence in Denver could help them make a convincing recruiting pitch to Rodgers. The star QB is still contemplating his plans after Green Bay was defeated in an NFC Divisional Round playoff game by the San Francisco 49ers primarily due to special-teams gaffes.

If Hackett can bring Rodgers with him, especially since he stated he doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuild in Green Bay due to their complicated salary cap situation, that will likely play in his favor.

Will the Denver Broncos hire a head coach before Conference Championships?

It will be interesting to see if the Broncos move on Quinn (a New Jersey native who’s interviewing with the New York Giants) or Hackett this week rather than wait until after the Conference Championships this weekend to interview Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell or Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

During their initial round of interviews, the Broncos interviewed Bieniemy, Quinn, O’Connell, Hackett, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Aaron Wilson is the NFL Insider for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL.