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Payton fills out staff with Doyle, Strief. Ryan candidate for DC job

Doyle, Strief worked with Payton in New Orleans
Saints Football
Posted at 11:19 AM, Feb 15, 2023

DENVER — Familiarity and experience remain themes as Sean Payton assembles his first Broncos coaching staff.

The Broncos boss has landed Declan Doyle, pictured above, to coach tight ends and Zach Strief to take over offensive line duties. Both did not need to introduce themselves to Payton. They coached with Payton in New Orleans, something that cannot be dismissed. Payton has admitted that his style is not for everyone, so having coaches who understand his demands and expectations makes sense as the Super Bowl winner attempts to push the Broncos back onto the rails.

Could part of Payton's solution involve bringing someone out of broadcasting booth to join him? Payton interviewed Rex Ryan for Denver's vacant defensive coordinator's position, a source confirmed. Fox's Jay Glazer first reported the news. Ryan boasts a powerful resume as the former head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, but hasn't coached in the NFL since the end of the 2016 season.

Ryan, 60, has worked at ESPN for several years on its Sunday morning pregame show. He is known for his big personality and opinions. In the last few seasons, he has been a vocal critic of Baker Mayfield, specifically during his time with the Browns, and even Russell Wilson last season. Ryan is the son of Buddy Ryan, the architect of the Chicago Bears' famed 46 defense, and brother of Rob, a longtime NFL assistant.

In fact, Rob Ryan served as Payton's Saints defensive coordinator from 2013-2015, his defense's ranking seventh, 20th and 22nd in points allowed, respectively. Rex Ryan landed his job with the Jets because of his terrific defensive work with the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan was known for employing physical units with creativity, like dropping eight men in coverage.

Some in the industry believe Ryan is a strong candidate to land in Denver. However, Payton has interviewed several candidates, purposefully taking a deliberate approach. Along with Ryan, Sean Desai, a Seahawks assistant who learned for five years in Chicago with Vic Fangio, also talked with Payton. More interviews could be follow this week.

Ronald Curry is also considered a candidate for the offensive coordinator's position, though Payton will call plays. Strief played for Payton in New Orleans as a seventh-round draft pick and just finished his second season on the Saints coaching staff.

Last week, Payton interviewed multiple candidates for the special teams coordinator's position, including multiple NFC assistants.

Also, Denver7 has confirmed FootballScoop's report that Payton is bringing Logan Kilgore onto his staff. Kilgore spent last season as quarterback Arch Manning's offensive coordinator at Newman High School. He is set to join as a quality control coach with an emphasis on the passing game. Kilgore had joined Arkansas State as the tight ends coach after the high school season. Kilgore played professionally in the Canadian Football League.