Here are 9 nominees like Jeff Saturday for the Denver Broncos

Greg Benner doesn’t look as weird as Jim Irsay. But the door to unqualified candidates is now wide open.

Englewood, Colorado. The appointment of Jeff Saturday as head coach for the Indianapolis Colts is pretty absurd, and you think owner Jim Irsai traded his Pink Floyd guitar for another Hollywood scenario where the ridiculously funny underdog becomes the miracle. The hero of the end of the movie.

And because everyone loves fantasy, we’re all going to hang out on Saturday when the Ponies face Josh McDaniels and the Las Vegas Raiders. There’s one thing that Hollywood and Disney discovered years ago: Every good story needs a bad one.

I can’t see new owner Greg Benner, steeped in sound Walmart business principles, exposing the Broncos Country Company to such an imaginary hiring. But for pure entertainment, let’s imagine Nathaniel Hackett flying with wings and a magic wand, tapping on the top of his bald head and transforming himself into…who?

Who among the former Broncos switched to a second career in sports media — as he did on Saturday — and could suddenly become head coach, say, next week against Josh McDaniels and Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High?

Here are the 9 nominees that featured Jeff Saturday as the Denver Broncos head coach:

1. Peyton Manning

The most reasonable of these illogical candidates. Manning has long been seen as having the brightest footballing mind during his 18-year arm-waving career. The problem is that Manning is very popular. Now more than ever. He seems to be the best at everything he does – including watching a game as a joint fan during Manning Cast Monday Night Football shows. The surest way for Manning to reduce his likelihood is to become an NFL head coach.

2. Dave Logan

On second thought, this makes the most sense for former players turned media for a head coach. Logan is in his 33rd season as a game day radio announcer for the Broncos who has led four different high schools to 10 state championships. Often referred to as the best coach in Colorado, there is no offense to those who lead programs at CU, CSU, or the Broncos.

3. Alfred “Big All” Williams

At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds (playing weight), Williams would be respected only by his presence. A well-known sports radio talk show host, Williams is known for his big laugh and party persona, but when he gets serious he can break a game and team up with the best of them all. He may have to turn down the opportunity, though, as he may be the only local media person who will have to take a pay cut to become an interim NFL coach.

4. Mark Schliereth

He may not qualify to be the head coach of the NFL tomorrow – a requirement for this list – but no one has an impressively unique resume. Alaskan high school heavyweight wrestling champion, nose tackle and center at the University of Idaho, Super Bowl champion, right-hand guard for six years as part of the second wave of the Washington Pigs, two-time Super Bowl champion. Left for six years in Denver, “stinking” switched from a policy of not using the media as a player to building a small empire in his post-game days.

He’s a Fox NFL commentator on Sundays and co-host on Denver’s The Fan Radio, where he often brushes off on the nuances of the Broncos’ game.

He is also a chili distributor, husband Lisa, and father of three children – actress Alexandria, model Avi, and former league pitcher Daniel. The NFL chief’s training hours will fit into his schedule.

5. Shannon Sharp

Quick thinking—a game-day essential for all NFL coaches—won’t be an issue for the quick-witted Sharpe. NFL Films will have to raise their voice in every game. Referees will find it difficult to maintain a straight face. Sharpe is also the introspective type with a unique feel and knowledge of the game – and make up who plays it. If off-campus sports analyst hiring becomes a trend, Sharp will command respect.

6. Orlando Franklin

Did you hear the former right tackle and the left goalkeeper talking about football on the radio? He knows his stuff. Deep diving things. Plus Big O had a practice run with the San Francisco 49ers last year – which makes him more experienced than Jeff Saturday.

7. Ryan Harris

The previous offensive tackle has always carried itself in a smooth and likable fashion. A good combination of a great presence with a friendly personality. And did you see his progress as an analyst in the NFL? He is now a color commentator on 9NEWS’ Notre Dame and Broncos games and on Sunday nights provided insight as a color commentator for Chiefs-Titans on Westwood One Radio.

None of this makes head coach Harris material — making him an imminent qualification as judged by Jim Irsay.

8. Tyler Baulbus

Raised in Denver, he played high school ball at Cherry Creek, college football at the University of Colorado, and professional football for the Broncos. He has stayed in the area to raise his family and work as the host of a sports radio show with various stations. The NFL coach would be the next logical step, regarding Irsai.

9. Brandon Stokely

His father was a coach. Nelson Stockley was Clemson’s offensive coordinator and head coach for Southwest Louisiana (now Louisiana Lafayette). Remember when Stokley spotted this miracle deflection in Cincinnati at the 2009 Broncos season opener, then ran parallel to the finish zone along the 2-yard line to kill a few seconds before slipping into the finish zone? Only a coach kid thinks of these things.

Given their history together – both as future quarterbacks in the NFL and friendship after football – perhaps it would be best for Stockley to serve as offensive coordinator on Peyton Manning’s coaching staff.

Others: Brian Grace, Chad Brown, Steve Atwater, DMac, Scott Hastings.

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