Updated: 1/10/11 6:36 a.m.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Denver Broncos heard from their first two coaching candidates Sunday, New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and Eric Studesville, who is trying to convince his bosses they should remove the “interim” tag and make him their next coach.
Fewell served as Buffalo’s interim head coach in 2009 and coached defensive backs in Jacksonville, St. Louis and Chicago before becoming the Bills’ defensive coordinator in 2006. He joined the Giants last season.
“Together everyone accomplishes more, I truly believe that,” Fewell said in explaining how he would fit right in with the Broncos’ new front office where the power is shared after first Mike Shanahan and then Josh McDaniels were basically football czars with final say on personnel matters.
Fewell has also interviewed with the Carolina Panthers and will talk with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday.
Hired as Denver’s executive vice president of football operations Tuesday, Hall of Famer John Elway is leading the coaching search. Also sitting in on the interviews are team president Joe Ellis and empowered general manager Brian Xanders. Owner Pat Bowlen will have a say in who is hired.
Studesville, who was promoted from running backs coach to interim head coach following Josh McDaniels’ firing Dec. 6, interviewed Sunday afternoon.
“My philosophy is going to be essentially the same, that I stated that first day, that I hope the players heard the four weeks that I was interim head coach, is that there’s a high expectation here, an expectation of excellence and one of effort. And those won’t be compromised,” Studesville told The Associated Press last week.
He said he was eager to lay out the changes he envisioned on both sides of the ball.
“I was thrust into this and it was more reactionary, just trying to get done what we needed to get done to prepare our team for football games,” Studesville said. “But this plan is more what I see going forward. … What I want to present to them now and what my vision is of changing some things that haven’t gone well.”
The Broncos, who went 1-3 under Studesville, also are expected to interview former Panthers coach John Fox on Monday, followed by offensive coordinators Dirk Koetter of Jacksonville and Rick Dennison of Houston later in the week.
Fox spent nine years with the Panthers, who didn’t renew his contract this month following an NFL-worst 2-14 season.
The Broncos also are interested in Gregg Williams, long considered one of the top defensive coordinators in the league but whose New Orleans Saints allowed 41 points in a loss at Seattle on Saturday. And Elway said he was considering calling former Giants coach Jim Fassel, who tutored Elway at Stanford and in Denver during his playing career.
Elway has said the next coach should be willing to work with raw rookie quarterback Tim Tebow.
Elway took to his Twitter account Saturday to deny speculation he would trade Tebow. The fuss started when Peter King strongly implied on NBC that Elway might trade Tebow to the team that hired McDaniels as offensive coordinator.
Elway has said on several occasions since rejoining the Broncos that Tebow is a good football player but has to become a good quarterback. He’s also said Tebow’s famous work ethic will help him make the transition and that the next Broncos coach should be as big a believer in Tebow’s promise as he is.
“Any speculation that the Denver Broncos are considering moving Tim is completely false,” Elway tweeted Saturday.
The Broncos are coming off their worst season in franchise history, a 4-12 debacle that included issues on and off the field. McDaniels was dismissed after losing 17 of his last 22 games and alienating the team’s fan base with his aloofness, personnel miscalculations and the Spygate II videotape violation that cast the Broncos as cheaters.
The Broncos own just six picks in the April draft as they embark on a massive makeover, but that includes the second overall selection and three of the top 50 selections, which they could package in trades to get more draft picks to refurbish their talent-depleted roster.
Xanders has said the team will focus on fixing a defense that ranked last in the league and will rebuild primarily through the draft. During McDaniels’ tenure, Denver was active in free agency.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.