Spagnuolo impressive, but Broncos favor McDaniels

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo comes with rave reviews. He greatly impressed the Broncos executives he had dinner with Saturday night in New Jersey, and it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see him wind up with the job.

But most league insiders believe Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the coach the Broncos are interviewing Sunday morning, is the leader for the Denver job.

For starters, McDaniels is at the stage in his career now that Dan Reeves was when the Broncos made him the youngest head coach back in 1981. Owner Pat Bowlen bought the team in 1984 and stayed with Reeves for nearly a decade.

When Bowlen later hired Shanahan in 1995 (after a two-year stint with defensive-minded Wade Phillips), the owner once again was drawn to the coach’s youth and offensive imagination.

And, at 32, McDaniels would bring Bowlen the same attributes his two primary coaching hires have. Plus, as the Patriots’ play-caller and offensive mastermind with defensive-minded head coach Bill Belichick, McDaniels got the most out of quarterback Matt Cassel. Just imagine what McDaniels could do with Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler.

Denver still will go through an exhaustive interview process. But league insiders believe McDaniels is the coach to beat.

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