When Denver’s season ends Sunday, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is likely to be a popular guy.
The first-year defensive coordinator, who turns 42 on Friday, is expected to draw interest from teams with head coaching openings in the NFL. Whether he lands a head job after just a year running a defense remains to be seen, but he’s quickly become a name to know in NFL coaching circles.
“Like I’ve said, and I really, truly mean this, I’m 100% invested into finishing this year off and then I’ll kind of take those things as they come,” Evero said Thursday. “I do want to be a head coach, but the timing is not in my control. I’ll just do what my job is right now, which is to be the coordinator.”
Evero said he’s had conversations recently with Broncos brass, but “not specifically about the job here.” General manager George Paton said after the team fired Nathaniel Hackett that they want to interview Evero about the head coaching job.
Wherever he interviews, experience will be part of the conversation. Is he ready?
“Yeah, as ready as you could be, but I don’t know if anybody’s ever ready to be a head coach in the NFL,” he said. “You just kind of figure it out. Same as being a DC, I don’t know if you’re ever ready until you do it.
“That’s just the honest truth.”
Certainly Evero’s first attempt at being a coordinator has gone well.
One other interesting connection: Evero spent four seasons on San Francisco’s staff when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach there from 2011-14.
Harbaugh just completed his eighth season as the head coach at Michigan and has been connected, albeit loosely, to NFL openings including the Broncos, Indianapolis and Carolina. He interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings job after last season but ultimately returned to UM and said his dalliances with a return to the pros were over.
Now, perhaps he’s taking another look.
“A lot of respect for him. I really enjoyed my time with him,” Evero said of Harbaugh. “He’s a player’s coach, he’s a coach’s coach. I think the thing about him is he’s going to impress change on people. Wherever he goes, he’s going to affect change. I don’t know if everyone will always like it, but that’s his personality.
“I just think he’s a heck of a coach. I really enjoyed my time with him and he does a good job.”
Surtain wins team MVP. Second-year cornerback Pat Surtain II earned the Demaryius Thomas Most Valuable Player award from the Denver chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association on Thursday.
Surtain was named a Pro Bowl starter last month and has developed a reputation as one of the NFL’s finest cover men.
“Pat is an elite athlete and plays at an elite level,” interim head coach Jerry Rosburg said. “Frankly, not all elite athletes play at an elite level, but he does. We all think of football players as ferocious beasts and some of them are very much that, but Pat has such cool about him and plays at such a high speed that it almost looks easy. That’s probably the most difficult position on the field. …
“We all understand what a shutdown corner is and how important that is in a scheme and concept and in forming a football team, and he does it with great panache.”