Grading the Week: Time for Broncos coaching search to reach conclusion

It’s now been a little over a month since the Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett, and sources inside the Grading the Week offices say we’ve officially entered the worst part of an NFL coaching search.

With Broncos management moving at a glacial pace — in part because its reported top target is still coaching his current team in the playoffs — we’ve reached the point where every morsel of anonymously sourced information (however dubious or trivial) is fought over like a roll of toilet paper, circa March 2020.

Broncos coaching search — Inc.

Yet, somehow, every report says essentially the same thing: The Broncos really like this guy, but …

Do the Broncos have to send two first-round draft picks to the Saints for the right to throw a massive check at former New Orleans head coach Sean Payton? Or is it just one? Does he like the Broncos’ owners? Or is he convinced one of them didn’t wash their hands after a bathroom break?

Is San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans considered “a” top candidate by Denver decision-makers? Or is he “the” top candidate?

And what about poor Jerry Rosburg? Was he let go or did the interim head coach’s contract simply lapse?

Yes, it’s now about semantics.

As much as we’ve giggled at the search spectacle playing out over Twitter, we’re ready to fast-forward to the morning when there are cameras lined up outside the Centennial Airport gates waiting to catch a glimpse of the new head coach’s private airplane.

Then we can get to the stuff that really matters: Like how the next Broncos head coach ordered his steak while ironing out contract details at Shanahan’s Steakhouse.

Mikaela Shiffrin — A+

What a difference a year makes.

Just 12 months ago, Shiffrin struggled to stay on the course at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Now she’s back to winning just about every race she enters (8 of her last 13, to be exact) en route to shattering fellow Coloradan Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record for World Cup wins (82) earlier this week.

It feels like only a matter of time before Shiffrin — now at 84 wins and still just 27 years old — takes down Ingemar Stenmark’s record (86) for any alpine skier.

The title of Colorado’s greatest female athlete swung Shiffrin’s way long ago. The more compelling debate now is whether or not she’s the state’s greatest athlete, period.

Hall of Fame voters — C

Does former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton deserve to be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Sure.

Are we prepared to launch into a 900-word screed lamenting the fact he’ll have to wait one more year for someone to chisel a moderately accurate depiction of his face on a plaque? No.

Once it was decided players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would be left out while others like Jeff Bagwell and David Ortiz were let in, the Grading the Week staff lost the ability to get worked up over such matters.

Helton will get his Hall call soon enough, and we’ll celebrate when that happens. But even with his inclusion, a massive void will remain in baseball’s greatest museum.

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