In Denver, Elway's in charge

John Elway (AP/Ed Andrieski)

Former Broncos great John Elway officially took charge of the team's football operations and said he wants to hire Jim Harbaugh as his head coach. But he also plans to interview Mike Mularkey and Perry Fewell.

No sooner had John Elway been officially named the Denver Broncos' executive vice president of football operations – an authoritative title with a lot of power – than he made it clear what his first job is.

He wants to hire a coach. And he wants Jim Harbaugh.

Of course. Everyone wants Harbaugh, the Stanford head coach and college coach du jour.

In his introductory press conference Wednesday, Elway – who has been put in charge of all things football in the organization – said he has already reached out to Harbaugh to gauge his interest and hopes to bring him to Denver for an interview.

Well, get in line. Harbaugh met with San Francisco 49ers president Jed York and new GM Trent Baalke on Wednesday and is also reportedly on the Miami Dolphins' wish list. He turned down a $5.2-million-a-year offer from the University of Michigan, according to ESPN's John Clayton, so we can assume any interested NFL team would have to be willing to fork over at least $5.5 per.

The Broncos were already rumored to be interested in Harbaugh, but now that Elway's in charge, look for them to ratchet up their pursuit. Elway played at Stanford and was a sideline observer at the Cardinal's Orange Bowl victory this week. He no doubt whispered sweet things in Harbaugh's ear whenever he got the chance.

Elway said he won't try to talk Harbaugh out of staying at Stanford, but if he's ready to jump to the NFL, the Broncos are interested.

Elway is also moving forward on other fronts. The Denver Post reports that Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey will be interviewed on Friday, and the team has received permission to speak with New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

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