DENVER (AP) _ The New Orleans Saints reportedly have permission to interview Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak for their vacant head coaching position.

The Denver Post, cited an unidentified NFL source, reported today that the Saints contacted the Broncos on Thursday and were granted permission to interview Kubiak.

Kubiak, 38, turned down an offer two weeks ago to become head coach of the New England Patriots. He also has turned down assistant head coaching jobs in Baltimore and Atlanta.

He briefly accepted the head coaching job at the University of Colorado last January, after Rick Neuheisel left for the University of Washington, but later backed out of the job that Gary Barnett eventually accepted.

Kubiak also interviewed for the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job in 1998.

None of those teams was able to land Kubiak, a former Broncos quarterback, who said he would prefer to live in either Denver or Houston. But the Saints might have a better chance because New Orleans is only a one-hour flight from Houston.

The Saints fired coach Mike Ditka last week after finishing the season 3-13.