Shanahan Out, Where Do We Go From Here?
One week ago, Dec. 30, 2008, a decision was made to change the Denver Broncos organization for the future, and Mike Shanahan was out as head coach.
It was something that some fans were clamoring for, while at the same time, many fans were blindsided by the decision. It was owner Pat Bowlen who proclaimed Shanahan to be "Head Coach for life" only a short time before, and now he has been deposed.
Out of this questions still remain, where does the team go from here? How does this affect the development of a young offense that ranked No. 2 in yards per game and No. 3 in passing?
Will the atrocious defense get a make-over, or will it stay the same? The problem is, there is no way to know yet how this will change the direction and structure of the team, all that can be done for now is to speculate the replacement and how they will implement their will onto the Denver Broncos.
The only certain thing is that the Denver Broncos are easily the premiere head coaching vacancy in the league right now. Because of this, it will only be a matter of time before Denver finds a new head coach to lead the team, and hopefully take them further into the season without a collapse of the magnitude that was seen this year. Of the list of interviews known, there are two stand out coaching prospects that I see and they are Steve Spagnuolo, and Josh McDaniels.
Spagnuolo is the current defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, and was interviewed on Saturday for the Broncos job. Spags made a name for himself after last season and was rewarded handsomely to stick around in New York for another season.
After the success enjoyed by the Giants for a second straight year, he is having many, if not all, of the teams looking for a head coach making a run at him. Spags is defensive minded, well respected, has a strong work ethic, and appears to have the tools to be a successful head coach in the league.
Josh McDaniels is the current offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots and was also interviewed this weekend by the Broncos. He was reported by Adam Schefter to be the front-runner of the search, but the Broncos are being fairly tight-lipped about the search.
He is a strong offensive mind who turned Matt Cassell from being a back-up to a solid quarterback for the Patriots, and is viewed by some to be a good fit for the young quarterback, Jay Cutler.
Also on the interview list are Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings, current offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys, and Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Morris' interview was moved up from Wednesday to Monday, as reported by Schefter, but it is unknown why.
As a fan, while either Spags of McDaniels would be a good fit, I would prefer to see Spagnuolo take over the team. He's a strong defensive mind who appears to have the common sense to not tinker with the already working offense that is in place.
He can fix the defensive woes of the team and give a breathe of fresh air into a team that has been needing something for the last two years now when it comes to defense.
As far as how the team will plan to draft and what free agency moves will be made, only time will tell, but the best way to get an indication will be to look at their coaching changes and who becomes fixed in the head coach position.
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