The kitchen is getting hot, and Mike Shanahan has always been the type of guy to jump back in it. Rumors still abound in regard to his status this season; the coaching legend has turned into self-taught hermit pouring over game footage and play charts in a secret lair that you can bet isn't that far from Dove Valley.
The Question with Shanahan hasn't been will he coach again, but where will he coach again. As the season begins to take form, we're starting to get a pretty good picture of what vacancies could be available, and it is becoming more clear as to where Shanahan could potentially end up.
I've pin-pointed six possibles and one of them could leave Broncos fans completely furious.
"Mangenius" has found a new home, and he has quickly made his team among the worst in the NFL. This picture is clearly from the better days in Eric's life, back when he didn't think he was going to become journeyman coach. Unless there is a major turn around in Cleveland I don't think he necessarily makes it past the year.
I could see Shanahan fitting in with Cleveland as a mentor to Brady Quinn. The Browns have some talent on offense but they just can't get it moving. Given Shanny's reputation as an offensive genius, he might be the man to follow up Mangini. Ultimately I think this possibility is a long shot.
The Rams are the team to beat when it comes to being bad. Steve Spagnuolo just got into town but this team is going absolutely nowhere on his watch. They've struggled to score any points whatsoever in their first few games, and again, the Shanahan offensive brilliance could come in handy for this team.
There is some question as to why Mike would even want to coach in St. Louis, but I would be quick to point out the team likely will have a very high draft pick and could easily snag Sam Bradford (or another quarterback of Shanahan's choice). That could be a draw for a man interested in rebuilding a once very proud franchise.
Again, I think the odds here are pretty bad.
Whoa! Let the hate mail come in on this speculation! Shanahan in San Diego could send shockwaves through the NFL and add some serious hate to an already strained rivalry.
Actually the rivalry may not be as strained anymore with Cutler out of Denver, but this would certainly spice things up again. If Turner fails to make the playoffs this year, I think he is out in San Diego.
Most people would argue that if he fails to make the playoffs it would be because of the defense, so bringing in the offensive guru makes little sense, but with Tomlinson figuring to be moving on soon, this is a team that might need a newfound offensive philosophy. If given the chance, I don't think Mike could pass up a team with this much talent. And there is the revenge factor (see Brett Favre).
I think this is more likely than people are going to give it credit for being. It is certainly the most intriguing of the possibilities.
Maybe it's just me but I've never liked Wade Phillips. He scares me, and not in an intimidating way, but more in an "I would never let that guy be alone around my kids" way.
I've got a feeling he is starting to scare Dallas fans too, and if the team fails to perform this season, the closest this guy will in a $1.2 billion stadium to a videoboard bigger than the Titanic is the nosebleeds. Which honestly is probably a pretty good view.
The rumors of Shanahan in Dallas have been around for a long time. I think there is a lot holding it back, like Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (who looks poised to take over the reigns), but it is still a distinct possible outcome.
In this picture you can clearly see Dick Jauron trying to bribe an official with tears and a $50 bill so that he can keep his job.
Dick won't be around next year. He might not be around later this year. And his team should have a pretty high pick in the draft for his successor to snag up a new Quarterback from a very talented QB draft class.
This is a great spot for Shanahan though I don't think T.O. sticks around to be a part of it. That shouldn't be much of an issue because I think Mike could work plenty of magic with Lee Evans and Co. Bills fans know their team has talent, but they also know their team is having a lot of trouble getting it together in a tough division. Throw in a Shanahan-Belichick matchup twice a year and people might actually watch some football while eating their wings.
But did I mention T.O. would have to leave? Shanny didn't want to put up with Marshall, so that means Terrell will have to "learn to share" somewhere else. I personally think this is a great spot for Mike.
Don't be sad, Jim. The world needs plenty of assistant coaches.
The head coaching slot in Washington will open up soon, which means that Dan Snyder is going to pay someone upwards of eleventy-billion dollars. That lucky someone is most likely going to be Mike Shanahan.
Hey, this team has talent that could easily stack up against anyone--but they are VERY poorly coached. Mike would probably fit in very well here, and it would bring about a wonderful, teary eyed reunion with Clinton Portis. Who Shanny could trade again. That would be kind of funny to watch.
This is undoubtedly Mike's most likely place to end up, but it isn't quite as intriguing as some of the other potentials. The guy never struck me as a D.C. type, but come next season we just might find out...