Extra, Extra, Mike Shanahan Is an Offensive Genius!

Cody BealsContributor IAugust 27, 2008

Just to get you up to date real quick on the man I am about to write about let me throw some facts at you.

Fact:  Mike Shanahan has the most wins by a coach in a three year span with 46.

Fact:  Became one of the few coaches ever, to win 100 games in his first 10 seasons.

Fact:  One of only six coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Okay, now that you know a little about Mike Shanahan, let me give you some more to think about. 

Mike Shanahan started his football career at East Leyden High School where he set the single game rushing record.  At Eastern Illinois University he played wishbone quarterback, he was small for that position and during that time he ruptured his kidney and nearly died. 

He immediately started coaching after graduation at the University of Northern Arizona as an assistant.  He then served as the assistant head coach at the Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma.  After Oklahoma he went back to his Alma mater Eastern Illinois and helped coach them to a Division II football championship.  Before coming to the NFL to coach, Shanahan also helped the University of Florida and the University of Minnesota become offensive powerhouses. 

In 1992, Mike Shanahan was hired as the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers for then head coach George Seifert.  He led them to have one of the best offenses to date in 1994 with stars Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Brent Jones, John Taylor and Ricky Watters; also winning the Super Bowl that year.  Shanahan has since been hailed as an, "offensive genius" by many experts and fans alike.

His coaching and his offensive prowess earned him a spot as the coach for the Denver Broncos in 1995.  Just two years after he joined Denver, he one his first super bowl with hall of fame quarterback and arguably the best quarterback in history (given the circumstances) John Elway.  The Broncos beat a heavily favored Green Bay Packer squad, led by sure hall of famer Brett Favre.  Respectively you could also make a case for Brett Favre as the greatest of all time. 

Then, in 1998 fresh off of Shanahan's first Super Bowl victory, the Denver Broncos, still led by John Elway, won another Super Bowl.  This time against the Atlanta Falcons, led by running back Jamal Anderson and quarterback, Chris Chandler.  The Falcons were heavy underdogs going in and played like it too.

One of Mike Shanahan's tendencies is too coach unknown running backs into 1,000+ yard rushers.  Some examples of this are Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Rueben Droughns and Mike Anderson.  These running backs not only were unknown but were drafted in the later rounds of their respective drafts and did all of their running behind undersized, yet powerful offensive linemen. 

Some experts and Bronco fans around the globe criticized Shanahan for not winning a playoff game since the Broncos last Super Bowl victory, with Elways retirement and Davis' career ending injuries.  It all ended on January 14, 2006 when they defeated perennial power and two-time defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.  Led by head coach Bill Belicheck and quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots had won the Super Bowl in 2001 and 2003, and were slated to win even more with all their talent. 

Since Mike Shanahan took over the head coaching job in Denver, the Broncos have not had a losing season until last season when they went 7-9.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Broncos were glad they picked him as a head coach and there is no doubt that Mike Shanahan's legacy will live on forever in the hearts of Bronco fans and football fans alike.