It’s the end of an era!
In reality though, that era ended when John Elway hung up his shoulder pads and took up golf. With the announcement of Mike Shanahan’s release by the Denver Broncos today, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and move on from the fantasy that we can perhaps repeat the feat of the Elway era and make it back to the Super Bowl under Shanahan.
We have added to that ignominious collection by being the first team in NFL history to have a three-game lead heading toward the playoffs, with three games left to play, and yet miss the playoffs. Even worse, we did it with a most embarrassing 52–21 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Without a doubt, the Broncos need a vision infusion of some sort if they are to even begin to contend in the AFC West again. They have lost five out of the last six games to the San Diego Chargers (the one win was suspect anyway) and consequently have very little hope of winning the division as long as they remain so uncompetitive.
If defense wins championships, then we are currently destined for the scrap heap. Mike Shanahan was a great game manager back when they won two Super Bowls back to back, but he coached John Elway’s team. Elway more than made up for Shanahan’s weaknesses.
This team has no identity, and Shanahan will never be accused of being a motivational kind of guy. Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and other dynamic young players need a coach that they can relate to. They need a guy who lives in, and understands their world, as opposed to a ‘boom-box’ coach in an ‘ipod’ era.
In my opinion, the only thing that would be even better than the release of Shanahan would be to convince Bill Cowher to accept the position he vacated.
We need a revamped offensive scheme that is a lot less predictable than it has been. With the talent we have on offense, we shouldn’t be losing meaningful home games to teams like the Buffalo Bills, who, the next week turn around and lose at home to the Patriots without scoring a single point.
We need a completely overhauled defense that re-learns the fundamentals of tackling, stopping the run, and rushing the passer. Bill Cowher has a proven reputation for building solid defenses and running bruising defensive schemes, and he’s obviously available and interested in returning to the ranks of coaching.
It would be a tragedy not to take advantage of the availability of a coach like Cowher, whose last football game was winning a Super Bowl. So, thanks for the memories Mike, but it really is time for the Broncos to go in a different direction, especially since we’d like to win another championship...Sometime before Cutler retires!