January 06, 2004

Since the retirement of John Elway, Denver Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan "has wasted the past five years trashing what once was a Hall of Fame reputation," according to Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla, who has counted the days since the team won a playoff game (1,800).

posted by rcade to football at 11:06 AM - 4 comments

Kiszla is probably right, if it were any other coach, Shanahan would've probably been booted a while ago, or at least you'd hear more calls for his head. But that's not a situation unique to Shanahan. Teams often hold on to a coach that has led them to past glories (hello Joe Paterno...). Besides, Kiszla lost me from that headline. It is giving me an ulcer.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:31 AM on January 06, 2004

Not the best-written sports column ever though I can agree with the sentiment. Made me think of Bill Cowher and his ability to keep a job through thick and thin. But what was Kiszla thinking of with the phrase "Like presidents in office and milk in the refrigerator, NFL coaches who sit too long in one place grow stale"? Presidents???

posted by billsaysthis at 01:17 PM on January 06, 2004

Sports Illustrated did a Head2Head debate between Peter King and Don Banks in November where they discussed whether Shanahan deserved his "mastermind" reputation. Both were somewhat wishy-washy, but readers who wrote in really let Shanny have it.
Also, here's a very good (IMO) December column by Joe Posnanski about the perils of the "genius" label. Pos speculates Shanahan started to believe the hype about himself -- a plausible scenario, in my view.
My take? Kiszla's right. It's pretty easy to be a genius with a Hall of Fame QB and an MVP running back. Not as easy with Jake Plummer.

posted by jeffmshaw at 04:46 PM on January 06, 2004

I remember reading a statistic that Shanahan's record as a head coach without John Elway was well under .500... certainly not terribly surprising. Anyone who thinks Jake Plummer is a saviour should seriously have their head examined.

posted by sashae at 06:04 PM on January 07, 2004

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