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Today's top pick comes from JJ2391
It is quite easy to lose site of the fact that Mike Shanahan is among the elite coaches in modern NFL history. In the age of free agency, Shanahan has put up numbers that support the argument that he is as good as(if not better than) all of his coaching contemporaries.
Since taking the reigns in Denver in 1995, Shanahan is 114-65 in the regular season, and 8-5 in the playoffs. That's better than anyone else coaching right now. In his 11 seasons as head coach, the Broncos had one losing season, in 1999. The year Elway was gone. The year TD was injured, the year we introduced Brian Griese as the future of the club.
Shanahan has had 7 seasons with 10 or more wins, two 8-8 seasons a 9-7 campaign and just one losing season. The offense has produced 1,000-yard rushers in 8 of the last 9 years, with six different backs. Last year, Tatum Bell finished with 921 yards, just shy of giving us two 1000-yard backs in the same season, not acheived in the league since Mack/Byner in Cleveland.
The Shanahan offense has evolved over the years. When he coached the Raiders, he was thought of more as a quarterback-friendly coach who was always looking to pass first. But he quickly realized the benefits of ball-control, and has developed the best run-blocking system in the league, with a little help from Alex Gibbs over the years.
The other aspect of his success that nobody outside of Denver has ever acknowledged is his ability to win when so many faces around him have changed. Remember when Greg Robinson was our defensive coordinator? Two championships. When Robinson left, we tried Ray Rhodes...now Larry Coyer. And still the nucleus of the defense has remained solid.
Shanahan is very good at evaluating defensive talent. He has brought many veteran players to Denver who some thought were washed-up, and he proved they still had good football in them. Names like Neil Smith, Bill Romanowski.
Think of some of the best defenders we've had the last 11 years who were developed into very productive defenders under Shanahan:...Mobley, Reagor, Berry, Wilson, Hayward, Pryce, Traylor, Atwater, Braxton, Tanuvasa...it is quite impressive to see how much talent has come through our team.
Mike Shanahan has won two championships in 11 years. Everybody would have loved more, but he's not finished yet. We owe him some props for keeping the franchise competitive, and for not wilting in the harsh glare of the media spotlight in the sports-crazed mile-high city.
Coach...thanks for a lot of great football.
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Post of the Week 8/25/06
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