Coaching continuity key for Broncos

The Denver Broncos added three more years to head coach Mike Shanahan's contract, meaning Shanahan will be Denver's coach through 2011. At least.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has said Shanahan can be the Broncos' head coach as long as he wants the job. Shanahan is the second longest tenured coach in the NFL, behind Tennessee's Jeff Fisher. Shanahan, who is 54, has been the Broncos' coach since 1995.

"He's young, by most people's standards, including mine," Bowlen said. "He's enthusiastic about doing his job. I think he's doing a great job.

"Hopefully, we'll be talking again in two or three or four years and extend it again."

Shanahan won two Super Bowls in his first four seasons as Denver's head coach. He has won only one playoff game since then, a divisional playoff game against New England two seasons ago. The Broncos lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game the following week.

Bowlen has always stood by Shanahan, even when others criticized his recent lack of postseason success.

"I think Mike's the top coach in the NFL and I am happy to have him," Bowlen said.

Bowlen likes having continuity at the head coaching position. The Broncos haven't undergone the turmoil of installing a new system with a new head coach, which might be a reason they haven't had many poor years since Shanahan took over. Shanahan's regular season record is 123-69, which is the best in the NFL in that span.

"I think the organization and players benefit from having a consistent guy at the helm who is, in all honesty, really good at his job," fullback Kyle Johnson said.



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