I’m not saying I necessarily disagree with the move, but … geez … I sure never expected this. I mean … wow. I’m sort of at a loss of how to react. I’m shocked, really.
Were there times I was frustrated with Shanahan’s coaching? Absolutely. Jay Cutler has a howitzer for a throwing arm, for example, yet I’d wager the Broncos ran more wide receiver screens than any other offense in the NFL, which seems quite the wrong thing to do as a coach. On the other side of the ball, the Broncos defense was offensive for the eleventy-fifth year in a row. Indeed, it was the worst in my memory. So, sure, there were coaching problems.
But I still never imagined that Pat Bowlen would fire Coach Shanahan. Despite his recent problems, after all, he still had a darn good record as a head football coach. And who’s Bowlen going to hire that’s better? That’s the catch, obviously — especially when Shanahan will remain on the books for $20-some million. Can we afford a solid GM (Pioli? Parcells?) who’ll then help pick the coach? And will whoever is in charge keep Bobby Turner, the excellent running backs coach? And what effect will this have on Cutler’s development? And will the zone-blocking scheme stay?
My mind swims with the general astonishment of it all.