ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – After 11 years absence, Mike Shanahan is back in the building ….
“I’ll be honest with you, it’s great to be back. I haven’t been here in 10 years,” Mike Shanahan said.
On July 20, Shanahan attended his first Broncos practice in over a decade. Over the weekend, Shanahan was back at team headquarters watching the Broncos and 49ers practice together.
“John has invited me back a number of times over the last couple years. I thought it was time to get back here and enjoy the years we’ve had here and be part of it again,” Shanahan said.
“Mike has always been a big part of this organization and always will be. It’s nice to have him come back out and know that this is home for him,” Elway said of his former Denver Broncos head coach.
During the joint practices, Shanahan also reunited with the Denver media and provided a look into what could have been. After Vance Joseph led the Broncos to a 5 and 11 record in his first season as a head coach, Elway was ready to cut ties with the rookie coach. The GM tried to bring back Shanahan for a second stint. However, dissension in the front office would prevent the deal from coming to fruition
“Close. I was close. One thing that has to happen is we all have to be on the same page. I had a great conversation with John, as everybody knows, and it didn’t work out and sometimes it works out for the right reasons,” Shanahan said.
Even though it might seem like Shanahan has been missing in action for the last half decade or so, he’s never been far.
“I think that the amount of people that have become head coaches that run this system, it kind of started with Bill Walsh back then when he was with the 49ers. But what they’ve really done is they’ve continued to advance the offense for the game today. I think Mike has been a big part of that,” Elway said.
Shanahan’s NFL influence was on full display this weekend, as his son coached against the team he once led through 14 seasons and two Super Bowl wins.
“That is why we are thrilled to have Rich Scangarello as our offensive coordinator,” John Elway said. “It’s a system that I played in, believe in and know that you can win with it. It’s much more advanced even now than when I played in it. That goes to show what an impact Mike has had on the game.”
Shanahan’s influence spreads far and wide across today’s NFL. As far as making a return to the sidelines, while he’ll probably always entertain offers, that might be all he’ll do with them.
“You always miss coaching, but it’s been five years. I made a decision a long time ago, right when I got fired, I said if I didn’t get the right job right away, when you had a chance to win a Super bowl, that I was probably going to do what I’m doing. Kind of being a dad, following your son, the organization and being a part of it,” Shanahan said.