Posted Tue Dec 30th by Ian Henson
I started this column yesterday, to address things that hadn’t really been touched on too much yet (Broncos 2009 schedule, #12 overall draft pick, again, maybe mentioning free agency)- then BANG! Like a misplaced shot from a current Vice President, former Wyomingite, to the face- Mike Shanahan is gone.
All because he refused to fire Bob Slowik, that Bob Slowik, ask a Green Bay Packers fan what their last season was like under Slowick or even look-up a Cleveland Browns fan, see what they tell you about him. This isn’t something that we shouldn’t have expected, the loss of Slowick. What was it in Shanahan that had him refuse an order from Pat Bowlen?
Was Shanahan trying to be fired? Does he have his aim at another coaching position- elsewhere in the NFL? College Football? Mind you that source is the same source that had Shanahan approaching a coaching vacancy with the Michigan Wolverines last summer. Shanahan is quite the chess player though and it’ll be interesting if he brings Slowick with him to the next job.
Maybe it was Bowlen playing chess, calling on Slowick to be fired and then hollering, “Checkmate!” as Shanahan walked himself into the bayonet. Maybe Bowlen had an ulterior motive. Fans are certainly praying that he does in fact have a plan- to this writer it seems as though this may not have been as much a calculated move as two old men pissing on each other.
There’s a story that I like to tell that I stole from a movie. In one of the former countries that used to form the U.S.S.R. a man has stepped down, to his successor he leaves one piece of advice.
“I’ve left you two envelopes, when you get in a situation that there is no solution to, open the first one. When you get into a second situation that there is no way out of, open the second one,” and he shakes his successor’s hand and leaves the room.
Years pass and the successor is in a situation that he cannot see a way out of, he remembers the letter and opens it.
‘Blame everything on me,’ the letter says.
So he does.
Not soon after, he arrives in yet another situation that he cannot see his way out of. Desperate, he must open the second envelope.
‘Write two letters and seal them in envelopes,’ and the successor does as he must.
So who will it be, who has got to pick up the pieces? Do the Broncos get to keep young Jeremy Bates? Is, “The most dangerous team in the AFC,” throwing up a Hail Mary for the honorable Bill Cowher? Maybe Denver targets a General Manager first and throw their hat in the ring for Scott Pioli from the New England Patriots. Should the Broncos go back to the Florida Gators well? Gary Kubiak’s out, but what about Kyle Shanahan? No, now I’m just getting carried away. Should Denver target a hotshot offensive guy or a stop them at all costs defensive coordinator?
We’ll know soon, but I can tell you this that Bowlen has picked the last three Denver coaches and they’ve been to a total of three Super Bowls. The team will be fine, don’t get too carried away hoping for a candidate, because most likely the Broncos won’t get who you’re thinking that they’re going to get. They’ve got to keep playing chess.