Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So, now what?

As you've no doubt read below, heard on the airwaves or had transmitted directly to your brain via super-secret government technology, Mr. Shanahan is no longer the Head Coach, General Manager, Executive Vice-President, Grand Vizier, Potentate and Assistant Night Crew Chief of the Denver Broncos.

Other people will sing his praises and catalogue his failures. I'll focus, as an Anglerfish does upon its victim, on the present. Followed immediately by the future.

Who takes the power? Pat Bowlen has hired exactly two coaches in his tenure: Shanahan and Wade Phillips. We can't read into what he might do, because we simply don't have any past experience upon which to base a guess. Will he prefer a defense-minded head man? Someone to carry on the recent trend of offense first? Will he choose to hire a General Manager and a Head Coach separately, and invest them with individual spheres of influence? Or will he go for the big name and crown another king?

What about the scheme? We run a zone-blocking offense--what if the next guy wants 340 pound guards mashing it up in a power system? Jeremy Bates evidently turned down overtures from Lane Kiffin to join his staff at Tennessee. Did he know something? Or is he dialing Knoxville with sweaty palms at this second?

We can presume that the vast majority, if not the totality, of the current coaching staff is history. But what about the Goodmans in charge of personnel, and the supposed cap wizard from Atlanta, Brian Xanders? Bowlen just shelled out the cash to hire these guys. In Xanders' case, there was even a little hoopla. Are they all out the door already?

The Goodmans have to get a little benefit here--indeed, an early guess at GM would be the lawyerly younger version Pat already has in his employ--but if a Pioli-sized name gets into the personnel mix, the whole family is history.

And Cowher? If he's coaching, if he's into it, if has Marty Schottenheimer picking the players (a thought that doesn't scare me quite as much as it ought), he could, in my mind, be persuaded to come to Denver. But I can't say I think that he should, for a variety of reasons, which I'll enumerate numerically forthwith:

1. He's too obvious. A defense/special teams-minded guy, a blue collar guy, a large-chinned guy who would instantly make the great unwashed of Bronco Universe swoon with pride and expectation--no. Something is wrong there.

2. He's overrated. His record (149-90) doesn't exactly crush Shanahan's (136-86). He went to two Super Bowls in 15 years and lost one. He had a stretch (1998-2000) that was as bad or worse than anything Tan Mike experienced.

So what's my suggestion, all three of you call out electronically. I don't really have one. I'm too stunned, still. Much depends on how the front office is structured, whether they go back to a traditional GM alignment, etc. My preference would be to wed a firebreathing young D coordinator to a badass talent evaluator ala Pioli, or even Floyd Reese. But really, all any of us can do right now is wait, see, and hope to fucking Christ that Wade Phillips' name doesn't get mentioned.


Dylan said...

Isn't Wade Phillips still employed by the mighty Cowboys of Dallas?

Hercules Rockefeller said...

You forgot the plenipotentiary title.

Dylan said...

Here's some what....
The Rat straight up for Herm.
AFC Westron coach switcheroo.
Arrowhead Shanihannigans.
Fifth downs, cold locker rooms and Icy Hot in the jock straps.
I can't wait.

bankmeister said...

I'll tell you what: I've seen many a disturbing photo of Mr. Shanahan. This one, however, is legions above all in so many fashions.