Shanahan to return to coaching in 2010?

Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan recently indicated that he plans to coach again in the NFL, possibly even as soon as 2010.

“It’s just something that my gut didn’t feel right,” the former Denver Broncos coach said after participating in the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club. “I probably needed a little time to get away, especially with the way the situation wound up in Denver. I’m glad I did.”

The Broncos surprisingly fired Shanahan in December after the team failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Shanahan won two Super Bowls in 14 seasons as the Broncos’ coach and wielded significant power over most football decisions.

Shanahan was replaced by first-time head coach Josh McDaniels, who was the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator. The stability that the Broncos had with Shanahan has been turned upside down by the new regime. There have been numerous changes, the most notable being the trade of Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton and draft picks.

“I don’t think it’s my place to go into detail, but you’ve got to, like with Josh, he’s got to go with his gut feeling with what he thinks is best for the organization,” Shanahan said. “I’m a big Jay Cutler fan. I like Jay. He’s got the intangibles. He hasn’t gotten it done yet, but you’ve got to have a whole football team. It’s not just one position. Josh is probably biting at the bit to get started with Chris Simms and Kyle Orton. Hopefully they can go out and get the job done for Denver.”

Even though “Skeletor” was public enemy No. 1 for fantasy football owners, Shanahan has always been incredibly classy and he deserves another shot to coach. Taking the year off to reflect is probably a good thing, but there is going to be job openings next year – there always are in the NFL.

Too bad he wanted nothing to do with the Lions, because I could have seen him taking full control and turning that sinking franchise around. Even though he had his ups and downs as a GM, there’s no question Shanahan is an outstanding coach and would bring a lot to an organization. It’ll be interesting to see where he winds up.

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