Schlereth: The reason why Mike Shanahan isn’t an option for the Broncos

Jan 5, 2023, 1:50 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

As the Broncos get set to embark on their search for their next head coach, a process that will get underway in earnest next week after the 2022 season is officially in the rearview mirror, a lot of names are starting to emerge as potential candidates to replace Nathaniel Hackett. A lot of them are the usual suspects, coaches who will be on the list for every team with a vacancy this offseason.

One name that keeps coming up in Denver, however, is Mike Shanahan. And for good reason.

From 1995-2008, Shanahan was the head coach of the Broncos. He amassed a regular-season record of 138-86, led the team to the playoffs seven times and won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 and ’99. He’s a member of the team’s Ring of Fame and is widely considered the greatest coach in franchise history.

Thus, turning back the clock and reliving the glory years is appealing. It has been for awhile, as rumors have swirled for years now that John Elway almost coaxed Shanahan back to the sidelines in Denver following the 2017 season.

Now that the team once again has an opening, after three-straight coaching flops, the thought has resurfaced. Plenty of people would like to see Shanahan return.

But the idea is nothing more than a pipe dream. This week on “Schlereth and Evans,” one of Shanahan’s former players explained why. Mark Schlereth shared what the former head coach has told him about a return to the NFL.

“We had talked when he got done coaching in Washington about coaching opportunities,” Schlereth told his co-host, Mike Evans. “It’s got to be the right ownership group, the right situation with the right quarterback, so you have a chance to win.”

That makes it sound like Denver, with the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group in place and Russell Wilson at quarterback, might make sense. But there’s one big hangup: He doesn’t want to compete against his son, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

“When Kyle became a head coach, I was with Mike and I asked him, ‘Would you still consider going back?'” Schlereth added. “He said, ‘Now that Kyle is coaching, it’s about supporting Kyle, being a mentor and being a part of what Kyle is doing.’ He wouldn’t go back to coaching as long as Kyle is a head coach in the NFL.”

This season, the next generation is having a great season. San Francisco is 12-4, riding a nine-game winning that has them one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Kyle is following in Mike’s footsteps, having success in the NFL.

For now, that seems to be enough. One Shanahan in the league is plenty, as the father lets the son have his time to shine.

As a result, there’s one name that probably should be removed from the minds of Broncos Country. Mike Shanahan isn’t coming back to coaching any time soon.



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Schlereth: The reason why Mike Shanahan isn’t an option for the Broncos