Mike Shanahan wants back in.
“Will work for food. That’s my motto,” Shanahan told CBS4 in Denver Friday. “I want to
coach again. I’m not sure what opportunities are going to be open next
year or the year after that. I’m just trying to stay on top of my game.”
Shanahan’s comments are the first he’s made publicly since just after his emotional farewell press conference from Denver. But it’s no secret that he plans to get back into coaching.
Speaking from the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe, Shanahan told NFL.com’s Steve Wyche he passed on chances to interview after the season.
“It’s just something that my gut didn’t feel right. I probably needed a little time to get away, especially with the way the situation wound up in Denver. I’m glad I did.”
Jake Plummer’s favorite coach isn’t taking a vacation from football, though. Like Jon Gruden, Shanahan is using his free time for film study.
“I probably spent more time studying football the last offseason than I
have the last 10 years. I watch a lot of film and do the same thing I
do during the season. I’ll see if there are any opportunities out there
at the end of the year that will work out for the club and myself.”
Despite his motto, Shanahan isn’t struggling to put food on the table. It’s believed he’s owed $20 million over the next three seasons.
His desire to return, presumably in 2010, is probably music to Denver owner Pat Bowlen’s ears. Bowlen won’t owe Shanahan the full amount remaining on his contract if he returns soon.
Bowlen also likely appreciates Shanny’s reticence to address the start of Josh McDaniels’ tenure in Denver. While he’s a “big Jay Cutler fan,” Shanahan appreciates that McDaniels has to “go with his gut feeling.”
Shanahan was quick to praise Chris Simms and Kyle Orton.
“Hopefully they can go out and get the job done for Denver.”
Shanahan won’t feel the same way in 2010, if he’s watching them from another sideline.
Until then, the spectre of unemployed championship coaches like Shanahan, Gruden, and Bill Cowher will hang over the league.
Every losing streak will spark a fresh round of speculation about what coach may swoop in next year to save the day.