A late-season leak to ESPN in 2013 made his plans clear for 2014. A late-season appearance on ESPN in 2014 is showing Mike Shanahan’s hand for 2015.
In a sit-down with Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman, the former Raiders, Broncos, and Washington coach didn’t rule out returning to the sidelines next season. But Shanahan, 62, made it clear that he’s not interested in taking on a fixer-upper; he wants to coach a team that’s in position to win right away.
“Well, one thing that I want to do is win,” Shanahan said in response to the question of whether he wants to coach. “So it’s not just coaching but going to the right organization that will make a strong commitment. There’s only one team that’s happy at the end of the year and that’s the team that wins the Super Bowl.”
Earlier in the interview, Shanahan talked about Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, making it clear that the man who drafted Cutler nearly nine years ago still views Cutler as a franchise quarterback. Which continues to make Shanahan the best choice to coach the franchise that currently employs Cutler.
Benching Cutler strongly suggests that the Bears would like to trade him. If Shanahan is interested in the job, and if the job is interested in Shanahan, he’d be one of the few coaches who could be trusted completely when he says during the interview, “No, my first order of business wouldn’t be to run Jay Cutler out of town.”
Other jobs that possibly would interest Shanahan include the Falcons and 49ers. Atlanta has a franchise quarterback still in his prime, and Shanahan previously worked as an offensive coordinator in San Francisco, helping the team to its fifth Super Bowl win, 20 years ago.
The question becomes whether any teams will be interested in Shanahan. Sunday’s appearance on ESPN surely was aimed at getting his name in the mix as the coaching carousel starts to spin.