Report: John Elway considered firing Vance Joseph, hiring Mike Shanahan

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The Broncos are out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year, and head coach Vance Joseph is on the hot seat. And now a very surprising name has been floated as a potential replacement: Mike Shanahan.

Shanahan, of course, won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, when Broncos General Manager John Elway was his quarterback. And Elway reportedly considered firing Joseph after last season, and hiring Shanahan to replace him.

Longtime Denver sports columnist Woody Paige reported that Elway and Shanahan met a year ago to discuss the possibility of Shanahan returning to the sideline. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that he heard the same.

Standing in the way was Broncos CEO Joe Ellis, who said if Elway was going to move on from Joseph, he needed to conduct a full coaching search, and not just hand the job to Shanahan. (Elway would have to interview a minority before hiring Shanahan to comply with the Rooney Rule.) Elway eventually came around to giving Joseph a second year in Denver.

But now that Joseph’s second year has ended out of the playoffs, the Broncos may be ready for a new head coach. Could Shanahan be the guy? It’s entirely possible. The 66-year-old Shanahan has said he would like to coach again, if he finds the right situation.

Elway is likely to begin conducting another coaching search in two weeks. Shanahan may be on his list of candidates.

51 responses to “Report: John Elway considered firing Vance Joseph, hiring Mike Shanahan

  1. Good move. Their healthy defense is good. Shanahan will install a winning offense. I’ve been after the Jets to hire Mike Shanahan since the minute they parted ways with Eric Mangini. He’s 66? now but still has some good years left.

  2. Mike comes into a cafe here in Illinois all the time. He owns farm ground here and his sister lives here. One of the most classiest and nicest person I’ve ever met. Totally humble, and will talk to you about everything and anything. Just a genuine guy and his knowledge for football is off the charts. Hope he gets another shot.

  3. There’s a reason Shanahan hasn’t coached the last few seasons. His play calling is the old school, run-first style that dominated in the 80’s and 90’s, which doesn’t work in today’s pass-happy, shootout oriented NFL. He would be a great RB consultant, just not an NFL head coach. Elway needs to focus on finding a franchise QB first because without one, the head coach doesn’t matter.

  4. Vicious cycle.

    Try the flavor of the week ‘hotshot’ and the odds are like drafting a 1st round QB.

    Then you go old school and get a re-tread. That seems to work even less.

    But at least Shanahan has a progressive son as a HC and HAS to know about evolving offenses.

    BUT, the elephant in the room will ALWAYS be the GM and the Scouting Director. Look at the Giants. Reese and Ross got Coughlin fired causing the hiring of McAdoo who was not ready but is a good OC. So the Giants go re-tread. But again, the elephant is the Gettleman (the GM).

  5. Some think Shanahan has been passed by with the way the NFL is now. I disagree. I think Shanahan can make Denver a force next year. That Lindsy kid is the kind of guy Shanahan will make a star. The defense is good as is. As for QB, Keenum could be a placeholder for a new guy and do OK. Other options would be Flacco and Tannehill (who Shanahan wanted over RG3) as their teams are likely going to move on (even though they shouldn’t. The division has some good offenses. Denver has a good enough defense that an average or better offense can still win those games. It is worth a shot and with the relationship between Elway and Shanahan it just might work.

  6. I don’t think Vance Joseph is a very good HC for Denver, but I personally think that if Elway were to bring back Mike Shanahan it would set the Broncos back as much as Son-of-Al’s bringing back Jon Gruden did for my Raiders.

    Sosince misery loves company as a AFCW rival fan all I can say is that I hope Elway goes through with it.

  7. “Dear Elway, we sure enjoyed whipping you in your own stadium Saturday night!
    Signed,
    Browns fans”

    You know times have changed when a Browns fan is talking trash

  8. u4iadman says:
    December 17, 2018 at 10:31 am
    Raiders fan and I love it. Old school. Art Shell, come on down.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Apples and bowling balls chief. Shanahan has atleast, you know, won back to back superbowls. Probably should have been 3 straight. People forget they were the best team in 96 as well. The Raiders have been irrelevant since the 70’s, but you can still think that the 2 organizations are somehow comparable

  9. I’m a Broncos fan, but honestly, Shanny should look at the team that came into Mile High and whipped up on the Broncos …. now THATs the right opportunity! The DAWGS will be barking for a long time with that team they’ve assembled.

  10. Shanahan’s last year in Washington was like George Costanza trying to get fired. That probably has more to do with the general dysfunction of the team, but I’d be a little anxious about giving him another shot.

  11. Dear Elway, we sure enjoyed whipping you in your own stadium Saturday night!

    Signed,
    Browns fans
    ________________________________
    Dear Bownie Fans, we sure enjoyed beating you the last 28 years straight PLUS the three AFC Conference games. Congrats again on your outstanding 0-31 run.

    Signed,
    Broncos fans

  12. dirtydawg44 says:
    December 17, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Dear Elway, we sure enjoyed whipping you in your own stadium Saturday night!

    Signed,
    Browns fans
    ———–
    The Browns’ finally won their Super Bowl.

  13. Why let this out now?? So Elway looks better?? Joe Ellis would not approve because then Elway and Shanahan would have run him off eventually……Why does everyone think Check down Kirk is all that anyway, he is taking a much better team that was near the SB last year to possibly not making the playoffs and getting a OC fired along the way……

  14. Joe Gibbs, Art Shell, Jon Gruden and Bud Grant. All made comebacks. Gibbs’ wasn’t bad; at least he made the playoffs. But none of the coaches ever repeated their past successes. (The jury is still out on Chuckie.)

    Of course, if you go WAY back, George Halas was pretty good at his comebacks.

    If Shanahan comes back, I feel like it’ll energize the team and the fanbase, but not enough to make a significant difference. Maybe a first round playoff exit or two before he retires again.

  15. Why hire a guy who hasn’t really done anything in about two decades…at least as far as winning goes. I’m tired of these teams hiring old retreads and expecting them to be a world-beater. Why not give the young guys a chance like the Eagles, Rams, Bills and others have done. How can it be any worse than hiring a retread whose accomplishments for about twenty years ago.

  16. sigbouncer says:
    December 17, 2018 at 10:12 am
    Mike Shanahan deserves another shot as a Head Coach. He’s an all-timer

    ———-

    No. No he doesn’t.

    Less of the Shanahans and more of the McVays, Reichs, and Pedersons.

    Tired of the retreads.

  17. Mike can still coach but he needs the right QB.

    If you listen to his former QB’s talk like Young, Elway they absolutely gush about how smart Shanny is about offense. But he is also very hard on the QB and demands a lot from them. RGME couldn’t handle that responsibility.

    The trend now is for coaches to take as much responsibility away from their young QB’s in order to ensure quick success. Shanny won’t do that so the right QB is imperative if he comes back.

  18. For a number of reasons it would be wise move to bring MS back. Let’s keep in mind MS wasn’t fired because of his coaching but because of this “GMing’,with that said Denver has a GM (like him or not) and MS would bring NFL experienced coaching and for a lack of a better phrase ‘an adult in charge’ to the coaching staff & team, in other words stability. This will give Denver time to dig themselves out of this deep hole that they’re buried in. MS ,more than likely, won’t be coaching for the next 10 years but if he can do 5 that will be enough time for Denver to re-establish itself as a contender in the AFC. Kub’s wants to coach again as an OC not a head coach and if MS could take the HC job Kub’s would be a good natural fit. Then there’s the other elephant in the room, Denver has no QB. If memory serves me well Joe Flacco thrived when Kub’s was the OC for the Ravens. If you recall they (the Ravens) didn’t want to let Kub’s go and now that Flacco is going to be out in Baltimore…well, there’s a fine little storm brewing here that could pull Denver from the muck & mire. But is Joe Ellis clever enough to do the right thing? Who knows? Keep in mind Ellis is the guy who brought Josh McDaniel to Denver and we all know how that worked out.So in the end if Denver doesn’t make the right moves at the end of this season we could be looking a decade of losing football and that will not go over very well in Bronco country…

  19. Elway is like why can’t you get us back to the Super Bowl with Case Keenum and this horrible offensive line Vance? I need answers. Anthony Lyn is like I’m glad I booked the flight to San Diego instead of Denver since he was rumored for both jobs. In the meantime, the Raiders approve of this move. Maybe they won’t have the only washed up coach in the division now.

  20. There’s a reason Shanahan was fired in the first place – he was Old School!
    He didn’t & won’t adapt to the evolution of what IS today’s NFL.
    That’s why “Old School” winning coaches like Cowher, Dungy, Johnson are in the
    broadcast booth – they know their not up to the task of being able to adapt to
    the speed of the today’s game and ESPECIALLY dealing with today’s divas!

  21. Has Vance Joseph done enough to deserve another year as Broncos HC, probably not. Is Mike Shanahan the answer, probably not. Nostalgia usually isn’t the answer. It hard to recreate what once was. If you fire Joseph, you open up the search and then hire the best HC available.

  22. shogunassasin30 says:
    December 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

    The Raiders have been irrelevant since the 70’s

    —————————————

    1980 Super Bowl Champion – Oakland Raiders
    1982 AFC Playoffs – Raiders
    1983 Super Bowl Champion – Raiders
    1984 AFC Playoffs – Raiders
    1985 AFC Playoffs – Raiders
    1990 AFC Championship – Raiders
    1991 AFC Playoffs – Raiders
    1993 AFC Playoffs – Raiders
    2000 AFC Championship – Raiders
    2001 AFC Playoffs – Raiders
    2002 Super Bowl – Raiders

  23. You B. Crazy says:
    December 17, 2018 at 10:26 am
    There’s a reason Shanahan hasn’t coached the last few seasons. His play calling is the old school, run-first style that dominated in the 80’s and 90’s, which doesn’t work in today’s pass-happy, shootout oriented NFL. He would be a great RB consultant, just not an NFL head coach. Elway needs to focus on finding a franchise QB first because without one, the head coach doesn’t matter.

    ————————-

    yes, that run first style being used by baltimore, seattle, the titans, the cowboys, the bears, and other potential playoff teams is nonexistent. eyes rolling

  24. Elway has put off firing Joseph because he knows that once he does that, it’s then his neck that’s on the line.

  25. Joseph is not even a decent head coach! Should have been fired last year! But please don’t go after Shanny! Elway should resign first! Go back to the dealership! Anybody can sell cars!

  26. Shanny and Kap deserve each other, but Denver deserves better than anything these two re-treads can possibly offer.

  27. whenwilliteverend says:
    December 17, 2018 at 11:09 am
    Why hire a guy who hasn’t really done anything in about two decades…at least as far as winning goes. I’m tired of these teams hiring old retreads and expecting them to be a world-beater. Why not give the young guys a chance like the Eagles, Rams, Bills and others have done. How can it be any worse than hiring a retread whose accomplishments for about twenty years ago.
    ———————————————————
    The Broncos did try a young new coach and got burned. They may go for a John Fox type guy to stabilize things before they get bored and want to risk a young guy again. Same as last time.

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