Broncos Legend Mike Shanahan Praised by HOFer After Special Recognition

Mike Shanahan

Getty Mike Shanahan as head coach of the Broncos.

Former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan has been named one of the 24 seniors, coaches, and contributors selected as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Shanahan was the head coach for three teams, the Raiders, Broncos, and Washington. During those 20 years, Shanahan ranks 15th all-time in wins with an overall record of 170-138.

While in Denver, Shanahan won back-to-back Super Bowls joining Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Jimmy Johnson, and Bill Belichick as the only six coaches to ever win back-to-back championships.

During his time in Denver, Shanahan had an overall record of 148-86 and won at least 10 games in seven of the 14 years he was there.

In 27 seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Shanahan appeared in the playoffs 14 times and made it to the conference championship nine times. In five Super Bowl appearances, Shanahan would close out his career with three Lombardi Trophies (one as an assistant).

Shanahan was inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame in 2021 as the team’s 34th member.

HOF Head Coach Endorsed Shanahan

Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher praised Shanahan back in 2020 when he said, “Mike Shanahan deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.” Cowher also added, “The two toughest coaches for me to prepare for were Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan.”

Of the four meetings between Shanahan and Cowher, the former Denver head coach beat Cowher three of the four times. In the postseason, they split with a 1-1 record when they beat each other in the AFC Championship to go on and each win a Super Bowl in those seasons.

Even against arguably the greatest head coach of all time in Bill Belichick, Shanahan owns a 5-4 record over the New England head coach.

Former Player Praised Shanahan’s Offense

When you look at today’s NFL and see how creative offenses have gotten, you can thank one person and that’s Shanahan.

Shanahan has been placed under the Bill Walsh coaching tree with the “West Coast” offense, but as time moved forward, he updated the offense and made it his own.

With the success of his running game, Shanahan was able to revolutionize the play-action pass. John Elway and Jake Plummer were famous for making that play work in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Super Bowl champion Tyler Polumbus is a former offensive tackle that played under Shanahan while in Denver and in Washington and had high praises for the offense. “West coast football is old school. It is also invincible and will never die. When you run the ball well everything works.” Polumbus continued to tell me, “Every play Mike ever called was with the intention of setting up the next five plays. The passing game was built off the run game and it all tied together.”

Shanahan hasn’t coached since 2013, but his offensive scheme is still dominating the NFL as we speak. His son Kyle Shanahan has upgraded the scheme and runs it today as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. The offense has worked so well, that San Francisco has appeared in a Super Bowl and most recently the NFC Championship game last season.

We even saw the offensive scheme combine in last year’s Super Bowl with Sean McVay’s Rams and Zac Taylor’s Bengals. Those aren’t the only coaches going to run this offense this season. The Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Jets, Browns, Dolphins, and Broncos will all be running their own versions of Shanahan’s offense.

“It’s obvious that Mike is a bona fide Hall of Famer” according to Polumbus.

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