The year is 1996. The Denver Broncos are favorites to win the Super Bowl. We go into a game against Jacksonville confident that we will advance. But then, the unthinkable happens. We lose. The short future looks bleak for our elderly quarterback who has fought for 14 years to grasp onto the Lombardi trophy only to fail so many times. But then...
The Mastermind strikes.
Over the next two seasons, he performs the best coaching job that he has ever done by guiding the Denver Broncos to two consecutive Super Bowl wins. All of Denver is celebrating as the beloved John Elway has finally won not 1, but 2 rings. Everyone is happy right? Although Elway is going to retire, we still have Davis right? He'll be able to carry us? And the defensive vets who retired like Atwater were slowing anyway and could be replaced, right? Wrong. The real coach of that team was John Elway.
Now granted, Shanny is the one who made the offense, but have you ever watched the tapes of the glory years? Mike was ALWAYS asking John what he thought they should do and they did it. It was literally John's offense. He controlled it. If Shanny was the Mastermind, how could he have not modified this system to fit Griese, Brister, Beuerlein, or Plummer or any of the other guys we have had to where we could win the SB?
I would have to say that our running game going down in the form of TD hurt us, but as you have seen, we can run the ball. But, here is the problem. We have NEVER had a feature back since TD who can control a game. Mike is scared of that because he knew that Elway and TD were the soul of that team and without them, we were toast because they were the ones guiding the team.
As I look back on it, hardly being able to remember the SB's(younger side, not older) one thing remains persistent in my mind. We blatantly violated the salary cap. With that, I can not totally say we won fairly.
Yet, Shanny has done several good things:
1. We did become respectable again
2. He gave us Cutler
3. He gave us Bailey
4. We have been a contender
5. We do have a future
6. Stabilized the franchise
Now we are all aware of the last 5 years or so's happenings so I won't detail that. It's all kind of a wash. If you counter in these last 2 seasons, is he losing "it"? Historically, age 55 is the year a coach will start to decline. (Not the Walsh's or the Lombardi's of the world)
It has been 10 years since the SB's. Guru says TD's check has been cashed. If his has been, then why hasn't Shanny's? It is up to Bowlen, yes, but the real question is:
Should Shanny stay or should he go? I will not provide my insight to this, but as I have said above, there is an argument for sides whether it be with the rings, or if it was the players, or if he's failing. It deserves consideration.
What do you guys think?