He's not. He's a really bright guy.
He knows he's in trouble and he blames himself, contrary to what "editorial writers"like to say. He knows that he is the cause of this issue. He feels awful about it and, although it pains him, he's has realized that it's out of control and will take multiple seasons to change.
This is purely a leadership problem. The offense seems stuck between being a passing offense that likes to sneak a run in there and being a balanced offense. That's a problem, but fortunately there's enough talent to make it work regardless of scheme.
However, the defense doesn't have a clear scheme and hasn't had a specific direction since Greg Robinson was here. The only reason Robinson had talent was because Wade Phillips brought a bunch of talent in here and then Robinson and Shanny hit home runs in Free Agency with Al WIlliams, Neil Smith, Bill Romanowski, and Darrien Gordon.
It's time for the Broncos to take a tack and stick with it on both sides of the ball. The players will lose their faith in their fearless leader if this lack of direction continues for much longer.
Pop Quiz: How many of the Broncos' defensive starters were drafted by the Broncos?
Three. And one of them is questionable (Marcus Thomas). The other two players (D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil) are talented with a lot of upside, but haven't been utilized ideally because of the lack of talent elsewhere on the defense.
Three "homegrown" players is not enough for a good defense.
It's completely evident that Denver's draft strategy is all offense all the time. And then, just when the defense is about to fall apart at the seams, Denver goes all defense in the draft. Remember our Defensive Back draft in 2005? Remember our Defensive Line draft in 2007?
Defense requires consistency in both construction and development. Denver has not placed empasis on their defense since Mike Shanahan took over. Although this is a huge problem, it's been overlooked because 1) the offense has been so dynamic and consistent and 2) Denver brought home two Lombardi trophies in consecutive years just a few years after naming Shanny our new coach. Shanny's never felt more vindicated and certainly Pat Bowlen's never felt like a smarter man.
I'm not petitioning for Shanny to get canned, in fact I think he's the very best offensive coach in the NFL and a good head coach. However, Bowlen and Shanahan must come to the conclusion that they need someone within the organization who has equal GM ability to Shanahan who is responsible for the evaluation and development of the team defense. This person would be completely responsible for adding talent, managing the team responsible for scouting talent, and working with the defensive "head coach". I honestly think a guy like Wade Phillips would take a job like that. If not him, maybe a guy like Mike Singletary or a BIll Parcells type.
In the end, Mike Lombardi hit the nail on the head when he said:
"Right now, they are everything and therefore they produce nothing."
Mike Shanahan must give this team direction. Although the team is going through a "transition" (rebuilding on the fly), that doesn't mean that it doesn't need specific direction. Mike must take the wheel and admit that he has had it wrong on the defensive side of the ball for a very long time.
Shanahan must accept the knock that he shouldn't have complete control over the team's GM responsibility. It's true. The knock on Shanahan is a legitimate one. But it also doesn't mean that he's not one of the best three or four coaches in the NFL. It simply means that he must accept help. If he does not, he will resign his position (get fired behind closed doors) due to lack of "love for the game" within a few years.
The good news is that this is fixable. The defense could be very good inside three years. But this is a matter of Shanahan either allowing himself the help or letting his pride win out, and not acceepting the truth.
As a fan, I am holding out hope that Mike Shanahan thinks that its gotten bad enough that he is willing to change the way he operates as a head coach.
Change is good.