As much as it pained me to watch the news conference since it felt like watching Old Yeller getting a bullet in the noogin, I think that Pat Bowlen is absolutely correct in the fact that Mike Shanahan will be successful in his next endeavor. There have been some speculations and rumors about the AFC West teams of San Diego and Kansas City being options for coach Shanahan. And that may be the case, but the only reason I would see Mike taking either position is out of spite, and I did not see a spiteful man on the podium. But I did see someone who wants to win and show he is a great coach, he is not interested in a rebuilding job, so that leads me to the logical conclusion that Shanahan will coach the Dallas Cowboys next year.
Why Dallas, they have the players, they are a vetren team, Jerry Jones wants to win desperately now, and they need a coach who can stand up to the players, Shanahan fits that bill to a tee. Why would Mike Shanahan want to coach Dallas and have to deal with Jerry Jones, like it or not, Dallas is a premier NFL team, win there and he cements himself as a HOF coach, he will get national attention which I think Shanahan likes, even if he does not admit to it. And here is the kicker, as it might be nice for Shanahan ego to go to a fellow rival in the AFC and beat the Broncos, how much would it mean to him to win a Super Bowl, and do it against the Broncos? He would look like the good guy, he didn't go to the Chargers or Chiefs or another AFC team, he respected Bowlen and went to the NFC would be his line, but at the same time show Pat that he made a mistake. You know he has that fire and intensity.
I saw one thing in his eyes and heard when he talked about the current Broncos, this is a Super Bowl ready offense, potentially as good as any he has coached, which says alot consisdering he coached the 49ers and Broncos winning Super Bowl teams in the 90's. He knows that if Denver can get a defense, they can be in the Super Bowl next year.
Which brings me to the next phase of this idea, Bowlen stated he wanted a coach that was equal to Shanahan, to me that eliminates the 1st year guys, college guys, and retread. and leads to one man, Bill Cowher. You all know I want him and despite Bowlen saying he hadn't thought about replacement canidates, you know he must have some consisderation or thoughts. He is not a stupid man nor one that acts without a good plan or idea in place and he would not have made this choice without a lot of thought on what dierction he wanted the team to go in. He wants a Cowher type team, hard nosed, defense first, play smart, not accept losing.
Cowher is also very smart and will keep this offense intact, maybe add some power running which we need, but he learned in Pittsburgh when you have a good QB you have to let him play (look what he did once he got Rothlesburger, he opened up the play book and allowed the team to become a high powered scoring and creative offense), he will trust the offense in the hands of a good coordinator, and worry about the team attitude and defense. Give Cowher some control on personnel and I guarentee that the defense will be vastly improved next year, improved to a point where we can make a run in the playoffs. The other thing Cowher gives us is success against teams we have had a hard time with : Indy, San Diego, and Baltimore, all of which we may see in the playoffs next season and in the regular season.
So think about it, it could be a Mike Shanahan lead Dallas Cowboys versus a Bill Cowher lead Broncos team. Two storied football teams, two storied coaches, two young gun slinging QBs, two great owners, two nasty defenses, one epic battle. Now would anyone be sad about that fate (provided the Broncos win)?