An Elway-Shanahan connection again? Broncos have requested permission to interview Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 2, 2017
Just an hour or so after former Head Coach Gary Kubiak announced his retirement from Head Coaching, the Denver Broncos began their Head Coaching search to replace Kubiak. The first candidate they requested to interview is Atlanta Falcons Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the son of former Denver Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan.
Under Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons offensive has turned into one of, if not the best offensive in the league this season. Quarterback
Matt Ryan went from an average quarterback to being a frontrunner for the NFL MVP under Shanahan. Ryan had a career year under Shanahan this season. Ryan totaled 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions in 2017. He set career highs in yards and touchdowns, and a career low in interceptions. He also set a career high in completion percentage (69.9%) and a career-high quarterback rating of 117.1. So clearly Shanahan's offense and presence had a positive impact on Matt Ryan this season.
Shanahan's success just doesn't stop at the quarterback position, the running backs had success under Shanahan as well. Running back Devontae Freeman had back to back 1,000-yard seasons under Shanahan, and he totaled 22 touchdowns in two seasons in Shanahan's system. He also totaled 127 receptions for 1,040 yards for 5 touchdowns in two seasons under Shanahan.
Shanahan also got production from multiple running backs and wide receivers as well. Tevin Coleman was a weapon in the run game and passing game as well. He got production from multiple wide receivers including Mohammed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy, and Aldrick Robinson. The Falcons had seven players top 20+ receptions as well. So Shanahan was getting everyone involved and spreading the ball around.
Shanahan runs an updated version of the zone blocking scheme wth other elements mixed in as well. He is an innovative coach who helped a team score the 7th most points in NFL history this season. So clearly he has earned the right to be an offensive coordinator in this league.
His current players and team leaders speak highly of Shanahan as well.
Atlanta Falcons stud wide receiver Julio Jones told reporters that he believes that Shanahan should be a Head Coach in this league.
"He could be a head coach," wide receiver Julio Jones said. "He definitely could be a head coach."
Falcons center Alex Mack who joined Shanahan and the Falcons this past season believes that Shanahan would have success at any level in this league, but hopes that his Offensive Coordinator returns to the team in 2017.
"I think he’s an awesome coach," Atlanta center Alex Mack said. "I think he’d have success at any level he chooses. That said, I hope he stays."
So clearly Shanahan would be the ideal fit to help fix the Broncos offensive woes that have lasted two and half seasons. Dating back to the start of Peyton Manning's decline in 2014 when John Fox was the Head Coach of the Broncos.
Shanahan can help develop the Broncos raw first round pick Paxton Lynch into a better quarterback and help develop 2016 starter Trevor Siemian into a better quarterback as well. He would also have to improve the Broncos run game and offensive line as well.
I personally think he is the best man for the job, and the Broncos give Kyle Shanahan the best chance for success in this league. Better than going to the Los Angeles Rams, San Fransisco 49ers, or any other rebuilding teams with dysfunctional management in place. The Broncos provide a great roster, elite defense, winning culture, and a great fan base.
It just makes too much sense for this not to happen, and the fact that Shanahan is the first guy the Broncos are targeting shows that they feel the same. So hopefully this gets done.