Despite news of different coaches being considered as the next man to lead the Denver Broncos, Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro at The Afternoon Drive believe Kyle Shanahan is the frontrunner and consensus is that the son of the former Broncos head coach would probably be a very good fit as Gary Kubiak’s successor, except for one big thing - experience.
"For a team John Elway believes can win a Super Bowl and win it sooner rather than later - and with a defense that is Super Bowl-ready - that is huge," said Shapiro. "Huge that you have a guy who is going to come in to a veteran locker room and expect to win right away having not been a head coach."
The hosts also mentioned the franchise’s history with the elder Shanahan - who was fired in 2008 after a third season of failing to reach the playoffs - could be a roadblock to hiring Kyle, but both agreed the name "Shanahan" would ultimately help the junior find a head coaching gig.
"Everybody knows who Mike Shanahan is. The name Shanahan holds a lot of weight in the NFL, just like the name Manning," Goodman added. "Kyle Shanahan will get the benefit of the doubt."
Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer called bringing in Kyle "an amazing move."
"It’s in his blood too as a coach," Plummer said, adding that Kyle being young does worry him since being a head coach requires a lot more responsibility than just running an offense. "If he’s ready for that...we run with it and have to get behind Kyle and hope he does well with all the pieces in place."
Chad Brown, former CU Buff and Patriots linebacker, weighed in, saying it’s tough for a first-time head coach to come in to a team ready to win championships. It’s much easier to come to a team with nothing to lose and learn your way.
"I’m not sure if that’s the best fit for the Denver Broncos and where they are because the expectations are so high, particularly for someone coming in for the first time taking this kind of job."
Shanahan is certainly the top pick around the league and probably a favorite for many Broncos fans considering his expertise on offense - something desperately needed in Denver. And his lack of experience running the entire show is certainly a factor, but this is a guy who has grown up in the NFL and around a mastermind head coach, so his lack of experience isn’t perhaps as great as many think.
What do you think, Broncos Country?
Bonus Listen No. 1: Jake Plummer
Plummer also talked about Kubiak leaving, a coach he respects greatly for helping him have the best years of his career as a quarterback.
"I was pulled in two different directions," Plummer said of the announcement. "Happy for him that he’ll be stepping away finding health and happiness and a little less stress...but also miss his ability to coach a team, watch him work, watch him mold these players into very good professional athletes."
But Plummer also imagines Kubiak will be back coaching somewhere in some capacity at some point.
"Hard time believing that guy will never coach again because it’s in his blood, and he’s a great coach," Plummer said.
Also, just in case you wondered how Plummer viewed his mentee Trevor Siemian, Jake the Snake believes Siemian had a very good year and is hopeful No. 13 will be back in Denver next season.
"He threw some really good balls," Plummer said, acknowledging several bad throws too - just like any quarterback. "I see a bright future that kid wherever it is. Hopefully it’s here."
Bonus Listen No. 2: Justin Simmons
Rookie safety Justin Simmons told Shapiro and Goodman he gained a lot from Coach Kubiak and will miss having him as a teacher, mentor, coach.
"I learned a lot from him, not only as football player but a man as well," Simmons said. "Tough one to swallow yesterday for him to tell us he was going to hang it up."
But the rookie is hoping defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be sticking around.
"That would be huge. I learned so much more than I thought I already knew from Coach Phillips and the secondary," Simmons said. "It would be same system, chance to learn even more, more importantly, be able to be loose and go out there and make plays."
Will never forget Kub as my first NFL coach. Gave me an opportunity to play! Love ya coach and blessed to have met you.— Justin Simmons (@jsimms1119) January 2, 2017