Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Whoah... Shanny article from the past...
Was just looking for some stats/dates on some past players... and ran across this article. I'm not an anti-Shanahan guy at all, but I thought it was sort of interesting given our current state of affairs.
Could you swap out a few names and run this article tomorrow?
Gazette, The (Colorado Springs), Dec 4, 2001 by Lynn Zinser
In the wake of the Denver Broncos' latest collision with a grim reality, don't bother summoning a jury because the verdict has rushed in by affirmation. Mike Shanahan may be a great head coach, but he's not a great, or even good, judge of personnel. In fact, he may be downright miserable.
The names of Shanahan's mistakes are mounting in a scrap heap, a pile the team has ignored for years.
Dale Carter. Leon Lett. Kavika Pittman. Eddie Kennison. Marcus Nash. Travis McGriff. Lester Archambeau. Andre Reed. Billy Jenkins.
Shanahan has rid the team of Shannon Sharpe, Tony Jones, Chris Gizzi and Nate Wayne. He's wrecking Olandis Gary. He's drafted 10 useless receivers. He's flirted with Steve Young, but not Jerry Rice.
Even his successes are starting to look more like luck than skill. He stumbled upon Terrell Davis in the sixth round, got Brian Griese in the third, Gary in the fourth, Desmond Clark and Mike Anderson in the sixth. Those aren't calculated risks. They're low-cost gambles, $1 lotto tickets.
Since 1995, when Shanahan took over as coach and guru, the Broncos' talent pool has evaporated. Now it's a talent puddle. A few injuries have left the team decimated, unwilling to take risks, unable to dictate games.
The Broncos are playing defense on their own reputation as an elite franchise, one that simply reloads and never needs to rebuild.
Shanahan's creation is now 6-6, its playoff hopes resembling those of Cincinnati and Arizona. Denver is 23-21 since winning its last Super Bowl, 0-1 in the playoffs. Worse, the prospects for a turnaround, and a return to contender status, aren't within grasp. The Broncos are thin in so many places, relying on brittle starters with unproven backups.
In Sunday's excruciating 21-10 loss to Miami on Sunday, Griese found himself throwing to tailback KaRon Coleman at least four or five times on crucial downs. Two weeks ago, Coleman was unemployed, playing catch with his father, wondering if he'd ever get another call from an NFL team.
The Broncos have built for the future in only a few places - oddly enough, mostly on defense.
Shanahan can't blame the salary cap. The Broncos have not had to spend gobs of money for a franchise quarterback, superstar running backs, dynamo pass rushers or run stoppers. They've found their running backs at a thrift store, drafted and developed their quarterback and many of the good parts of their defense.
But Shanahan has thrown gobs of money at free agents, nearly all of it wasted. Pittman for $22 million. Carter for $34.8 million. Lett for $9 million. Archambeau was signed for $17.5 million. He played in three games and made two tackles. Shanahan signed Kennison for $900,000 while snubbing Rice for about the same price.
Shanahan's free-agency successes constitute a much shorter list: Ed McCaffrey, Howard Griffith, Mark Schlereth, Bill Romanowski - counted for past seasons' success, not current state of skill - and judgment remains out but leaning toward kudos for Denard Walker.
Whether through free agency or the draft, Shanahan's attempts to find NFL-caliber wide receivers to back up McCaffrey and Rod Smith have dissolved into a Three Stooges routine. McGriff. Nash. Kennison. A washed up Reed, Robert Brooks and Flipper Anderson.
It's easy to judge drafts in hindsight, but consider last spring's draft: the Broncos picked defensive end Paul Toviessi, who might contribute down the road. Nobody really knows how good he is. He's spent the season on injured reserve, might not have played if healthy.
In the next draft spot, Miami grabbed deep threat wide receiver Chris Chambers, the AFC's likely offensive rookie of year with 20 yards a catch and five touchdowns. Yes, it's the Chris Chambers who scored Miami's first touchdown against Denver on Sunday.
The problem is, that scenario has played itself over and over since '95 and what's left is a team with nearly no offense, no backups, no imagination, and now, no hope.
The chances of fixing all of this, to reload and rebuild, were lost in that mound of names drowning Shanahan's resume like a pair of cement boots.
The Broncos have a great coach. They need to start shopping for a new guru.