|11-15-2007, 08:33 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Shanahan to square off with longtime friend
By FRANK SCHWAB
ENGLEWOOD - When the Denver Broncos were considering drafting a highly touted quarterback in 2006, coach Mike Shanahan knew he could trust his secret with a friend, even if his buddy had a higher pick.
He called Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, whose team was picking third and had worked out quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart and Vince Young. Shanahan and Fisher had been friends since they were San Francisco 49ers assistants in the early 1990s, and their bond grew stronger as they inched up the list of longest-tenured NFL coaches.
The Titans already had decided to pick Young, and Shanahan asked about Cutler. Fisher gave Cutler a good review, and the Broncos later acquired the 11th pick to draft him.
The NFL is often a cloak-and-dagger society, where injury news is given reluctantly each week and game plans are guarded like national security secrets. For example, the Broncos rarely bring in potential draftees for visits or talk to them before the draft to avoid tipping off their plans.
But the friendship Shanahan shares with Fisher is rare among NFL coaches.
“I think it speaks about our relationship,” Fisher said. “Mike and I both understand how competitive the draft is and we had already gone ahead and made our decision. With that being said, I think you can put the professional aspect aside, and, personally, I was glad to help.”
Fisher and Shanahan will coach against each other Monday night when the Titans come to Denver. Even though Fisher offered advice on Cutler, the friends don’t discuss everything when they and their families are spending time together off the field.
“Anytime you are in this business, you really don’t talk a lot of football,” Shanahan said. “You talk about personnel and people you have signed but stay away from the Xs and Os.”
Even Fisher joked that he and Shanahan were “not good friends this week.”
No breaks are given because of the friendship. Twice this season, Denver has poached a player off Tennessee’s practice squad — guard Isaac Snell and defensive end Larry Birdine. Fisher said he told Shanahan to stop taking his players.
“We had a discussion along those lines last week, yes,” said Fisher, who added quickly it was a friendly conversation.
Shanahan and Fisher were on the 49ers staff in 1992 and 1993. Fisher and Shanahan are in their 13th full seasons coaching their respective teams and are the longest-tenured coaches in the NFL. Fisher took over when the franchise was the Houston Oilers and with a few games left in the 1994 season so he has a longer tenure than Shanahan.
Fisher said not facing Shanahan and the Broncos often is probably beneficial to the friendship. They have split their previous two meetings.
Because of the mutual respect, Shanahan said getting a win Monday would be nice.
“I think anytime you go against someone you know and respect, it’s always a little extra special because you know how good they are and how well they prepare,” Shanahan said. “It’s a big gratification when you do win and pretty tough when you lose.”
|11-15-2007, 10:35 AM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Topeka, KS
It's time to get to .500. Shanahan, go for the jugular whenever you can...even against your friend's team...
|11-15-2007, 11:29 AM||#3|
Rant in E-Minor
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Vancouver, WA
maybe this is a reason they don't draft all that well.
|11-15-2007, 12:38 PM||#4|
Giving You The Business
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Huntersville, NC
|11-15-2007, 02:08 PM||#5|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Earth Division
There's also a limit on who you can bring in as well, but yeah. I remember when it was reported that they brought in Jackson, Holmes and Greg Lee - I think that was smoke and mirrors. I bit on it.
|11-15-2007, 11:57 PM||#7|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Denver needs to get alot better at "it." Free agency is too expensive and not as rewarding as it once was. Free agency might have worked in the late 90's, but now a days team are developing their own talent.
|11-16-2007, 08:39 AM||#8|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Jacksonville, FL