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Denver Broncos fire coach Mike Shanahan

  In this Jan. 31, 1999 file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, right, and head coach Mike Shanahan laugh on the victory stand following th...
  In this Nov. 25, 2007 file photo, Denver Broncos' head coach Mike Shanahan watches his team during the first quarter of a football game against the ...
  In this Jan. 29, 1999 file photo, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy and a Broncos helmet at a Super Bowl news ...
  In this Oct. 5, 2008 file photo, Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an NFL football game in De...

Broncos Shanahan Fired Football

In this Jan. 31, 1999 file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, right, and head coach Mike Shanahan laugh on the victory stand following th...

Broncos Shanahan Fired Football

In this Nov. 25, 2007 file photo, Denver Broncos' head coach Mike Shanahan watches his team during the first quarter of a football game against the ...

Broncos Shanahan Fired Football

In this Jan. 29, 1999 file photo, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy and a Broncos helmet at a Super Bowl news ...

Buccaneers Broncos Football

In this Oct. 5, 2008 file photo, Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an NFL football game in De...

Mike Shanahan became the most stunning victim of the NFL coaching purge when he was fired by the Denver Broncos on Tuesday after a late-season collapse knocked the team out of the playoffs for the third straight year.
Shanahan joined Eric Mangini, Rod Marinelli and Romeo Crennel on the unemployment line after going 24-24 over the last three seasons, including three straight losses in 2008 that turned a three-game division lead to an 8-8 record.
Despite that, and the 52-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers that ended Denver's season on Sunday, this was a shocker: The ouster of a 14-year coaching veteran who won two Super Bowl titles for Denver.
"After giving this careful consideration, I have concluded that a change in our football operations is in the best interests of the Denver Broncos," owner Pat Bowlen said.
Shanahan's record was 146-89, but the Broncos remained stuck at only one playoff victory since John Elway retired in 1999 after Denver's second championship.
This season was especially ugly. It included a historic collapse that saw Denver become the first team since divisional play started in 1967 to blow a three-game lead with three games left.
The Broncos' defense gave up 448 points, third worst in the NFL, including 112 during the three-game collapse at the end.
In years past, Shanahan had relieved defensive coordinators _ Greg Robinson, Ray Rhodes, Larry Coyer and Jim Bates _ in almost revolving-door fashion.
This year, as the defense floundered, it became obvious it wasn't just a coaching problem. It was an issue of talent on the field, and in Denver, Shanahan makes all the personnel decisions.
His top two draft picks in 2007, Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder, were barely a factor this season. Two of Denver's top veteran acquisitions from last year, Niko Koutouvides and Dewayne Robertson, also did very little.
Bowlen and Shanahan were scheduled to hold news conferences on Wednesday. Shanahan had three years left on his contract, worth about $20 million (14 million euros).
Known as "The Mastermind" during his tenure with the Broncos, Shanahan shouldn't have much trouble getting another job if he's interested _ and willing to part with the 35,000-square-foot (3,200-square-meter) house he's building in a fancy part of Denver.


Updated : 2021-03-01 18:38 GMT+08:00