Denver Post columnist Thomas George, has written a piece where he does everything but declare his outright love and affection for Mike Shanahan. It's filled with several moments that are just absolutely touching. Seriously, I can feel it down in my soul. But there are also parts of the article that paint a picture that seems radically at odds with reality.
In Mike Shanahan's view, he has become a part of us. We have become a part of him.It's hard for me to understand where George gets the idea that Denver fans or the Denver media outside of Woody Paige and one or two others have been anything other than absolutely laudatory of Shanahan over the years. If the comments and email I get are any indication then the Shanahan apologists far outweigh the critics, and it seems that the number of journalists who like George line up to kiss Shanahan's feet continues to grow.
Broncos players report for Shanahan's 12th training camp as head coach here today. Twelve seasons as head coach is perpetuity in the NFL. Look around and see the churning change at the position that colors NFL camps.
We have ridden him, jabbed at him, taken him for granted more than we have applauded him. The guy has absorbed serious heat.
But Shanahan, in quieter moments, understands.
There are also a couple statements made by Shanahan in the article that are a little suprising. One where Shanahan himself goes against his apologists, and shockingly he appears to actually shoulder the blame for once.
Shanahan has studied the film at least 25 times, he said. His team was outplayed, he said. He was outcoached, he said. Give Pittsburgh credit, he said, but ...I am blown away at the admission by Shanahan that he was outcoached in the AFC Championship game. There it is for you in black and white, Mike Shanahan himself admits that he did a poor coaching job in the AFC Championship game. It's a breath of fresh air to finally see Mike take some responsibility instead of blaming things on Griese, Rhodes, Robinson, Plummer or whoever happens to be the skapegoat of the month in Denver. If nothing else it's a step in the right direction, either towards a change in Shanahan's mindset or a step towards him leaving.
"I study so much," he said. "I've got to be able to look into the mirror and like myself. And it's not that I do all of the time. But sometimes you have to be hard on yourself. And in the end, I'm thinking, 'We just blew an opportunity to be world champions."
Read the whole article, it's interesting.