Friday, April 11, 2014

3 comments Hey Everyone, Woody Paige Has a Really Terrible Idea!

Woody Paige's work hasn't been seen much on this blog lately. Ever since Tim Tebow was traded by the Broncos to the Jets Woody hasn't been as obviously terrible in his writing. In fact, it's been two years since I posted something written by Woody Paige on this blog. But boy, look at what a run Woody was on there for a while. That's what worshiping Tebow will get you. Today, Woody Paige believes it is a good idea to bring Mike Shanahan back as an aide on the Broncos staff. If this weren't the real world then this would be a great idea. An experienced coach to add to the Broncos staff? Great idea, do it. Unfortunately, this is the real world and the addition of a Super Bowl-winning head coach to the Broncos staff, much less a Super Bowl-winning coach who was still an NFL head coach until last year, much less a Super Bowl-winning coach who won his two Super Bowls with the Broncos is just not a good idea. The last thing John Fox's heart needs is a guy who won two Super Bowls with the very team Fox coaches looking over his shoulder. Terrible idea.

After the disgusting, dissatisfying loss in the Super Bowl, 

The Broncos got their ass-kicked by one of the best defenses of the last 20 years. These things happen. 

John Elway has quickly and decisively proved with the signings of The Big Three the past week that the Broncos are all in again for the 2014 season.

Considering Peyton Manning is in the twilight of his career, it's probably best for the Broncos to go all-in now. It's not like Manning will be around in 3-5 years, so the Broncos want to win a Super Bowl or two now and not wait to build a team. By the way, if the Broncos want to succeed in the short-term, hiring Mike Shanahan will not help accomplish this. 

The best remaining, available free agent who would cost a pittance and serve an invaluable role for the Broncos is ... Mike Shanahan.

Calm down and read on.

No one is upset. It simply doesn't make sense. There's no need to introduce a Super Bowl-winning coach to look over John Fox's shoulder. 

Why not bring back the Mastermind for his fourth cycle in Denver? The previous three times Shanahan was teamed with Elway and the Broncos, they played in five Super Bowls — and won two championships.

Because bringing back Mike Shanahan could easily create a power struggle where John Elway (who obviously respects Shanahan) could be forced to choose between what his current head coach and Mike Shanahan think is best for the team. Plus, Mike Shanahan hasn't shown he can win football games without John Elway as his quarterback, so I'm not even sure he's still "the Mastermind" by any stretch of the imagination. Hiring Shanahan is a needless distraction the Broncos don't need. 

Unlike before, Shanahan shouldn't be the supreme commander, the general manager, the head coach, the offensive coordinator or even the quarterbacks coach.

And of course I must ask why Woody Paige seems to think Mike Shanahan would be perfectly happy having very little authority in the Broncos organization. Does Mike Shanahan seem like the kind of guy who gladly takes a backseat to others? 

But he could be an aide-de-camp for John Fox, an offensive consultant for Adam Gase and Peyton Manning, a running game guru and a confidant for Elway

Shanahan could easily go from being an aide for Fox, a consultant for Gase and Manning and a confidant to Elway to becoming the person who meddles in Fox's decisions, ruins the chemistry Gase/Manning have, and becomes a second respected voice in Elway's ear that clouds organizational decisions. The cost/benefit analysis doesn't work in favor of Shanahan being hired by the Broncos. 

Why not?

Why not? The same reason Woody wouldn't hire his ex-wife as a therapist for him and his current wife. It's the same reason the Colts wouldn't keep Peyton Manning around to tutor Andrew Luck (besides money, of course).

In November 2010, when the Broncos were at the depths of despair, I recommended here that Pat Bowlen hire Elway to be executive VP of football operations. Many inside and outside the operation ridiculed the idea, claiming Elway was a gentleman golfer unqualified for the job.

Woody was also the person who thought Tim Tebow was a super-grand quarterback and the Broncos should do whatever they can to keep him around. Notice how Woody amplifies his hits and doesn't mention his misses. 

Elway came back and produced another Broncos comeback to relevance.

Yes, that was a good call. Elway produced the Broncos comeback to relevance after he dumped the quarterback you were obsessed with, but I guess that's beside the point. 

The Broncos hired Alex Gibbs as an offensive line consultant last season. He had worked for the franchise twice previously and was assistant head coach for years (under Shanahan). Gibbs departed last week.

Oh, well if guys who worked with Shanahan are leaving the Broncos organization then it makes perfect sense for Shanahan to come back and work for the Broncos in an aide capacity and not at all in a coaching capacity, because I'm sure he'll be perfectly fine with that and isn't at all wanting to regain his reputation as a genius head coach. Shanahan wouldn't meddle, not at all. 

When veteran coach Fox was fired by the Carolina Panthers, he contemplated becoming a consigliere to Andy Reid in Philadelphia.

John Fox wasn't fired by Carolina. His contract wasn't renewed. What good are facts when Woody has a point he wants to prove? 

Then, the Denver position was offered. Several other prominent ex-NFL head coaches have become team advisers.

Fox seems like he only contemplated this position with the Eagles for an hour or so, because he was hired by the Broncos on January 13, very shortly after the 2010 season ended. It's fine for ex-NFL head coaches to become team advisors, but these ex-NFL head coaches aren't necessarily advising teams they won Super Bowls with less than a year after their last head coaching job.

The 61-year-old Shanahan has spent 37 seasons as a coach, 29 years in pro football, six as a Broncos assistant and 14 as the head coach (1995-2008). He has three Super Bowls rings (the other as the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator) and coached in 10 conference championships (seven with the Broncos).

And this is a man who will be perfectly willing to set aside his ego and provide advice while others make decisions? Yeah, right. 

Sure, he has been fired three times as a head coach — by Oakland, Denver and Washington (on Dec. 30, 2013). Tom Landry and Paul Brown were fired. They're in the Hall of Fame.

They weren't fired three times though. 

Shanahan is out of work, and there are no head coaching jobs left. He's too young to retire, though.

And he probably wouldn't mind having another head coaching job. So the last thing John Fox needs is Mike Shanahan, Denver legend and coach to John Elway, hanging out in the shadows as a replacement for him should the Broncos start to underachieve. Does it really make sense to bring back an old head coach like Shanahan who is still stinging from a power struggle with the Redskins that led to him being fired? Shanahan has always seemed like a Type A guy and he's probably pretty excited to restore his reputation as the Mastermind. Not sure that bodes well for him taking an aide position in the Broncos organization.

Before Manning joined the Broncos, he met with Shanahan, and after he signed, he stayed in Shanahan's home for a few months while the coach was in D.C.

Again, it's not a good idea to bring Mike Shanahan on-board unless the Broncos are really sure he's fine with sitting back, giving advice, and then going about his merry way once his advice is taken/not taken. I'm not sure Shanahan would be capable of doing this. I have been wrong once before, it was many years ago, but it just seems to be bringing in Mike Shanahan in any capacity brings in a person who has relationships with current Broncos players and management that could undermine John Fox. 

In 1984, Dan Reeves lured a 31-year-old Shanahan from Florida to tutor Elway, and the quarterback and the assistant became chess partners, golf buddies and tight friends for the next 15 years. The relationship strained after Elway retired in 1999.

The question is whether Shanahan could take a backseat and simply be an aide. Considering he has requested as much power over football operations as he could get in every head coaching job he has been offered, I have a hard time believing Shanahan could come back to the Broncos in such a passive position. 

When Shanahan reappeared at the stadium last season for the Washington-Denver game, the Broncos gave him a scoreboard-screen salute, and the crowd gave him a warm welcome.

Say the Broncos start next season 1-2 and there is Mike Shanahan waiting in the wings as an aide. He has relationships with Elway and Manning and the Broncos fans love him. Writers like Woody Paige float the idea that Mike Shanahan coach the team for the rest of the season. After all, Shanahan is already with the Broncos organization.

Obviously Elway wouldn't just fire John Fox, but it would be a distraction. For a team trying to win now this isn't an ideal situation to bring in unneeded drama into the organization. Maybe there would be no drama, but the Broncos seem to be doing fine without Mike Shanahan's help and I'm afraid if things go sideways for the Broncos his presence in the organization could serve as a distraction. 

Shanahan certainly did have issues as an overlord micromanager in Denver and Washington, and his teams have struggled since 2005.

He's overbearing or overly-involved in all decisions made and his reputation as a head coach doesn't match the reality of his coaching record since 2005, what could go wrong? 

Mike would help the Broncos — if his role is well-defined, and confined, by Bowlen, Elway and Fox.

Even if his role is well-defined, is this a role Shanahan would be willing to take? This well-defined role could be expanded at some point. Say Fox has another heart attack or temporary medical setback and Shanahan could take on a different role (which would probably involve more micro-managing, his favorite thing). What happens when Fox comes back? Does Woody really think the transition from Del Rio to Fox would have been as smooth last year if Mike Shanahan was a part of the Broncos organization? I doubt it. Sure, Shanahan could request little responsibility and be happy as a passive observer offering advice, but this goes against everything he has shown during his head coaching career. Woody can't conveniently forget this. 

Shanahan could work with Manning and Gase in film study and creative game-planning,

Gase will wish that he had taken the Browns head coaching job when he could because I'm betting Shanahan would run all over Gase in film study and in game-planning. I can't imagine how having a Super Bowl-winning coach and ex-offensive coordinator looking over your shoulder while working with Peyton Manning could be an issue. 

give counsel to Elway and Fox

They don't need counsel. They are doing fine without Shanahan's counsel. In fact, Elway and Fox's counsel is much better than Shanahan's counsel at this point. 

and offer suggestions from upstairs during games and to skill-position players at practices.

Oh yes, "offer suggestions from upstairs during games," which Shanahan will take to mean, "help us coach the Broncos team and maybe call some plays." 

Lest the thought be dismissed readily, Shanahan as coach and de facto GM surrounded Elway with enough free agents and draft choices (16 new starters, including Terrell Davis) to win Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.

Woody, that was the past. This is the present. Mike Shanahan hasn't shown himself to be that coach in almost a decade now. Plus, the fact Shanahan did such a great job as de facto GM and coach with the Broncos only serves to underscore my point that having Shanahan around would only undermine Fox/Gase and serve as a distraction. 

He has been there and done that with Elway.

Fox has been there and done that with Elway too. Just last year. 

And Shanahan is a free, literally, agent.

Trust me, he won't be free, and bringing aboard a Super Bowl-winning coach as an aide fresh off a head coaching failure isn't always a good decision. Bringing this Super Bowl-winning coach back to the organization he won his Super Bowls with and knowing this Super Bowl-winning coach has a history of micro-management and participating in power struggles is an even worse idea. It sounds good on paper, but in reality I don't see how this could work unless Mike Shanahan has changed dramatically in the last four months. 


Anonymous said...

"The best remaining, available free agent who would cost a pittance and serve an invaluable role for the Broncos is ... Mike Shanahan."

I swear to god, there's no reason I couldn't be a professional sportswriter. I can make things up too! Who in the hell thinks Shanahan would settle for a pittance to work under a pipsqueak like Adam Gase? This reminds me of crazy trade rumors that fans will create in which they say "why not?" without considering the other side has to accept the trade as well. "Let's trade Ricky Rubio and a 1st for Russell Westbrook...why not?" Mike Shanahan is far too prideful to accept a pittance of a salary to be a glorified graduate assistant.

I love the implication that because Shanahan won Super Bowls 15 years ago (seriously, if you were born around the time he last won a Super Bowl, you're in high school now), that means he can still coach. Did you know Vince Lombardi won the first two Super Bowls? Dig him up and put him alongside Mike McCarthy! Why not, Green Bay?

Adam Gase was 20 years old the last time Shanahan won a Super Bowl. Can we please stop pretending like those are still relevant?

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, it would never happen. One of two things would occur. Shanahan wouldn't take the job or he would take the job and then it would cause problems within the Broncos organization. I'm assuming Shanahan wouldn't want a reduced role or a non-leadership role in the Broncos organizaton, which of course is a pretty safe assumption considering he's given no indication he wants to be a figurehead.

To Woody, they are still relevant. He is still stinging from the Super Bowl beating the Broncos took. It's silly. The Broncos ran up against a fantastic defense and bad shit happens. No need to bring in Shanahan to increase the amount of bad shit that happens.

Anonymous said...

I dont care for woody paige, but thats mostly because of his bevaior on that tv show.

And, anon, I dont get the recent trend for people to say championships won at a certain point no longer matter. Why even play the sports at all??