Much time has passed since the so-called “Glory Days” for the Denver Broncos, but John Elway and company certainly hope to return to that trek as quickly as possible.
But as exciting as it may be to see how this Broncos team will unfold this year, the historical past of the team was and is still standardized by the milestones set from 1997-99.
Although not as talked about as much in the media, Broncos fans still cling on to those Super Bowl victories, and some, even still hold a special place in their heart for then-head coach Mike Shanahan.
ESPN, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, have begun a countdown of the 20 greatest coaches in the history of the game. According to their most recent article, the legendary Broncos coach was ranked at the No. 19 position, one ahead of Tony Dungy.
Shanahan, although virtually recognized for his back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the late ’90s, worked three separate tenures with the Broncos’ organization, and it was even the first NFL job Shanahan took. Since then, he’s coached in the NFL for over 20 years.
Elway, who played for Shanahan during the Super Bowl years, had nothing but praise for his former coach, and expressed how he always demanded effort and tenacity from his players.
“There’s one thing to me that was a great thing about Mike,” Elway told ESPN. “He did not treat the playoffs any differently than he treated the regular season. His mindset was the same whether it was the first game of the year or the Super Bowl. That was a great quality that he still has.”
Although Shanahan’s experience in Denver will always be remembered, his final years at Mile High were certainly regrettable. During his last three years as head coach, the Broncos failed to make the playoffs for three consecutive years, and this of course includes the monumental three-game collapse that blew the division lead and inevitably ended the team’s season.
Now currently the head coach of the Washington Redskins, Shanahan has yet to reach the level of success he achieved with Denver, but fans in Washington feel that their belief in franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III will translate to more wins for the Redskins family.
Shanahan has a current record of 175-131, with an 8-6 career post season record. He is currently in his third season with the Redskins, and reached his first winning season with the team last year.