Were it not for the news conferences revolving around the ongoing legal drama of Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, the hour-long appearance of Head Coach Mike Shanahan would have been the top topic of NFL Network’s daily Total Access program. As it was, however, the coach dominated the program, touching on quarterbacks past and present, the nuances of playcalling, the start of training camp, why he covers his mouth with the play sheet when he makes the call from the sidelines — although Shanahan’s voice did have to compete with a tape of Falcons owner Arthur Blank as the coach described the Broncos’ Super Bowl XXXIII win against those same Falcons.
A few of Shanahan’s thoughts from the show…
ON JAY CUTLER: “Jay’s been doing an extremely fine job … he’s been doing all the things he needs to do. It’s a growing process but I’ve been pleased with the way he handles himself.”
ON THE QB MOVE FROM JAKE PLUMMER TO CUTLER LAST YEAR: “We had to go to more dropback … the goal is not to win a playoff game, but the Super Bowl. We were averaging 17 points a game. I still feel it was the right thing to do at that point in time. … Nobody remembers the losers and you’ve got to do the thing that gives you the best chance to do something special.”
GREATEST PLAYCALL: “I was in Denver and Dan Reeves was calling the plays and it was third-and-eight and all of a sudden I said, ‘Let’s run the middle screen,’ and it went for a touchdown. From then on, Dan started listening to me.”
The program counted down Shanahan’s choices for the 10 best games of his NFL career, beginning with those from his career as an assistant and continuing to his head-coaching tenure:
10. 1989 AFC Championship: Third Broncos win over Browns in four years.
9. 1994 NFC Championship: After losing ’92 and ’93 titles to Dallas, 49ers break through over Cowboys.
8. 1986 AFC Championship: The Drive.
7. Super Bowl XXIX: Shanahan’s offense rolls up 49 points on Chargers.
6. 1997 AFC Championship: Gets Broncos back to Super Bowl for first time in eight years.
5. 1998 AFC Championship: John Elway’s last home game.
4. 1997 AFC Divisional Playoff: Broncos hold off AFC West champion Kansas City at Arrowhead.
3. 1997 AFC Wild Card: Broncos get revenge over Jaguars.
2. Super Bowl XXXIII: Broncos romp over Falcons; Elway MVP.
1. Super Bowl XXXII: Denver’s first world championship.
And the lighter side:
NFL COACH THAT WOULD MAKE THE BEST GAME SHOW HOST: “Herm Edwards.”
BEST GOLFER AMONG NFL HEAD COACHES: “Dick Jauron,” but he also mentioned former Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau.
FAVORITE ROBERT DENIRO MOVIE: “I think The Godfather.”
The show re-airs at 8 and 11 p.m. MDT Tuesday and hourly beginning at 2 a.m. MDT Wednesday, with the last airtime at 10 a.m. MDT.
Tags: Mike Shanahan