Pat Bowlen Discusses the Mike Shanahan Firing Process
There is a large contingent of people -- myself and Ciskie are certainly included -- that believe Mike Shanahan wasn't really "fired" from the Denver Broncos, in the real sense of the word. In other words, Pat Bowlen demanded changes, Shanny said something that's probably impolite about running the team, and then probably dared Bowlen to fire him.
Bowlen's press conference today, regarding the decision, requires a little reading between the lines, but it certainly might lend some credence to that theory.
Naturally, Bowlen denied the idea that he demanded changes, stating that as an owner, he wasn't qualified to pick coaches and that, "No I did not (request for Mike to make changes to staff)" -- although it's important to remember that he's not necessarily dismissing the idea that he asked Shanahan to step down as VP of the team, adding that he hasn't "necessarily thought about" having a coach/GM combo again in the future.
That, coupled with the fact that Bowlen says he had "thought about it for a while" -- re: firing Shanahan -- in addition to Bowlen saying the toughest part of the move was "the emotion" and "the friendship" followed by the Broncos' owner getting choked up himself makes this all seem like a pretty unusual firing.
But most telling may be Bowlen's statement that "he'll be more comfortable coaching in a different organization"; Bowlen clearly understands that Shanahan isn't washed up, but that the Broncos need a different style of authority in place, i.e. someone who isn't in control of the people that he has to coach.
Of course, there was some other contradictory news as well -- Bowlen mentioned that the only other player he told was Jay Cutler and "I didnt' get any negative feedback. I think he understands enough about the business of football to know that there are going to be coaching changes." So, yeah, bonus: Cutler has a better arm than Elway and acts like Brett Favre. What a sly little gunslinger!