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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Mike Shanahan was ‘close’ to return as Broncos head coach

Mike Shanahan Red Lobster

Mike Shanahan says he was “close” to returning as the Denver Broncos’ head coach.

Shanahan, 66, coached the Broncos from 1995-2008. He led the team to two Super Bowl wins, both coming with John Elway as his quarterback, but was fired after the 2008 season.

Elway, who is in his ninth season as the Broncos’ general manager, spoke with Shanahan after the 2017 season about a potential return to Denver. That news was reported nearly two years ago.

On Saturday, Shanahan shared that he was “close” to becoming the team’s head coach.

“I was close, I was close,” Shanahan said from a joint practice between the Broncos and 49ers on Saturday, via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. “One thing that has to happen is you all have to be on the same page. One thing you’ve got to make sure of when you are a head football coach that the owner, the GM, the quarterback are all on the same page. And if it doesn’t happen the chances of you winning the Super Bowl aren’t very good. … I had a great conversation with John as everybody knows, it didn’t work out, sometimes it works out for the right reasons.”

There are questions about whether or not Broncos ownership and/or CEO Joe Ellis were on board with Shanahan’s return. Someone along the way must have said no.

Elway opted to stick with Vance Joseph as his head coach for the 2018 season. Joseph was fired after going 6-10 and 11-21 over his two seasons.

Shanahan had previously said he was not looking for a head coaching job, but maybe the circumstances of Elway reaching out and wanting to bring him back to Denver appealed to the Super Bowl-winning coach. Shanahan’s son Kyle is the head coach of the 49ers.

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