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Polumbus: My experience playing for Kyle Shanahan

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  • Polumbus: My experience playing for Kyle Shanahan

    With the Denver Broncos head coaching position open, the name of a well-known local has been called upon to take the reins: Kyle Shanahan.

    Kyle, the son of Broncos legend Mike Shanahan, grew up inside of NFL coaching offices.

    I had the opportunity to play for Kyle in Washington and Atlanta, so I thought I would share my firsthand experience.

    I signed with Mike my rookie year and watched the way he coached our team first hand. Our offensive coordinator, Jeremy Bates, certainly had plenty of authority (and for a few years was a hot name in the industry) but make no mistakes about it, Mike was very hands on with our offense.


    During practice, Mike spent most of his time directly with the offense. He was a part of just about every period of practice with us. During the games, I am not sure who was doing all the play calling, but I do believe Mike was heavily involved in the game-day play calls.

    When I got to Washington, I expected the offensive coordinator and head coach relationship to look very similar. It was not. Mike was hands off. He stood at midfield for most of the practice and walked back and forth between offense and defense more so than he did during my time in Denver.

    It was clear to me from Day One that the offense was Kyle’s show. Mike was letting Kyle do his thing as much as possible without being over-involved.

    To be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to think. I went to the same high school as Kyle, and we had many mutual relationships, but I didn’t really know if Kyle could truly coach football. Did he just have the job because of his dad?

    Well, let me tell you, it took no more than a month for me to be blown away by Kyle’s football acumen. Our offense was different than it was in Denver. Not in terminology, that was all the same, but the running game and our landmarks were drastically different.

    Kyle had evolved his own dad’s offense. He had taken it to the next level.

    Think about that. Son, coaching for dad, was smart enough to convince a legend to evolve his running game.

    Gone were the days of automatically cutting back every running play to the backside. Gone were the days of offensive lineman having to cut on every play on the backside. We were stretching the field from numbers to numbers on every play, and if the running back could keep it play side and bounce it, it was encouraged.

    We didn’t throw the ball as often, but when we did our yards per catch ranked at the top of the NFL. Our rushing attack, year-in and year-out, was at the top of the league.

    The offensive lineman would drool at the first 15 plays handed out on Saturday night meetings because everything was built off the run — including all the passes.

    Kyle reinvented our offense entirely for Robert Griffin III. He and Mike had overhauled everything to suit the talents of our quarterback instead of forcing him to fit the mold of their previous offense.

    His Atlanta Falcons have the No. 1 offense in the NFL. Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn is a defensive guy, and he hired Kyle to independently operate the offense without overbearing involvement. Kyle has certainly not disappointed.

    Kyle is certainly not where he is simply because his last name is Shanahan. Sure, Mike got him started. Sure, Mike’s fingerprints all over his offense. However, believe me when I tell you that Kyle is personally responsible for taking this offense to the next level.

    Kyle is the best candidate for the job. I hope the Broncos hire him, retain defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the defensive staff, and the team embarks on a new era of dominating Shanahan football in Denver.

  • #2
    Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan eyeing Broncos opening

    Chris Wesseling
    Around the NFL Writer

    Garafolo: 'That's the job Shanahan has his eyes on, going to Denver

    After overseeing an Atlanta Falcons attack that shattered franchise records for points and yards, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will have his pick of head coaching opportunities this January.

    Although Shanahan is also set to meet with the Rams, Jaguars and 49ers, the Broncos have emerged as the frontrunner for his services.

    Appearing on Wednesday's edition of Up to the Minute Live, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that Kyle favors following in Mike Shanahan's footsteps with Denver.

    "The word around the league right now," Garafolo said, "the word with people involved in coaching searches and gathering all of this information is that that's the job Shanahan has his eyes on -- going to Denver where his father coached."

    In that case, Shanahan is undaunted by the manifold shadows cast in Denver.

    His father is the most successful coach in franchise history, hoisting back-to-back Lombardi Trophies with quarterback John Elway, who now runs the team's football operations. He would be replacing 2015 Super Bowl-winner Gary Kubiak, under whom Shanahan developed his chops as precocious play-caller and quarterback whisperer with the Houston Texans from 2007 through 2009.

    Why is the 37-year-old coordinator in such high demand? Only four teams in history -- the 2000 Rams, 2011 Saints, 2012 Patriots and 2013 Broncos -- have recorded more yards and points than the 2016 Falcons. Atlanta is one of just three teams this century to score on over half of its offensive possessions.

    His golden touch has propelled Matt Ryan to the forefront of the MVP race, no surprise given Shanahan's history with quarterbacks.

    Before arriving as a godsend to Atlanta, Shanahan coaxed the best years out of Matt Schaub, schemed Robert Griffin III's unparalleled Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign and guided Brian Hoyer to the best season by a Browns quarterback in the past half-decade.

    If he does land in Denver, Shanahan will be charged with resurrecting an offense that cost the team a chance to defend its Super Bowl title.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great food for thought. Thanks, yardo!

      With what's been said about his demeanor being slightly harsh (if that's a fair summary of what's been said on these forums and posted from other sources) this stood out to me: "We were stretching the field from numbers to numbers on every play, and if the running back could keep it play side and bounce it, it was encouraged."

      I like that he's not content to run what has worked but has evolved his game but I like more that he seems to encourage his players to take what is given. That requires mutual trust of player and coach.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rastic View Post
        Great food for thought. Thanks, yardo!

        With what's been said about his demeanor being slightly harsh (if that's a fair summary of what's been said on these forums and posted from other sources) this stood out to me: "We were stretching the field from numbers to numbers on every play, and if the running back could keep it play side and bounce it, it was encouraged."

        I like that he's not content to run what has worked but has evolved his game but I like more that he seems to encourage his players to take what is given. That requires mutual trust of player and coach.
        I really liked the technical references to things we don't hear about typically. He references landmarks in the running game. Those are things you can't see in film or anywhere else but make a difference.

        Comment


        • #5
          I really think we need to go with Kyle. I think anybody else is going to thrust us into a tailspin of mediocrity, then HC fired, then rebuild, then HC fired.
          #swapping

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by flosstein View Post
            I really think we need to go with Kyle. I think anybody else is going to thrust us into a tailspin of mediocrity, then HC fired, then rebuild, then HC fired.
            I agree with that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Those are both good articles. Our run game needs Shanahan. All he has to do is keep Wade and the defensive coaches and build his offensive staff and special teams. Maybe Polumbus would unretire and play for Shanahan, too.
              :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
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