There is no such thing as forever in sports and Wednesday's firing of Mike Shanahan is all the proof you need. Long gone are the back-to-back Super Bowl trophies and all that is left in the dust is three years of not making the playoffs while posting a 24-24 record.
Shanahan led the Broncos to their only Super Bowl championships, in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, and leaves tied for 15th all-time among NFL coaches, with 154 career wins.
But there were no Super Bowl appearances since 1998, no postseason appearances since 2005 and only one postseason victory since the last Super Bowl.
And, in 2008, the Broncos became the first NFL team since at least 1967 with the start of divisional play to have a three-game lead with three to play and not make the playoffs. The fact that the Broncos played 13 rookies and lost 16 players — including seven tailbacks — to injured reserve did not protect Shanahan in finishing out his contract, which runs through 2011 and was to pay him between $6.5 million and $7 million a season.
The window of opportunity doesn't stay open too long in this league and over the past decade Shanahan hasn't been able to refind the glory.
It makes you wonder how good of a coach Shanahan really is. Especially when you look at his numbers with Elway and the numbers without:
| Win pct.
| Division titles
| Playoff W-L
WHO'S NEXT (from Denver Post)