A day after being fired as Broncos coach, Mike Shanahan said he wants to get back into coaching, maybe even this year if the right opportunity presents itself.
While he has not talked with any teams since his dismissal, Shanahan said he will return to coaching at some point, and will take the next couple of weeks to weigh his options. He doesn’t have a timetable for the next opportunity, but said it will be based on what situation gives him the best chance to win.
Shanahan had three years and upwards of $20 million remaining on his contract.
Just minutes after Broncos owner Pat Bowlen finished a news conference Wednesday (Video) regarding the decision to fire his longtime friend and coach, Shanahan took the podium (video), spending several minutes thanking current and former players and members of the organization.
Shanahan was upbeat, considering the circumstances, but began to break down early when speaking about his friendship with Bowlen.
“He will always be my friend,” said Shanahan. “He’s the best owner in sports.”
Shanahan said he understood why Bowlen made the move.
“Sometimes you have to make a change that you think is best for your organization,” he said. “You either get it done or you don’t get it done. We haven’t gotten it done. We’re all judged by what you get done. … The expectationas are very high, and they should be. … The bottom line is it comes back to me. That’s how you’re evaluated.”
As the details surrounding the firing come to light, it’s now clear it was a total surprise on all fronts. Bowlen used the words “shocked” and “surprised” when describing Shanahan’s reaction to the news. Shanahan said he had no idea what his meeting with Bowlen — which took all of five minutes — was going to detail.
“I wasn’t sure,” said Shanahan. “Maybe lunch? Maybe my new restaurant that I have to promote since I have time now?”
Even in making his exit, Shanahan didn’t hide his affinity for Bowlen or the Broncos organization.
“This place will always be the tops in the NFL, because of the leadership,” he said.