- Bill Williamson, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
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Former Denver coach Mike Shanahan is No. 19 on ESPN’s list of top 20 NFL coaches of all time.
Shanahan coached the Broncos from 1995-2008, leading them to the back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and '98. He is now the coach of the Washington Redskins.
Denver owner Pat Bowlen often said that Shanahan, who ran the franchise when he was the coach, would be his coach for life. But his time in the Rocky Mountains finally ran its course. Shanahan made the Broncos a perennial contender in the AFC West. There is no question that the apex of his time in Denver was the Super Bowl years.
“There’s one thing to me that was a great thing about Mike: He did not treat the playoffs any differently than he treated the regular season,” former Denver star quarterback John Elway said. “You can see him make a comment during (the final minute of) Super Bowl XXXII. It was fourth and 6 when John Mobley knocked the ball down. They had Mike on highlight. He said, 'Play the defense you would’ve played normally in the regular season. Don’t change the play because it’s the Super Bowl. Call the defense you did during the season.' That’s why we had success. The postseason wasn’t treated any differently, so we didn’t feel the pressure. His mindset was the same whether it was the first game of the year or the Super Bowl. That was a great quality that he still has.”
Former Denver coach Mike Shanahan is No. 19 on ESPN’s list of top 20 NFL coaches of all time.Shanahan coached the Broncos from 1995-2008, leading them to the back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and '98.