If you had told me last night that by this past evening Mike Shanahan would be out of a job, I'd have said you were out of your mind. But just that has happened.
Shanahan became the fourth casualty in this year's version of The Blame Game as he was fired today by Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. Bowlen was quoted as saying, "“A change in our football operations is in the best interests of the Denver Broncos. This is certainly a difficult decision, but one that I feel must be made and which will ultimately be in the best interests of all concerned.”
The curious thing about Shanahan's case is that his firing appears to have surprised everyone, media, fans, everyone. I've visited a couple of threads, posted on one, on which people are pondering with abject bewilderment what could have happened to warrant sending Shanahan to the Island of Misfit Coaches along with former Browns coach Romeo Crennel, former Jets coach Eric Mangini, and former Lions coach Rod Marinelli.
All four of these positions are still in play, as reports now are that Bill Cowher, who the Browns apparently were attempting to woo, is not interested in taking over for Crennel. This was the one open position for which I've heard any solid information of interest so far. Bowlen's statement doesn't qualify because it is too cryptic. I believe we probably will find out more about exactly what happened in Denver as we get closer to the weekend.
Of this jobless quartet, I think that Shanahan likely will be the first to get hired on again somewhere else. If he wants to, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he is already working again next year. As for the other three, it may take a year or two for them to get back on someone's radar screen, although, as I wrote in my last blog, there are a limited number of candidates available for the jobs that have come open.
Will there be more firings later this week? All we can do is stay tuned and watch it unfold. I seem to recall that, before recent years, teams used to wait until after the playoffs and Super Bowl were over before making such moves. I guess there is more urgency now in making a splash to prove you're doing something than in letting things settle and allowing us fans to enjoy the playoffs before getting blood on the floor, even if we likely were anticipating seeing it there.