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Broncos Coach Shanahan enshrined in the Ring of Fame

The End Zone

It’s here, finally, the start of the NFL regular season.

Thursday Night Football kicks off between the defending champs Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home against the Dallas Cowboys. One may expect a good television audience to kick off the season.

Covid-19 is still a factor this season but there are quite a few players extinguished from the Covid-19 Reserve List. Miami Dolphins OT Austin Tucker and TE Adam Shaheen have returned from that list. However, Cowboys OG Zack Martin will miss the Thursday Night Opener against the Buccaneers. In addition, Jets WR Jamison Crowder will miss his opener after testing positive for the virus. Speaking of missing an opening debut, Steelers LB TJ Watt is still facing contract negotiations and has not practiced. As you know, players in the past have gotten hurt while negotiating deals placing their future in jeopardy. Good news for Titans fans as QB Ryan Tannehill was removed off the Covid-19 List. Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians stated proudly that all Buccaneers are vaccinated. “This must have spurred all team members to vaccinate after QB Tom Brady contracted the virus after the Super Bowl Parade,” noted the Captain.

Condolences to the Patten Family as former three-time Super Bowl WR David Patten passed away recently from a motorcycle accident.

It was “Deal or No Deal” in Buffalo as the Bills will not renew their stadium lease without a new stadium underway. There have been quite a few franchises demanding new stadiums to play in these past years,” noted the Captain. San Francisco, Cleveland, formerly Oakland now Las Vegas and now joining the Buffalo Bills. Sometimes cities are reluctant to build new stadiums due the cost and risk factors.

As this week’s first game kicks off, teams are still making last minute personnel changes. In Houston, QB Deshaun Watson is not a “go” so QB Tyrod Taylor will start in his place. Needing some defensive secondary assistance, the Forty Niners enlisted CB Josh Norman to help solidify the defensive backfield.

You may notice the first week’s competition may be very competitive with players who missed the entire or most of last season due to injury or opting out due to Covid-19 back are in action. In New York, the Giants are pinning their hopes with the return of superstar RB Saquon Barkley back in the lineup. Broncos All-Pro sack master LB Von Miller returns as well after last years’ preseason injury that keep him out of the lineup.

Congratulations to former Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan being inducted into the Ring of Fame. Shanahan’s name will be etched in the upper deck of Empowerment Field along with a bronze statue. “Shanahan brought tremendous change to the game as we know it,” commented the Captain. Shanahan was initially hired as a Quarterback Coach for John Elway but the organization immediately recognized his talents and made him a Head Coach. A revived franchise had soon taken place with thirteen game winning seasons and playoff appearances. Shanahan coaching style brought prestige not only to the Broncos organization but to the American Football Conference. With back-to-back Super Bowl Championships in 1997 and 1998, it ended a thirteen-year drought of American Football Conference not winning the “big game.”

Shanahan brought his unique “West Coast Offense” in which Wide Receivers and Tight Ends would cross over the middle boxing out defenders. He would also host a two-running back system in which backs would split carries with the ball. Not only did this system throw off defenders, it extended the careers of running backs as well. This style is still predominately used by almost all teams today. He also bought plays like the “double reverse” and drawing in defenders to rush the quarterback while the ball gets tossed over their heads to a waiting running back for big yardage.

Players loved and respected Shanahan. Ring of Famers WR Rod Smith and TE Shannon Sharpe stated you could walk in his office and directly talk to him about problems they are occurring. If you were having family issues, he was compassionate and players really respected that. The largest accomplishment of Shanahan was his spurring of today’s great offensive coaching minds. Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay worked as an Assistant Coach under Shanahan and has given him credit for is tutelage.

Former Super Bowl Champ Coach Gary Kubiak worked as an Offensive Coordinator under Shanahan during the Super Bowl years. Kubiak stated that he learned how to be a Head Coach from him using his offensive mindset. Shanahan’s training led to opportunities for minority coaches like Los Angeles Chargers former Head Coach Anthony Lynn. Lynn was a Special Teams ace during the Super Bowl runs that led to Assistant Coaching. Lynn was selected to coach the Chargers leading them to a 12-4 record a few seasons past. Lastly, Shanahan’s biggest influence was on his son Kyle, who is now the Head Coach of The San Francisco Forty-Niners.  Kyle grew up on the sidelines as his dad coached learning not only coaching but how an organization is run.

“I am like my dad in every way,” stated Kyle, the only difference between us is twenty-five years.


(Contact Captain Kirk at

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