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Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan in town; talks NFL, Cowboys

Former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan spoke to the Horseshoe Bay Sports Club on Oct. 21. Courtesy photo


HORSESHOE BAY — Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan paid a visit to the Horseshoe Bay Sports Club on Oct. 21.

The 62-year-old former Washington Redskins coach shared many of the lessons he learned in the NFL that helped him guide the Denver Broncos to world championships in 1997 and 1998. He spent 10 years as an assistant coach on the collegiate level and another 10 as an offensive coordinator in the NFL before getting his chance to be a head coach.

Since his termination as Washington’s head coach in January, Shanahan still keeps an eye on the NFL.

He even had good things to say about former rival Dallas and its 6-1 record.

“I love what they’re doing on offense,” he said. “There are very few quarterbacks who can drop back and win a game. (Tony Romo’s) support cast has to be great. You have to take pressure off the quarterback. you have to be able to run the football.”

The former coach said when an offense can’t run the football, it makes it harder for the defense. But in another way fans may not realize.

“In practice, you have to be able to stop the run,” he said. “If you can’t stop the run, you’re in for a long day. And if you never practice against the run, how is the defense better?”

He believes one of the reasons the Seattle Seahawks are 3-3 is because of an offseason adjustment made by the officials.

“They’re calling a lot more holding calls,” the former coach said.

Seattle was used to a different type of officiating last season, he said. And they run the same defense 80 percent of the time.

One of the reasons the Broncos have success, he said, is because quarterback Peyton Manning and Executive Vice President and General Manager John Elway share the same view.

“How driven (Manning) is on everyone, every phase and attention to detail,” Shanahan said. “John has the same type of mindset. It’s always on football.”

Shanahan, who holds the record for most wins as the franchise’s head coach at 208, praised owner Pat Bowlen.

“Pat gave you everything he possibly could to be successful,” he said. “He’s one of the reasons why the organization has been so consistent over the years.”