Kudos to Shanahan

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan may be performing the best coaching job of his career.

Updated: October 14, 2004, 4:04 PM ET
By Sean Salisbury | ESPN Insider
I've been critical in the past of Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. I've always felt that people didn't hold his feet to the fire since he hadn't won a Super Bowl without John Elway and Terrell Davis. Also, coming into this season, the Broncos have been 44-36 without both Elway and Davis playing together and only made the playoffs twice in five seasons. For some reason he's gotten a hall pass despite those seasons and some poor personnel decisions.

Mike Shanahan
This season might be Mike Shanahan's best coaching job.
But this season I think he's done his best coaching job. The Broncos don't have RB Clinton Portis anymore, but they've still had some success still running the ball. Also he's doing a great job utilizing QB Jake Plummer's ability to throw and run on the edge of the defense. Plummer has become a big threat to opposing defenses because they don't know where he's going to be.

In years past, Shanahan tried to put a dominant offense on the field at the expense of his defense. It almost seemed as if he was just filling in on defense to give his offense a chance to rest. This season is different. The Broncos have a different attitude with the acquisitions of John Lynch and Champ Bailey. They are committed to playing strong defense and are ranked at or near the top of most major defensive categories.