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    Mike Shanahan should be in the Hall of Fame | A More Than Football podcast with Trey Wingo

    On this week’s More Than Football podcast, Mark Schlereth joins Trey Wingo to discuss his former head coach, Mike Shanahan.

    On this week’s More Than Football podcast, PFN’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo is joined by former NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth to discuss his former coach, Mike Shanahan.

    To watch this episode of the More Than Football podcast, tune in to the video player above. You can also listen to the podcast in the player at the end of the article or on your favorite podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

    Mike Shanahan should be in the Hall of Fame

    When the topic of Shanahan comes up, Schlereth immediately comments on how much of a shame it is that he is not in the Hall of Fame. As he puts it:

    “The fact that this guy is not in the Hall of Fame is a travesty.” So many teams now run variations of Shanahan’s offense. For example, he came up with the concept of motioning a running back out of the backfield to check if the defense was in man or zone. Now, every team does that.

    Schlereth talks about how Shanahan would tell players what they were going to do and why, and how the defense would respond: “If you do this for me, it’s gonna set up these three other things, and we’re gonna eviscerate them.”

    Related | More Than Football — Get on the Same Page: Mike Tannenbaum

    According to Schlereth, there would be times when he would see how the defense would line up and players would hear him shouting “we got ‘em!” on the sideline.

    Schlereth remembers talking to Brett Favre about Super Bowl XXXII when Denver played Favre’s Green Bay Packers. Before the game, Shanahan pointed out a flaw in the Packers’ defense on certain run plays. The team would set up their blocking scheme specifically to counter it.

    The first time they saw that look in the game, the Broncos ripped off a 15-yard gain. The Packers never adjusted, and Denver gashed them with the run all game. The whole scenario played out exactly as Shanahan said it would during their Saturday night meeting.

    Shanahan’s coaching extended Schlereth’s career by several years

    When Schlereth was in Washington, he and his teammates would look at how Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers practiced and think they were soft with their pad-less practices. But then they would travel out west to play San Francisco and discover that they were “anything but a soft football team.”

    When Schlereth joined Shanahan in Denver, the coach’s management gave Schlereth’s career new life. If he had stayed in Washington, he believes his career wouldn’t have lasted another year or two. Instead, he played six more seasons, made another Pro Bowl, and won two more championships.

    Stories from Super Bowls past

    Finally, Wingo recalls several stories he was told about Shanahan that Schlereth believes describe the coach perfectly.

    First, there’s a story from the previously mentioned Super Bowl XXXII against the Packers. Running back Terrell Davis suffered from horrible migraines. In the chaos of Super Bowl Sunday, he forgot to take his medication. When the game arrived, he was in so much pain that he could barely see.

    Shanahan went to Davis and asked him to go into the game. Davis protested, but Shanahan insisted. Shanahan said, “if you’re not on the field, they know we’re gonna throw it,” and sent Davis onto the field practically blind as a decoy. The Broncos were able to score.

    The last story is about Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan, who was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator at the time, told Steve Young, “you’re gonna throw for 8 touchdown passes.”

    In that game, Young set the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a Super Bowl (6). At that point, the 49ers pulled Young out of the game. According to Wingo, Shanahan was upset that Young only got 6 of the 8 touchdowns he was promised. Schlereth isn’t surprised at all that the coach wasn’t happy, saying that it was “Mike in a nutshell.”

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