Earlier this year, former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan returned to visit the team for the first time since he was fired more than a decade ago. He says that he almost returned for something more than a visit in 2018.
Via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com, Mike Shanahan said Saturday at a joint 49ers-Broncos practice that he nearly became the head coach after Vance Joseph's first season on the job.
"I was close, I was close," Shanahan said. "One thing that has to happen is you all have to be on the same page. One thing you've got to make sure of when you are a head football coach that the owner, the G.M., the quarterback are all on the same page. And if it doesn't happen the chances of you winning the Super Bowl aren't very good. . . . I had a great conversation with [G.M.] John [Elway] as everybody knows, it didn't work out, sometimes it works out for the right reasons."
Actually, it's not something that everybody knew about. News of the flirtation between Elway and Shanahan first emerged in December 2018, nearly a year after Elway nearly made Joseph a one-and-done coach. Joseph was fired after his second year on the job. Shanahan's name came up during the search that resulted in Vic Fangio getting the job, but it's unclear whether Shanahan was close to getting it this time around.