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Broncos’ interest in Mike Shanahan, ownership squabbles and Case Keenum’s woes – The Denver Post

Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla answered questions about everything Colorado sports during a live chat on Monday. Here are the highlights.

This morning I read (in another publication) that John Elway wanted to lure Mike Shanahan out of retirement last year, but the Rooney Rule prevented him from doing it. Any truth to that? And any chance he might try again this year?

Kiszla: Yes, a poorly kept secret is out: The Broncos had interest in bringing Mike Shanahan back as coach for the 2018 season. Kudos to my friend Woody Paige for bringing the story to light. John Elway’s interest in hiring Shanahan at the conclusion of last season was a narrative that had been pushed this fall by longtime Denver journalist and Shanahan confidant Les Shapiro. Paige wrote the details. while some of those details are in dispute, I believe it’s certainly fair to say Elway was ready to move on from Vance Joseph as coach a year ago. So how does he keep Joseph now, after another season that has seen Denver miss the playoffs? The idea of Shanahan as coach was nixed by president Joe Ellis a year ago. I don’t see that changing now.

With news of this secret meeting with Shanahan leaking, how much friction is this going to cause between Joe Ellis and Elway? With all of the ownership issues and team struggles, could this be the end of Elway’s tenure?

Kiszla: Joe Ellis and John Elway have been a successful front-office team that won Super Bowl 50 together. For example: In the latter weeks of the 2011 season, when Tim Tebow was the starting quarterback, Ellis and Elway together hatched a plan to pursue Peyton Manning as a free agent, a story that’s detailed in my book “The Last Rodeo.” But I also think it’s fair to say that Ellis and Elway have not always seen eye-to-eye on issues confronting the Broncos. That they would disagree on the advisability of bringing back Shanahan would not be out of the ordinary. And you know what? I don’t think Shanahan was the answer a year ago. I don’t think he’s the answer now. If Ellis and Elway agreed on everything, why would Pat Bowlen want them both in the front office. A little friction is normal when there are serious decisions facing any business.

I am watching the Amazon Video series, “All or Nothing.” The first season follows the new Los Angeles Rams. Case Keenum is their starting quarterback and he completely flops. His play in Denver looks like a rerun of his Rams games. What made Elway think he would be different? Like a lot of fans, I think the root of our problems lies with the Elway-Ellis team. The Trustees need to sell the Broncos to a responsible owner who will hire a general manager who knows what he is doing!

Kiszla: Case Keenum is what we thought he was. Or at least what I tried to warn Broncos Country what he was. While many in the Denver media were going ga-ga over Keenum during spring and summer practices, I wrote and said repeatedly that Keenum was a journeyman QB that is competent at the NFL level, but nothing else. While many focused on his solid season with Minnesota in 2017, I told folks time and again to watch his performance in the NFC championship game between the Eagles and Vikings. Keenum lost that game 38-7 after Minnesota took a 7-0 lead. Keenum threw the ball 48 times for 271 yards and two interceptions, averaging an underwhelming 5.6 yards per attempt, while constantly checking down. His QB rating was 63.8. Now compare the stats from that game to what Keenum did in the recent 17-16 loss to Cleveland. He threw the ball 48 times for 257 yards and two interceptions, while averaging an underwhelming 5.4 yards per game, getting in trouble with turnovers when he didn’t check down. It was the same exact performance. Keenum is a good man. But he’s a solid back-up QB. I tried to warn you.

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