by Josh Alper
Over his 14 years with the Broncos, Mike Shanahan gradually became the most powerful man in the organization. He forced out general managers, constantly reshuffled his coaching staff and held control over every personnel decision, something that surely contributed to his firing on Tuesday.
As a result, owner Pat Bowlen is now pitching a more diffuse power structure in which neither the coach nor the G.M., whoever they turn out to be, has more power than the other. The new coach will be hired before the new G.M. and both men will report directly to Bowlen. That seems like a situation destined for problems.
There will be disagreements in the course of any working relationship. If they get serious enough, Bowlen will be forced to choose to keep one or the other, which will make whoever stays the de facto power figure anyway. It would make a lot more sense to install the G.M., even if you just promote current V.P. of football operations and player personnel Jim Goodman, and then have him help with the coaching search to promote a unified organizational blueprint.
It's not surprising that Bowlen is approaching this in a different manner than many of his peers. Although he's owned the team since 1984, this is only the third time Bowlen has had to hire a head coach. Dan Reeves was already there when he bought the club, and Wade Phillips was briefly the coach before Shanahan rose to the position.
Pat Bowlen's Inexperience With Coaching Searches is Showing originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sun, 04 Jan 2009 22:20:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.