Bowlen fires Shanahan

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Pat Bowlen did it.

I never thought he'd do it. But Mike Shanahan is out as the Denver Broncos coach after 14 seasons.


Bowlen has long said Shanahan had a job for life. However, after the Broncos lost their final three games including Sunday against the Chargers for the AFC West title, Bowlen changed his mind. They are the first NFL team to blow a three-game lead with three games to go.

Here is Bowlen's explanation for the move in a release by the team:

After giving this careful consideration, I have concluded that a change in our football operations is in the best interests of the Denver Broncos. This is certainly a difficult decision, but one that I feel must be made and which will ultimately be in the best interests of all concerned.

I appreciate the 21 years that Mike Shanahan has given to the organization as an assistant and head coach, and the two Super Bowl wins in that time. His contributions hold a special place in Broncos history.

Bowlen and Shanahan will meet with the Denver media Wednesday.

I will come back with analysis of this move later Tuesday.