Shanahan firing notes

December, 31, 2008
12/31/08
6:44
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

It is being reported the Cleveland Browns are planning to talk to Mike Shanahan about their open position. Shanahan could be intrigued by the power that the Cleveland job would offer and the chance to work with young quarterback Brady Quinn. The word is Shanahan is as open to coaching in 2009 as he is intrigued by the idea of talking the season off.

In his press conference, Pat Bowlen said that Broncos' personnel staff is safe. The thinking of the organization at this point is to bring in a new coach and have him work with the current front office.

The team may keep passing game coordinator Jeremy Bates. If so, that could mean the team is leaning toward keeping a defensive-minded coach.

Here are some of the more interesting quotes from Bowlen and Shanahan's press conference in Denver Wednesday:

BOWLEN

On whether he has a role available for John Elway

"John Elway has lots of things to do and he's got a business life of his own and he is a very busy man, involved with the (Arena Football League) Crush. I haven't talked to John, and I don't have any idea if he has any interest."

On whether he has talked with any of the players and gotten their reactions

"I talked to (QB) Jay Cutler, and Jay understood the conversation. I talked to him this morning. I didn't get any negative feedback. I think he understands enough about the business of football, the game of football, that there are going to be coaching changes and changes in organizations. I didn't sense that Jay had any negative feelings about it, and I'm sure he is very interested in who is going to be the next head coach. Obviously, he is the man around here now, so I will be talking with Jay."

On how he would react if Shanahan got a job within the AFC West

"I wouldn't be too happy if it was Kansas City. But Mike will have a lot of opportunities to go to different teams. If I am consulted by one of those teams, I will give him the highest marks I can."

SHANAHAN

On what he thought Bowlen was going to talk to him about

"I wasn't really sure. Maybe lunch, my new restaurant that I have to promote that I'm not getting any cash for right now."

On what he is looking for in his next job

"Everything...  and players. (Whatever) gives you the best chance to win. A person (owner) that wants to compete, a person that wants to win the championship as badly as you do. That would be No. 1. Ownership that wants to win just like you do and is willing to go to extremes to get that done."

On if he talked with QB Jay Cutler

"I did talk to Cutler this morning. He tried to get in contact with me last night, and I called him this morning."

On the importance of Denver keeping some of its offensive staff

"Whoever the head coach that comes in (is), if he doesn't see what the offense did both in the running game and the passing game and the youth, (he) would have to be crazy not to try to keep the people that made it happen."

On if he wants to coach in college or the NFL

"Yeah, I think I'm an NFL guy. I'm not ruling anything out because when you don't have any jobs, beggars cannot be choosers. I'll just kind of wait and see. I'll look at anything out there to be honest with you, but I do love the NFL."

On if he would be surprised with John Elway working in Denver

"I think it would be great. You know what John Elway means to Denver. If I was a free agent coming in and John Elway was there, I would sign for no money. So it all depends on what John wants to do. There is a lot of time involved and John has got a lot going on. But I think John would be perfect for any organization, especially this one, if that's what he wanted to do."

This is what former Denver coach Dan Reeves had to say about Shanahan's firing on SIRIUS NFL radio:

"First of all it's a shock. I had no idea that that would happen. I don't think anybody did. Gosh, I think Mike had three years left on his contract and he and [owner] Pat [Bowlen] seemed to have such a great relationship. I certainly didn't see that. I know that had to be a big disappointment, having a three-game lead with three games to go and to have that happen. It had to be disappointing for everybody. I was shocked. They have constantly been one of the top offensive teams in the National Football League since Mike has been there and their defense over the last six or eight years has really struggled. But, you know, when you're in charge of everything then certainly the brunt of the decision has to fall on your shoulders."

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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