Shanahan predicts playoffs for Broncos

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos coach Mike Shanahan usually keeps his public comments very tame. He never gives opponents bulletin board material.

He is purposely bland when speaking publicly. Friday, however, Shanahan got out of character a bit. While being interviewed on a Denver radio station, Shanahan said "we're not going to miss the playoffs."

After the Broncos' first practice Friday, Shanahan softened his stance somewhat.

"What I said is, No. 1, you have to be a little bit lucky, a little bit fortunate," Shanahan said. "I have some high expectations for this team and hopefully we'll get there."

Shanahan is entering his 14th season as Broncos coach. They have not made the playoffs since 2005. Shanahan has never missed the postseason three straight seasons since he's been in Denver. His players were pleased to hear his prediction.

"I like it," cornerback Champ Bailey said.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have formally released safety John Lynch after agreeing to let him go Wednesday. He asked for his release. Lynch is hoping to land elsewhere so he can be a full-time player. Lynch was starting in Denver but was not playing in nickel and dime packages. If Lynch cannot find a full-time job, he will likely retire.

Also, Shanahan said he expects center Tom Nalen to be fine after having an MRI taken on his surgically repaired knee. Nalen is expected back to practice soon..