Mike Shanahan as Captain America
So Mike Shanahan is here to rescue us. Witness the photo of him as a superhero, right there, via @NattyBo. And check out these two awesome tales from the archives.
First, from the Denver Post, in 2004, when Shanahan was still in charge.
It isn't easy assembling a special group in today's NFL, where half the roster can change in a typical offseason. Free agency has fostered a certain selfishness, a mercenary mind-set among players in a ruthless sport that eats its own.
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey saw that kind of attitude in Washington, where Redskins owner Daniel Snyder loved to collect big-ticket free agents who had no emotional attachment to their teammates or the city. Sure enough, five years later, Bailey has yet to taste the playoffs, much less a Super Bowl.
"We've got guys who want to see each other succeed," Bailey said. "When they mess up, you want to pick them up. I never really had that [in Washington]. We've got big names, but they're guys who collectively have good attitudes. You know what you're going to get from them every day. That's big. You put a lot of stars together like we did in D.C., and it won't work. If you don't have communication in the locker room and everybody isn't getting along every day, it can be tough."
And then, I'd ask you to consider this anecdote from Shanahan's collegiate career at Eastern Illinois, via the Rocky Mountain News in 1998. During his junior year, after taking a hit in spring practice, Shanahan wound up home in bed. When his roommate, Mike Heimerdinger, came home, Shanahan was still in bed, and confessed that he'd been urinating blood. They went to the hospital; Shanahan had a split kidney.
''Right away, Mike told the doctors, 'Start cutting, I know I've got a problem,' '' Shanahan's father told the paper.
Anyone who tells the doctors to "start cutting" is okay by me.
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