For the second straight week, the Broncos will be entangled with a homecoming celebration.
Fortunately, the team will be playing at home this time around and will be briefly honoring the head coach that led the organization to its two Super Bowl victories, not watching as one its own players go through a week-long media gauntlet.
When Mike Shanahan makes his return to the Mile High City this weekend, all eyes will remain on Peyton Manning and a Broncos team that was handed its first loss of the season at Indianapolis last weekend.
However, Shanahan’s first game back on the Denver sidelines since he was fired in 2008 will be significant for one reason — it will take allow some of the focus to be taken off Manning and Co., even if only a little bit; even if only for a moment.
One of the trends that has taken place this year for the Broncos is that no matter where they play — under the bright lights of Broadway, in the palace Jerry Jones built or on the open-domed field in Indianapolis — they are the center of attention everywhere they go; the storyline everybody seems to be talking about, even if its not football related.
This trend will likely hold up this weekend with everybody wondering how the team can respond to its first loss, but Shanahan does give the media, the fans and even the players a much-needed reprieve from what has become an onslaught of Bronco-heavy headlines.
Obviously, no one is going to get too caught up in the past Sunday when there’s so much on the line this season, but honoring Shanahan for his contributions to the Broncos’ franchise is more than just the right thing to do — it’s the necessary thing to do.
And the timing for this brief break of recognition couldn’t be more perfect.
The Redskins have displayed flashes of offensive greatness, showing that Shanahan still has some of that genius he had in his earlier years in Denver, yet the team can’t stop anybody on the other side of the ball.
After a week of being in the headlines for all the wrong reasons — turnovers, missed blocks, late personal fouls — the club should welcome the opportunity to honor its former head coach and, most importantly, the opportunity to get rid of the hangover from last week’s loss.