Alright, I’ve stated multiple reasons as to why David Shaw could be a good candidate for the Denver Broncos. Now, let’s address those concerns that some fans might have about his candidacy.
Concern #1: “He just rode Jim Harbaugh’s coattails!”
Well, that one’s complicated. Could you say that about the first year or two of his tenure? Sure. As I stated before, though, college football is fast and furious. You’re changing rosters every few years. The idea that he “rode someone’s coattails” for over a dozen years is nonsense. Much of the work done to elevate Stanford’s football program (and keep it competitive) lies within Shaw’s ability to coach. Period.
Concern #2: “He’s never been a Head Coach in the NFL!”
Yup. That much is true. Do you know who else was never an NFL Head Coach prior to this year? Brian Daboll, Kevin O’Connell, Mike McDaniel. What do they all have in common? Oh, they all made the playoffs in their maiden voyages.
Sure, being a Head Coach in the NFL is vastly different than in college. I’ll be the first to say that I’m not a fan of hiring college coaches. Shaw is a rare exception, though. Not only does he have 150 games as a Head Coach under his belt, but he also spent nearly a decade in the NFL as an assistant. This is a guy that’s been around long enough to know what to do, how to do it, and what his team needs to succeed.
Concern #3: “Maybe the game has passed him by.”
This one to me is ridiculous. Let me ask you this. Did the game pass Dick Vermeil by, who left coaching for 15 years after walking away from the Eagles? Considering a Super Bowl win in St. Louis and continued success in KC upon his return, I’d say that he re-adapted to the game just fine.
To further dispel this notion, if the game has “passed Shaw by”, then why is he asked to join the NFL in their coverage of the Draft every year? If he wasn’t able to identify talent for the modern game, why continually invite a guy like that to the stage? Just because his program has had some issues the last few years, doesn’t mean he’s suddenly washed. To that point…
Concern #4: “He won 14 games in the last 4 seasons!”
Yeah. His teams went 14-28 over the last four seasons. On the surface, that’s a bad stretch. However, we need to apply context to this situation. Over the pandemic, Stanford had one of the toughest COVID regulations to navigate. Their 2020 and 2021 offseason were impacted by strict measures, hampering the team’s ability to have an entire off-season program. 2022 was the first time in several years that they were able to run a full off-season program and ramp up for the season.
Surely, that is going to affect how your team will operate. As if the lack of resources to recruit weren’t enough, having strict pandemic measures only squeezed the program to its leanest point in years.
So with all that, let’s sum up David Shaw as a candidate for the Denver Broncos.