It might be odd timing to discuss legacy three and-a-half seasons into head coach Mike Shanahan’s tenure in Washington, D.C., particularly coming off a disappointing loss on Sunday.
But the Broncos were not just any other opponent to Shanahan and Denver wasn’t just any other city. It was a place that Shanahan called home for 21 seasons and it was ground zero for the construction of Hall of Fame resume.
“I think any time you are at a place for as long as I was in Denver, I think it was an emotional time,” he told the media after the game. “A lot of friends, a lot of memories here but you do have a game to play.
“It’s very easy to get fired up especially coming back here and find a way to win a football game.”
After the Redskins players were introduced amidst a shower of boos, the 76,000-plus fans at Mile High Stadium stood and applauded during a 32-second tribute video on the jumbotron, thanking Shanahan for memories.
After a week of downplaying the emotional implications of Sunday’s game, Shanahan showed his heart-felt appreciation at the gesture.
“It was great…Denver is just a classy place,” he said. “It was nice of them to take that time to put something like that together.”
But rather than focusing on the nostalgia of his time in Denver, Shanahan discussed his motivation to bring memories like that to the Nation’s Capital.
“Great memories, hopefully we can bring back some of those memories back to the fans in Washington like we did in Denver,” he said. “That’s what we’re working for and hopefully we can do that.”