STATELINE, Nev. -- Mike Shanahan said Friday that he plans to coach again in the NFL and that he had the opportunity to interview for head-coaching jobs for the 2009 season, but "it just didn't feel right at the time."
"It's just something that my gut didn't feel right," the former Denver Broncos coach said after participating in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course. "I probably needed a little time to get away, especially with the way the situation wound up in Denver. I'm glad I did."
The Broncos surprisingly fired Shanahan in December after the team failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Shanahan won two Super Bowls in 14 seasons as the Broncos' coach and wielded significant power over most football decisions.
Shanahan was replaced by first-time head coach Josh McDaniels, who was the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator. The stability that the Broncos had with Shanahan has been turned upside down by the new regime. There have been numerous changes, the most notable being the trade of Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton and draft picks.
"I don't think it's my place to go into detail, but you've got to, like with Josh, he's got to go with his gut feeling with what he thinks is best for the organization," Shanahan said. "I'm a big Jay Cutler fan. I like Jay. He's got the intangibles. He hasn't gotten it done yet, but you've got to have a whole football team. It's not just one position. Josh is probably biting at the bit to get started with Chris Simms and Kyle Orton. Hopefully they can go out and get the job done for Denver."
In preparation to coach again, Shanahan said he has spent the past few months staying sharp should the right opportunity present itself.
"I plan on getting back," said Shanahan, who has a career record of 146-98, including 8-12 in one-plus season (1988, four games in 1989) as coach of the then-Los Angeles Raiders. "I probably spent more time studying football the last offseason than I have the last 10 years. I watch a lot of film and do the same thing I do during the season. I'll see if there are any opportunities out there at the end of the year that will work out for the club and myself."