Shanahan spent 14 seasons as the Broncos head coach.
While attending his first Broncos practice since 2008, Denver's former coach Mike Shanahan said that he "was close" to re-joining the team last offseason for a second stint as head coach before the team decided to keep Vance Joseph for 2018.
Shanahan made the comments from a joint practice session between the Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, coach by his son Kyle. The 66-year-old veteran coach spent 14 seasons in Denver from 1995-2008 and led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, during which time the Broncos set a then-record for victories in two seasons.
Denver went 138–86 during Shanahan's tenure with the team.
"I was close, I was close," Shanahan said, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold. "One thing that has to happen is you all have to be on the same page. One thing you've got to make sure of when you are a head football coach that the owner, the GM, the quarterback are all on the same page. And if it doesn't happen the chances of you winning the Super Bowl aren't very good. ... I had a great conversation with John as everybody knows, it didn't work out, sometimes it works out for the right reasons."
The Broncos stuck with Joseph for 2018, which would end up being his final season in Denver. Joseph was fired this past offseason after the team went 6–10 while missing the playoffs for the third straight season.
Shanahan spent three seasons in Washington following his departure from Denver but hasn't coached since 2013, when he was fired by the Redskins following a 3–13 season.
The Broncos hired Vic Fangio in January to replace Joseph. Fangio had most recently served as the Bears defensive coordinator prior to taking over in Denver.