Mike Shanahan, now the former head coach for the Denver Broncos, has spoken out about being fired on Tuesday.
He spoke in a press conference Wednesday morning from Dove Valley.
Shanahan was reflective as he looked back on his 21 years with the team, 14 of those as head coach. He said he was leaving a team with the utmost character and talent.
He talked about the firing taking him by surprise. But he said he understands the decision Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen had to make. He added that Bowlen will always be his great friend.
"You have to make tough decisions in any organization. Pat Bowlen made a tough decision. I just thank him for giving me the opportunity to do the things I've gotten to do," said Mike Shanahan.
Shanahan led the Broncos to back to back Super Bowl victories. He has the most career wins all time (146-91) by a Broncos head coach.
As for what happens from here for Shanahan, he says he's going to regroup and see what his options are. Shanahan says he's interested in coaching again but hasn't taken any phone calls about current openings.
Shanahan spoke after Bowlen talked to the press.
Bowlen said the season didn't go as well as he'd hoped. But he didn't blame the coach. Bowlen said it's just time for a change.
"I think it was time for the organization to move on, and for Mike to move on," said Bowlen.
He also added that he supports Shanahan in anything he wants to do in the future.
Bowlen says he will now begin the process of looking for a new coach, while Shanahan looks for his next opportunity in coaching.
However, the owner gave no timetable for his new hire and said he hadn't compiled a short list of candidates.