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Mike Shanahan hopes Denver Broncos' fans cheer, not boo, his return

4:04 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
Oct 20, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan on the sidelines against the Chicago Bears during the second half at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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KUSA - The last time Mike Shanahan walked off the field in Denver, his Broncos were in a tailspin.

Their 30-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 21, 2008, was the second of a three-game losing streak to end regular season and knocked them out of the playoffs.

It ultimately knocked Shanahan out of Denver as the Broncos missed the postseason in his last three seasons.

Now in his third year as the Washington Redskins' coach, Shanahan said Wednesday he still loves the town where he raised his children and started a restaurant. His steakhouse in Denver does a brisk business.

The Broncos will do a short (20-second video) tribute to the former coach, and the former coach his hoping the fans remember his two Super Bowls and not the last three season.

"I hope they don't boo me," Shanahan told Denver-area media Wednesday morning on a teleconference. "I don't think I did anything wrong to get booed. I didn't leave. They fired me."

During his 14 years as the Broncos' head coach, Shanahan won 83 regular season games at home. He was 39-9 in the old Mile High Stadium then 44-20 when they moved across the street to the new place, then Invesco Field.

He had four 8-0 seasons at home, including stretch of 24 consecutive regular-season home wins from 1996-98. Shanahan was 5-2 in home playoff games, the biggest loss likely the 1996 wild-card game against Jacksonville.

Shanahan won the Super Bowl in 1997 and '98 and had one of the most powerful offenses of the time with John Elway and Terrell Davis.

"You know, it's been four and a half years so it's not like it was yesterday or the year before," Shanahan said Wednesday afternoon. "It's a little bit different than what normally happens when you're gone for six months or nine months. You know, I've done it before when I was with the 49ers and with the Raiders. You go back to the place you were at. A lot of emotion. I think this is a little bit different than most."

When asked about playing at 5,280 feet, Shanahan tried to joke that it was a mental thing when he was here and trying to psych-out opposing teams.

"Oh we just played that up a long time ago. There's nothing to it," Shanahan joked. "There is something to it, no question. If you've ever go outside the area and then come back and you haven't been working out and you try to work out there and haven't been working in that environment, it does take you awhile to get used to it.
"Olympians have trained in that area just from a conditioning standpoint. So it is a little bit different. You try to go in as late as you can, and over the years, they feel that is the best way to do it."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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