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Mike Shula brings extended experience to Broncos' QB coach position

Broncos now have one of the league's most experienced coaching staff after adding youngest son of NFL coaching legend Don Shula.
Credit: AP
This is a 2018 photo of Mike Shula of the New York Giants NFL football team. This image reflects the New York Giants active roster as of Saturday, April 14, 2018 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After the Giants and Broncos agreed on how to divvy Mike Shula’s 2020 salary, the youngest child of legendary NFL coach Don Shula officially became Denver’s new quarterback coach Tuesday.

Mike Shula follows Pat Shurmur from the New York Giants to lead the Broncos’ offense as general manager John Elway has assembled one of the NFL’s most experienced coaching staffs.

That staff starts with head coach Vic Fangio.

In the Broncos’ just completed season of 2019, they had ample coaching experience everywhere but at the pivotal positions of offensive coordinator and quarterback coach where Rich Scangarello and T.C. McCartney were working up to those positions, respectively, for the first time.

In 2020, Shurmur will bring 11 years of offensive coordinator/head coach experience to the Broncos’ offensive coordinator job and Shula will bring 20 seasons of QB/offensive coordinator experience to Denver’s QB position. Shula was also head coach for the University of Alabama, his alma mater, in the four years that preceded the Nick Saban dynasty.

For the past two years, Shurmur was the Giants’ head coach while Shula served as his offensive coordinator.

That duo “steps down” to take the offensive coordinator and QB positions with the Broncos, an indication of how far Denver has come in terms of coaching experience.

Whether Shurmur and Shula will be best for quarterback Drew Lock’s development remains to be seen, but Fangio believes so.  

“Mike is a well-respected coach around the league, especially when it comes to developing quarterbacks,’’ Fangio said in a statement. “The familiarity he has with Pat is an added bonus, but what’s most impressive is Mike’s proven track record of coaching quarterbacks at many different stages of their careers. We’re fortunate to add someone with his depth of experience, coaching ability and unique perspective to our staff.”

Shula helped bring along Cam Newton from Carolina’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011 to league MVP in 2015.

With the Broncos, Shula will be tasked with developing Lock in his second-year after he played well, posting a 4-1 record in the final five games of his just completed rookie season.

Don Shula was about to start his third season as head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1965 when his wife Dorothy delivered their fifth and youngest child, Mike. Their oldest child, Dave Shula, is a former head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Don Shula went on to become the winningest head coach in NFL history with 328 regular-season victories and 19 more in the postseason, including two Super Bowl titles.

Mike Shula was Alabama’s starting quarterback for three years before he started his coaching career in 1988 with Tampa Bay. He has since coached, in one capacity or another, for the Dolphins, Bears, Bucs again, Dolphins again, Alabama, Jaguars, Panthers, Giants and now the Broncos.

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