Monday, July 30, 2007

Walsh's legacy

The Denver Broncos, and just about every other team in the NFL, owe a debt of gratitude to the late Bill Walsh.

When Mike Shanahan became Denver’s head coach, he was fresh off three years as offensive coordinator with San Francisco, where he studied Walsh’s meetings and practices and borrowed some of Walsh’s offensive philosophies to fit his own system. Four years into his Broncos’ tenure, Shanahan had guided the team to two Super Bowl wins.

But with Walsh’s impressive list of coaching apprentices, the Broncos aren’t alone. Just about every team incorporated some tenets of Walsh’s famous “West Coast Offense,” and many such as Shanahan, Mike Holmgren and George Seifert used parts of Walsh’s system to guide their teams to Super Bowl titles.

“He studied it, he worked at it, tinkered with a lot of things, and when you hear 'West Coast Offense,' you go back to Bill Walsh,” Shanahan said.

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