16 completions of passes over 20 yards, 2017 Denver must do better.

Last season, Denver had 16 completions where the ball traveled 20 or more yards through the air. Since Denver had the 9th best drop rate, it wasn’t because of the receivers. Either coaching, quarterbacking style, or both for the anemic reason, 2017 can’t be a repeat.

We know that this offense won’t be relying on short passes to dink and dunk its way down the field, so the coaching part has been removed from the equation. We have the same receivers, but with the catching additions of Carlos Henderson, Isaiah McKenzie, plus TE Jake Butt.

This puts the ball firmly on the quarterbacks. After the Tampa Bay game, opinions on them were formed. Little has changed since then. Daily reports from OTA’s continue to show what the eyeball test says.

Trevor is accurate under twenty yards, has a smooth delivery and releases the ball quickly. A no-nonsense player, who knows where to go with the ball. He is smart and has more touch.

Cecil Lamney made an observation that Siemian releases the ball quickly and as such, the motion isn’t fully formed which effects accuracy on father throws. This would explain why there seems to be a big drop off in ball velocity over 15 yards. This flick motion may be caused by his small hands. He’s not having a full grip on the ball.

Paxton can make all the throws, but has issues with consistency on touch. His athleticism extends plays and his pocket presence allows him to keep his eyes downfield while being rushed. He takes longer to decide, but the speed of his passes put them there on time.

If Trevor has an issue with hand size/motions, Lynch’s is keeping his arm up while releasing his passes. Often tall QB’s have a tendency to drop their arm down too far to account for a shorter receiver, rather than changing their wrist motion. This accounts for passes batted down at the LOS and passes dropping in the dirt. However, Per Mike McCoy:

“What he needs to work on is really learning our system and executing our system. All of the quarterbacks, that entire offense, it’s not just the quarterbacks. He’s a very talented player. He can throw. He can make every throw that we’re asking him to make and that he needs to make to win a football game and move the ball up and down the field. He’s very athletic and you love his size with his ability to sit in the pocket and see the whole field. He’s just poised in the pocket and throw those comebacks and out-route effortlessly.”

Take from that what you want, but in a way it flies in the face of some reports. Seems like all he’s lacking is getting the mental part down. Since it’s 1 June and 11 September is about 2.5 months away, that should be enough time to get it. Joseph has remarked that they’re throwing the kitchen sink at them and expects some struggles.

Also based on multiple reports, Siemian does best in drills with set scripted plays, while Lynch does best on moving the team. Most practices seem to be drill oriented, giving Siemian a good environment to showcase his skills.

What offensive coordinator Mike McCoy wants and what Head Coach Vance Joseph wants might end being as polar opposite as their two quarterbacks are.

VJ often speaks about good decision-making and consistency. Also being able to execute the playbook inside and out. Qualities that would appear to put Trevor ahead. However, he has spoken about having an aggressive offense with some juice. He also spoke about having the QB get five to seven yards. Third downs were a big issue last season.

The ability to scramble and extend plays is Lynch. By most accounts, Lynch is more aggressive, while Trevor checks down, but his passes are easier to catch.

The choices seem to be, go with a steadier and accurate quarterback on short throws or bank on Lynch becoming more accurate and quicker, the more he plays. With that said, the stats on passes to the middle and intermediate distances, lean heavily towards Lynch.

At the coaches gathering this year, Elway said you can increase accuracy, but not arm strength. Dan Marino said that what a QB is at 25, is what he is. Tweaks can be made, but his style, throwing, etc. is set.

Trevor is 25. The coaches know what they have with him. No player, coach or ‘reporter’ has used the word aggressive with him. 23 year old Lynch is more of the unknown. Can his touch increase the more he plays? Wisdom would say practice makes perfect.

How much is mechanics and how much is not having the timing down? Bad Gunslingers are notorious for inconsistency. Jaw dropping aggressive passes mixed with some really bad, where was he throwing, ones.

Good gunslingers like Phillip Rivers, don’t struggle with accuracy, it’s more about being too aggressive and trying throws they shouldn’t. This is what gets them in trouble, while the Alex Smiths of the world, don’t.

If Lynch stays inconsistant, the coaches have a big decision. Ride with the Alex Smith type or ride the big highs and low lows of a work in progress.

In different ways, both could limit how aggressive the offense can be. The QB who can make more than 16 pitiful completions thrown 20 yards, should be showing up fairly soon. That’s who will be taking more reps in July.

This man will decide who helms his ship. Watch and tell me who fits best to this style.

 

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