After two seasons of slow play, Denver is now looking to slay that beast. Did having too many chefs in the kitchen kill the pace of the Broncos’ game and end in too many missed third downs?
As everyone discusses the new scheme and coaches, my questions are: who’s going to sit beside Paxton Lynch? How many will be involved in play calling?
When Gary Kubiak came to town, analyst Mitch Tanney was added to the staff and installed in the coaching box. Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison, sat up there, too. This had QB coach Greg Knapp, instead of the OC, beside Manning, with Kubiak off by himself as the lead play caller. Five voices piping in from everywhere.
The result was Kubes, Rico, Mitch, Knapp and Manning became a play call by committee group. After Manning retired, nothing changed except a brilliant tactician was absent and the mediocre offense turned into a slow, plodding wreck.
As badly as our offense looked under Manning and Asweiler, it was 12.9% worse with Trevor Siemian. It went from the 8th offense to 28th. This was not all his fault, he was a new starter. It was up to Kubiak to do what was best for the team and he didn’t.
With Knapp and Siemian, it didn’t appear as if Greg was doing much. Did Siemian struggle because he wasn’t getting real tutelage? ‘Rookie’ QBs should have their OC showing them every play, pointing out what was missed, asking what plays worked, what did they see, etc. If Knapp was doing this with Trevor, why didn’t Kubes change things?
Not to mention, Kubiak kept saying the offense should play faster. Either the QB couldn’t, or whomever was calling plays was sending in crap. Maybe both, but a good OC/HC would see an issue and make changes.
With all those chefs out there making a sandwich, maybe they couldn’t see the meat was cow manure. McCoy said he would use Tanney, but he indicated it would be more of a consult, here and there, not part of a consistent group think. Yay! No offense to Mitch, but one less voice is a good thing.
Was Kubiak, and maybe Rico and Knapp so entrenched in their plan and QB they couldn’t see any issue? Didn’t care Siemian was injured and unable to be aggressive? If so, that’s another big problem of having a HC play call and no OC sitting next to his QB. Not to mention, Kubes and Rico were conjoined twins in their thinking and careers. No fresh perspective.
There was such a disconnect between reality and what the coaches wanted, it’s still a little shocking Elway let it go on for so long.
What also raises questions is if the rumors of Lynch not grasping the entire archaic and elaborate Kubiak playbook was true, why did they send him out without a wrist band? Even Brady* wears one and NE* uses the EPS which is less of a mouthful.
Rico, in a lovely gesture of support for Lynch, told reporters after the Jags win, that he could only use half the play sheet. This brings more questions.
One, where was the other half of this wonderful play sheet the rest of the season? If it was being used, it was worthless against New England*. If the play calling with Siemian was better with him, why only three points?
Two, if you complain that your QB couldn’t use 50% of your plays, why wouldn’t you slap a band on his wrist? And if he truly didn’t know half, shouldn’t you have known that by December and used Austin instead?
Three, the longest TD drive in over a month, occurred in that game. Maybe if Rico had his behind sitting next to him, he could’ve discussed why it worked and did it again. Write the play in crayon with stick figures and a color chart.
Four, his precious call sheet resulted in losing the next three out of four games and it would’ve been all four had Derek Carr played. Not so much from his play, but because their defense rolled over and played dead. They knew their season was over. We saw the same thing from a Del Rio squad in 2014 in Denver.
Five, if my OC threw a rookie in his second start under the bus for a win, makes no remarks about being happy he got a win, I’d fire him. And then bring in an OC who knows how to work with, not against, his quarterbacks. Oh, wait.
When McCoy was in Denver with Manning, they ran one of the fastest paced teams in the league. Adam Gase was promoted from QB coach to OC because Elway and John Fox wanted to keep the continuity and speed. McCoy also liked that quickness in San Diego.
While Kubiak said he wanted to move faster, out of four quarterbacks that happened twice: Manning vs GB and Lynch vs TB. Both from going to a shotgun, hurry up.
In those games, only Kubes was calling in plays and letting the quarterbacks roll. Tossed out the script, group think and went with what was working that moment. Why he didn’t do that every game is still a big mystery. Maybe we need Scoobie Do to figure that one out.
Since Gary and Mike are so opposite, we can assume McCoy will be down there discussing plays face to face, and keeping the chatter down. This asks, what will Bill Musgrave’s role be? As a former OC, he is qualified to sit, teach and play call. Will he sit on the other side of Lynch? Be beside McCoy during the offense’s time on the field? Will that speed play up or give Lynch too much information at once? Will Musgrave sit up in the box?
From the viewpoint of doing what is best for the team, which is moving quickly and getting a new QB comfortable and learning, putting Musgrave up in the box may most sense. He can relay down, during breaks, what he sees that’s working and which defenders to exploit; however, having face to face time can’t be beat.
Not only would this speed up the play, but it would give the coaches insight to what Lynch sees and what he doesn’t. Know which looks to focus on during game review. Cut down on wasted time.
No matter what they chose, it couldn’t be worse than what transpired under Kubiak.