Words of the day: Vanilla Offense and Vanilla Defense

The words for today are Vanilla Offense and Vanilla Defense.

In layman’s terms, a vanilla offense/defense is simply “plain”, nothing special (bypassing Gary Kubiak joke here, well kind of). Nothing in that they are wanting to save for a special moment. It’s a plain coffee out of a machine. As to the where, when; a division or playoff game is on the line, teams will break out the Rocky Road, with gummy bears, and sprinkles. Or the Starbuck$ order that takes 38.9 seconds to spit out. They throw the kitchen sink on the field at that point.

Here is the Preseason Schedule where  the Broncos will run quite a bit of vanilla.

2017 Denver Broncos Preseason Schedule

During the preseason, teams rarely show all their bells and whistles. There is no need. These games are all but meaningless from a W/L perspective. The #1 goal for any team during the preseason is the health of the starting unit. The #2 goal is working out kinks and developing depth and watching plays/action that allow the coaches to have more information when they get hunkered down and start filling out the back end of the 53 man roster.

This preseason will likely be more lively than when you knew John Elway, Jake Plummer or Peyton Manning was the set in stone  signal caller. Mike McCoy will likely show off more “non-vanilla” offense than Joe Woods will with the defense since a) Mike McCoy is installing a new system for all but a handful of players (if you count the ones that played in Gase’s version of the offense) and b) the young starting QB needs every competitive snap he can get (the sooner a starter is named the better) and c) Woods is running the same base system that Wade Phillips was and there is no need for any of his new wrinkles to be shown in the pre-season.

The offense/QB1 needs to work on more plays that will be the nuts and bolts of the offense than say an Aaron Rodgers, or a Drew Brees who have years and years in the same system. Even a vet like Philip Rivers might see more “non-vanilla” snaps this preseason since he too is dealing with a new HC/OC/system.

So, in the end, we might see a bit more out of the offense than we normally do and it’s a good thing, they need the work, but it will still likely be very vanilla compared to any of the 16 regular season games on the schedule.



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