Football

Mile High Hopes

Denver Broncos
Dec 1, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers Empower Field at Mile High.The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What are we going to do with the Denver Broncos? The biggest problem here is not the roster. Additionally, Drew Lock is not the main issue. Is his lack of production concerning? Yes. That is an issue. But, is it all is fault? No. The offensive coaches and the scheme in place are not setting the team up for success.

On top of all that, their have been no adjustments made. Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur and the rest of the offensive coaching staff should have already been fired for the horrible job they are doing, and for wasting good young talent. Not just Drew Lock, I mean the rest of the offense. If Vic Fangio can’t see that there is a major problem here, then he needs to be fired as well. Furthermore, why has Fangio as a defensive minded head coach failed to address the poor play of the defense? The roster isn’t great, but it isn’t all on them. Plus, there is optimism about the incoming draft class. Let’s break it all down.

The Passing Attack Should Not Be This Bad

Courtland Sutton. Jerry Jeudy. KJ Hamler. Noah Fant. These guys were turned loose in college. Any QB would do well with them. Lock can throw the ball. He is the all time leader in SEC passing yards in a season, and he has the record of 41 passing touchdowns in a season. Sutton could have been a top receiver in the draft, and finally will be healthy. Jeudy was a first round pick, and the best receiver in the country. Hamler was a second round speed demon. Fant was one of the best tight ends in the history of Iowa football. This should be a match made in heaven. The Denver Broncos have the talent to run the air raid and throw the ball 90 percent of the time. Your telling me you can’t get anything out of these guys? That is a boat load of horse you know what.

The plan the coaches have clearly is not working. The scheme is not working. Nothing they are doing is working. Fire Shurmur, hire an OC from the college ranks, and go from there. In terms of other receivers, the Broncos drafted Seth Williams in the sixth round from Auburn. He likely won’t see much time. Tim Patrick has stepped up and won’t go away quietly.

The Run Game

Melvin Gordon is the most overrated running back in football. He is not good. Why is he still in the league? The good news is that in the second round from North Carolina, Javonte Williams was drafted. This kid is a stud and will easily win the starting job. Williams will hopefully send Gordon and fellow draft bust Royce Freeman packing.

The offensive line is in okay shape. The addition of Bobby Massie at right tackle is confusing. The Broncos probably should have went looking for someone a little younger. Left tackle Garrett Boles and right guard Graham Glasgow are also on the older side. However, left guard Dalton Risner and center Lloyd Cushenberry are still young. Quinn Meinerz was drafted in the third round from DIII Wisconsin Whitewater. His main position is center, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he makes the move to right guard at some point. That would probably make more sense than him playing center since Cushenberry is the top option. The kid is a physical player who shined in the senior bowl and has a bright future. The backup left tackle is 25 year old Calvin Anderson, we’ll see if he gets an opportunity if Boles gets hurt.

Can The Defense Do Anything Right?

Last year, not really. It is also worthy to note the Von Miller may or may not be still under criminal investigation. His future still might be a little uncertain. Miller is also getting older and probably doesn’t have much time left. Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson are the inside backers in the 3-4 front. They are good tacklers. Not a lot of sacks, but that isn’t always the role of an inside linebacker. Bradley Chubb is still opposite Miller. Baron Browning was a third round steal from Ohio State. He can play both the strong and weak side, cover, defend against the run, and is crazy athletic. Browning right now is listed as an option on the inside, which makes the most sense. Johnson is 29, and there is a chance the team will want to see what Browning can do.

Pat Surtain needs to be a starter for the secondary. So does Caden Sterns. Surtain was the first round pick from Alabama and the best corner in the draft. Sterns is a fifth round rookie strong safety from Texas. They are sitting behind Kyle Fuller and 33 year old Kareem Jackson. If they don’t feel Sterns is ready, then the team should trade for a bridge guy and cut Jackson. Surtain should get into the starting lineup easily. Justin Simmons is still easily the best player in the secondary. Fifth round pick Jamar Johnson won’t oust him and he is headed for special teams duty for now. Ronald Darby and Bryce Callahan competing for other spot at corner doesn’t sound all that promising. Kerry Vincent Jr was taken in the seventh round from LSU and also needs a role.

Concerns in the Trenches

Dre’Mont Jones is the only young starter. Mike Purcell and Shelby Harris are nearing the end. Also, who the heck is Mike Purcell? Jonathan Cooper and Marquiss Spencer were both drafted in the seventh round from Ohio State and Mississippi State respectively. Both have potential at end or outside linebacker, but it’s probably way too early to tell. Pass rush should have been addressed on the draft sooner. If there is not substantial growth and improvement with the Broncos this season, look for some players to be moved and for some heads to roll.

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