Kiz: John Elway tackled his revenge list of revenge and corrected a broken offense by Denver in an urgent need for a thorough overhaul. Kudos to Elway who enthusiastically tackles a difficult task. But these are strange coronavirus times we all live in. Quarterback Drew Lock is: A) exceptionally talented and B) still painfully inexperienced. How quickly can new coordinator Pat Shurmur put it all together in a year where spring practice is extremely limited, trying to create coherence in a violation that emerges with a new receding, one (or two) rookie starters at a wide receiver and a significantly renewed O-line?
O’Halloran: Shurmur has earned his earnings from working with young quarterbacks in St. Louis, Cleveland, Philadelphia … well, just about all of his NFL stops. But here’s how Shurmur’s experience could help the Broncos in general and Lock in particular – he knows how a shortened training camp will affect his young players, so he will install the playbook accordingly and possibly some of the early game plans. streamline season. Find out what the young boys are doing well and add layers to the schedule as the season progresses.
Kiz: Football is not a missile operation. Or brain science. It blocks and sweats and growls. So I’ve always poached the importance of football and training camp in the spring as no more than a brilliant way for the NFL to captivate fans 365 days a year. But Peyton Manning once told me it took him at least a year to master a new offense. So how big will the change and challenge for Lock be to execute Shurmur’s schedule with maximum efficiency, given the time shortened on the field for sure to prepare with new attacking teammates?
O’Halloran: Last week, Lock said he is learning Shurmur’s offense “ ten times faster ” than Scangarello’s 2019 schedule, a year-long product in the pro game. But Lock’s challenge is two-fold. Previous quarterbacks I’ve discussed said it’s critical that they master the attack quickly so they can lead their teammates. If you don’t have personal meeting time and instruction on the field, things get difficult. Second, and just as important, is creating chemistry with his new teammates. This is due to throwing and study sessions. Let’s say the camp opens in early August – it’s a five-week crash course to prepare for Tennessee.
Kiz: The violation can’t be worse than the pathetic 17.6 points per game that Denver averaged in 2019. But Lock has a lot more to learn about being an NFL quarterback than Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, which the Broncos should try to beat this season. Lock said, “Expectations rise when you have so many weapons around you.” No one has ever accused me of being reasonable. So tell me, my esteemed footballer: how many points per game is it reasonable to expect Broncos to score per game in 2020?
O’Halloran: Four teams in 2018 averaged less than 17.6 points – Arizona (14.1), Jacksonville (15.3), Buffalo (16.8), and Washington (17.6). Last year, the Cardinals made the biggest jump (to 22.8), followed by the Jaguars (18.8) and Bills (19.6). The average of the Redskins dropped to 16.6. My point: if the Broncos can make a Cardinals-like jump, their average will come to 26.1 points … and probably in the playoffs. But the Broncos should settle for a six-point increase per game. Expectations for this team should remain lukewarm even with the additions, but Elway had the long run in mind – joining Lock, surrounding him with young players with skill positions and hoping to make a leap in 2020 and a big leap in 2021 .