There’s no one that knows the benefit of keeping players healthy more than Eric Studesville. As the former running backs coach, Studesville saw way too many of “his” guys go down with injuries.
Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter missed most of training camp and have had to miss games. Their temporary replacement, LenDale White, tore his Achilles tendon in camp. White’s replacement, Justin Fargas, was coming off arthroscopic knee surgery and many wondered how much he had in the tank during camp (he was later released).
It wasn’t just the backs that Studesville saw as detrimental to his team’s ability to succeed on the ground. The offensive line was constantly rotating due to injuries as well.
Thus, the Broncos struggled to get their ground game going and were ranked dead last in the league in that aspect of the offense.
Perhaps that’s why Studesville kept his team out of pads yesterday, a move that Josh McDaniels rarely made on a Wednesday.
“I want these guys to be fresh when we’re down in Arizona,” Studesville said on Thursday. “The fresher we can keep our guys, the better they will play on Sunday.”
The Broncos are currently ranked 29th in rushing, and have actually had games where the ground game has complimented the primarily passing offense.
When asked about the NFL swaying away from the run and being more of a pass heavy league, Studesville said that to be successful, teams have to do both.
“The play action passes come off of the run which is the way you can get big plays down the field, and make safeties run up on the ball,” Studesville said. “It’s a physical game and the most physical part of the game is the running game.”
Now that the Broncos have a former running backs coach as their head coach, will the Broncos run the ball more? Studesville says not necessarily.
“We’re going to do whatever we can to win football games. If that means running the ball, we’re going to run the ball. If we need to throw it, we’re going to throw it,” Studesville said.
With an optimistic outlook and a win first attitude, Studesville is clearly a coach with a 0-0 record and a lot to prove.
Sunday’s outcome will tip the scales in one direction or another. For the sake and sanity of the Broncos organization, let the weight fall on the left column.
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