Practice makes perfect, or at least that’s the hope. Just one time per week, the Broncos line up against someone other than themselves.
The most meaningful day of the week, usually Sundays, is what the Broncos spend all week preparing for. The offense practices against the defense, and vice versa. Is this the root of the problem though?
Players develop and improve in practice more so than in games. Perhaps this is why the team’s offense and defense are struggling together.
Offensively the Broncos are 23rd in points, putting up 19.0 per contest. Defensively they are giving up 28.6 points per game which is 31st in the league.
Is the Broncos defense struggling so much on Sundays because of their competition in practice? Is the offense stagnant on game days because of their competition in practice? It’s a question that must be asked.
The Broncos offense and defense could be so used to eachother’s low level of play that when they take the field against another team, it’s a shock to the whole system.
Take for instance, Tim Tebow. We can argue that he doesn’t get the ball out as fast as other quarterbacks in this league. He’s still learning how to go through his reads quickly and he’s still adjusting to the speed of an NFL defense. Because of this, the Broncos defense gets accustomed to playing against this type of QB in practice.
“Teams that hold on to the ball a little bit longer, it’s a little bit easier to pressure those guys and get after them because they’re going to allow your pressure to get there,” defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said on Thursday.
Tebow is holding on to the ball longer considering whether to run or pass as the play progresses. It’s probably showing up in practice as well.
“I think it changes your scheme,” Allen said of a QB that gets the ball out quickly. “You’ve got to try to get to him a little bit more and win with coverage to allow your rushers a little more time to get there.”
Because the defense is getting to Tebow, they’re coverage development probably stalls in practice, and thus, it shows up on game day. The Broncos are 19th against the pass, and still have trouble getting to QBs that can get the ball out quickly.
This isn’t to pick on Tebow, it’s just an example of how an offense can effect the development of a defense in practice. We could reverse it and say that Tebow isn’t developing as quickly because he plays against a weak defense. It’s a chicken and egg kind of situation.
Vince Lombardi said it best.
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
It’s time to stop preaching and step it up during the week. Striving for perfection in practice will make Sunday’s a lot more enjoyable.