Denver Broncos: Offense could be sweet in 2017
After a bland offense has stalled the Denver Broncos playoff hopes, the M&M pairing should make Denver’s 2017 offense sweet once again.
So maybe we in Broncos Country have been a little spoiled. After four seasons of watching Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense move the ball at will for a few seasons we watched as the offense sadly plummeted to 27th in the league under the watch of Rick Dennison this past season. The Broncos needed changes.
With a championship caliber defense still in place needing only minor fixes up the middle, it was clear that the focus this off-season was going to be placed on getting the offense up to speed. During his introductory press conference, new head coach Vance Joseph said that he wanted an offense with “swagger”. An offense that would attack and score points.
Joseph then pulled an absolute coup by signing two of the best offensive minds available this off-season in Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave. Let’s take a look at the two men in charge of rebuilding a once formidable Broncos offensive attack.
During his first tenure as offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, Mike McCoy helped the offense move up to number 2 in the league in scoring in 2012. Yes, having Peyton Manning as your quarterback helps that a LOT. However McCoy showed his versatility during his time here. Having worked with Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning, McCoy was able to find an offense that fit each quarterbacks talents.
He made Kyle Orton look like a competent NFL quarterback, helped Denver lead the league in rushing with Tim Tebow despite the fact EVERY defense they faced knew they were going to run almost every down. Let’s also not discount the fact that in 23 games, McCoy helped Tebow throw for 2,383 yards, 17 TD’s while also rushing for 887 yards and 12 TD’s. That’s right, 29 total touchdowns in 23 games. From a guy most experts said couldn’t play in the NFL.
His time with Manning was short but impressive. It seems laughable now, but remember, there were huge questions as to whether Manning would be a decent quarterback in the NFL again. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair even felt that Matt Schaub was going to be better than Manning.
He had just missed the entire previous season after multiple neck surgeries and was turning 36 when he signed with the Broncos. All Denver did that season was finish second in both QB rating (105.3) and scoring (30.1 ppg).
During his tenure is San Diego, the Chargers finished in the top 10 in total offense twice in four years. Prior to McCoy’s arrival, Philip Rivers had thrown for 30 TD’s in a season twice in his previous 7 seasons as a starter in San Diego.
He threw for 30+ TD’s in 3 of the 4 seasons under McCoy and still managed 29 TD’s in the other season. Rivers top 3 career years in completion percentage have come during McCoy’s time as coach of the Chargers.
While not hugely successful as a head coach, there is no denying his talent as a coordinator. Some guys just have that legacy (Think Wade Phillips, Norv Turner).
Not many people expected Musgrave to be available this off-season. Not after watching Oakland return as an AFC force. Derek Carr’s rapid ascension from promising young quarterback to legitimate MVP candidate can be linked to Musgrave’s work with the offense. Carr experienced some success during his rookie campaign, throwing for 3,000+ yards and 21 TD’s for a QB rating of 76.6. Enter Bill Musgrave.
Carr’s numbers under Musgrave immediately jumped to 3,987 yards, 32 TD’s and a QB rating of 91.1 in their first season together. This past season saw Carr jump into the MVP discussion after Oakland put up it’s best offensive production in 14 years with Carr throwing for 3,937 yards, 28 TD’s and watched his rating jump to 96.7.
His work with the run game is just as impressive. During Musgrave’s time as offensive coordinator in Minnesota, Adrian Peterson put up one of the best seasons in NFL history posting 2,097 yards rushing at a clip of 6.0 yards per carry, earning him NFL MVP honors.
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While with Oakland Musgrave has helped Latavius Murray go from 6th round pick who had 424 yards rushing his rookie season to 1,066 yards rushing his first season with Musgrave. Last season Murray added 12 rushing touchdowns along with 788 yards rushing on only 195 attempts.
All in all, the addition of McCoy and Musgrave to the Broncos is an absolute steal. Both have a great history in developing quarterbacks and building offenses that have been successful for a long time. With the M&M boys on board, the Broncos offense could be something sweet for Denver fans once again.