There were growing pains for the Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch, but already there are signs of a “Mile High” leap in 2017…
First round draft pick Paxton Lynch displays a skill set that gets Denver Broncos executive John Elway salivating. However, Lynch did not show the traits of a franchise quarterback in his two starts in the 2016 season. Lynch did not make the necessary progression or read it seemed every play. On the surface, Elway and new head coach Vance Joseph gave Lynch a glowing endorsement whipping away last year’s offense.
Additions of Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave to the Broncos staff will propel Lynch to a major leap in 2017. McCoy spent time in Denver before taking the San Diego Chargers job in 2013, and much has changed since then. The Broncos are Super Bowl champions and the San Diego Chargers are no more.
As Broncos offensive coordinator from 2010-2012, McCoy developed three different schemes on offense for diverse quarterbacks. In 2011, McCoy managed to create two systems to fit Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. He earned a head coaching job in San Diego after instituting a historic offense in 2013. To Adam Gase’s credit, he had more to do that season than McCoy. Lynch is better tooled than Tebow, but I would expect to perhaps see some of the same read option plays if the ex-Memphis Tiger quarterback is starting week one in 2017.
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The other growth aspect of Lynch is the addition of Bill Musgrave as quarterbacks coach. Musgrave turned Derek Carr into a potential MVP candidate in his third season at the helm of Oakland. Carr is a different quarterback than Lynch, but the skill set of Lynch will make Musgrave or any quarterbacks coach drool.
Musgrave helped transform the Oakland Raiders’ offense from one of the worst in 2015 to a top-10 worthy offense in 2016. Lynch is the same height as Brock Osweiler; however, Lynch is more mobile and accurate once the tools are harnessed.
All of this hinges on the growth of the Broncos first round quarterback from year one to year two and willingness to learn. Lynch’s talent is a blend of perennial Pro Bowler and All-Pro quarterbacks. He has the smarts to scramble outside the pocket like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. Lynch’s stature and big body parallels Ben Roethlisberger/Cam Newton. Time will tell if he makes these comparisons come true, but they are rooted in Lynch, and he just needs to find it.
If Lynch is not the answer, then the Broncos offensive staff is versatile enough to change an offense to Trevor Siemian if he takes the reigns again in 2017. The likelihood of Siemian starting next season is not good; however, he played up against the wall last year and started all 16 games in the regular season. It is possible he starts, but not likely.