Denver Broncos: Mike McCoy About To Shake Offense Up

Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy reacts during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy reacts during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos will undergo major changes in an offense coordinated by Mike McCoy, who was the first call made by Vance Joseph…

The Denver Broncos wanted to shake things up on the offensive side of the football this offseason, so Vance Joseph’s first call as head coach was to former San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy.

McCoy was widely considered to be the best coordinator candidate on the market, largely due to his adaptability no matter the circumstance. Whether it was Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning or Philip Rivers, McCoy has had varying levels of success as an offensive coordinator, and the Broncos are banking on him working some Mile High Magic.

The arrival of McCoy has created a perception that the Broncos will transition from a zone blocking scheme to a power blocking scheme. That perception has been fortified by the selection of offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, who is on his third different tour with McCoy. Davidson’s preference is the power scheme, but in a recent interview with, McCoy stated that the Broncos will do what is best for the team, and that will include a combination of power, inside zone, and outside zone.

Whatever the primary blocking scheme ends up being isn’t the point. The Broncos will be making a major switch in offensive philosophy as a whole, which was previously that each piece must fit in its respective placeholder. The placeholder was pre-determined in Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison’s offensive scheme, which was initially a major concern with Peyton Manning having played in a different style of offense his entire NFL career.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Kubiak and Dennison’s offense, but as Bill Belichick said earlier in the season, it’s the same offense today as it was 10, 15 years ago. There’s a need in today’s NFL to constantly adapt. When it came to the Broncos, there had been far too many limits on what the offense could do because they were trying to do one specific thing each week, and fit very specifically skilled players into roles they weren’t necessarily good at.

As it turns out, that doesn’t really fly in the NFL anymore.

While the zone scheme is still very effective at times, it’s only as effective as a creative coordinator will allow it to be. Kyle Shanahan has proven that in his years as a coordinator, taking the philosophy of the zone blocking scheme that was perfected in the Broncos’ hay day and tweaking things here and there every year with the players he’s given in order to make it a wildly successful offense in the modern NFL.

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The Broncos certainly lacked in some areas talent-wise last year, but the scheme didn’t help things. That’s why McCoy isn’t committing to any specific sort of offense. The Broncos will not have a ‘brand’ or ‘style’ they specifically subscribe to. The offense will be tailor-made for the players the Broncos select to be part of it.

That seems pretty simple, right?

But, as simple as that is conceptually, the difference in on-field product will be remarkable. Gone are the days of saying, Boy, Paxton Lynch runs the play-action bootleg so well. He’s going to be a great fit in this system…

Here — and most welcome — are the days of saying, Wow, the Broncos really have figured out how to get the best out of Paxton Lynch. His talent shines in this offense…

The Broncos are not installing a system and forcing players to fit in it. They are creating an offense that their players can be successful in. The next step is identifying exactly who those players are.

As John Elway set out to improve the coaching aspect of this team, one thing that can’t be taken lightly is player development. The best coaches have been put in place to develop the players, and to put them in a position to succeed when they are on the field.

That’s why the Broncos hired Bill Musgrave as their quarterbacks coach. Musgrave has had great success with a young group of players in Oakland, specifically in the area of developing an offense that suited Derek Carr’s abilities perfectly. That was a huge hire for the Broncos and will prove itself early on.

Running backs coach and assistant head coach Eric Studesville was retained and promoted. Why? All he’s done is extract the best out of almost every running back he’s coached. He was the running backs coach when Mike McCoy installed an offense tailored to the run, when veteran Willis McGahee revived his career in Denver and ran for over 1,000 yards.

Tyke Tolbert was retained as wide receivers coach, and why? Because since he’s come on staff, the Broncos have had just one season (2011) where at least two receivers didn’t post 1,000 yards.

Geep Chryst was brought in as tight ends coach with a diverse background ranging from quarterbacks coach to tight ends coach, offensive assistant to offensive coordinator. His experience and knowledge of multiple positions will help in the development of the Broncos’ young tight end group.

A tailor-made offense. Coaches who focus on player development. These are two major areas that needed addressing this offseason, and the Broncos have acquired the best coaches they could possibly get their hands on.

I can’t wait to see how everything plays out through OTAs and training camp with a totally new brand of Denver Broncos football.