Denver Broncos coaching staff can save jobs by saving Paxton Lynch
Are there jobs on the line with the coaching staff of the Denver Broncos? Can saving Paxton Lynch help save their jobs as well?
We’ve been doing a lot of talking about Paxton Lynch and the rest of the Denver Broncos’ coaches here at Predominantly Orange lately, and with good reason.
On Monday, Lynch was still a couple of weeks at least from being able to contribute on the field. Two days later, he was practicing with the first team and firing the ball downfield with ease. While none of this makes much sense, it brought an idea to mind:
Perhaps the coaching staff in Denver, and maybe more specifically head coach Vance Joseph, has been given this scenario: Save Paxton Lynch, save your job(s).
The Broncos hired guys like Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave this offseason to work with the quarterbacks in-house, and the player they believe in for the future is Paxton Lynch. John Elway said as much:
“Trevor started, Brock’s in there now and we believe in Paxton.”
That really says it all.
The Broncos are clearly making a push for Lynch to play, and with just seven games left this season, why not?
Even seven games is not a great sample size to have for a young quarterback, at least in terms of making decisions for the following season and future of the team when you are losing due to poor play at the quarterback position, among other reasons.
That said, six or seven games to evaluate Lynch is six or seven games. You’ve got to get the largest sample size possible, and in order to get Lynch involved, you have to tailor an offense to his skill set.
I don’t know if anyone on the Broncos’ coaching staff is truly in danger of losing their jobs, but it feels like it. It would seem, based on history with John Elway and his expectations for the team as far as wins and losses, that this coaching staff is on the hot seat, starting with head coach Vance Joseph.
But possibly a (successful) change to the former first round Lynch at quarterback could buy this coaching staff some time. If the coaching staff shows commitment to a player drafted high by Elway, and they incorporate an offense that he can successfully run, I think there’s a chance that some jobs are saved here.
It’s also possible that Lynch’s success could have the reverse effect. What if Lynch comes in and has success, and all that was required early on was to install an offense tailored to his skills? If that’s all it takes, it could be seen as a direct sign of defiance to Elway’s desire to see Lynch on the field at the expense of wins and losses.
Elway has publicly been very patient with the development of Lynch, but behind the scenes, I can only imagine he is watching the success of the three other quarterbacks in the class of 2016 and second guessing his pick a little bit.
It’s natural for that to happen.
But if Lynch comes in and has some success, we could see a dramatic shift in the future plans for the Broncos.
There’s precedence of this happening with Mike McCoy in the past, when he tailored an offense suited to Tim Tebow’s skills and had a top ranked rushing attack despite nearly no passing game whatsoever.
Lynch is not without talent. He was a first round pick for a reason other than the fact that he plays quarterback. He’s got a lot of tools, but like we’re seeing with other quarterbacks around the league, he likely needs an offense tailored to his skills to succeed.
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I don’t know that tailoring an offense to his skills necessarily guarantees success, but you have to at least try. To this point, two different coaching staffs have tried to fit Lynch (a square peg) into their own offense (round hole) and it has predictably failed.
There are simplified concepts that Lynch can do well now while growing himself into a more polished player year by year.
I think John Elway is genuine in his belief that Lynch can still be the player they drafted him to be. To this point, however, the coaching staff this year has failed to put him in position to succeed.
If they can get him back on the right track, it could change their end-of-year evaluations from the man upstairs, and potentially keep this staff around for 2018. It’s also possible that too much damage has already been done.
One way or another, it will be fascinating to watch unfold.