It is beginning to look like the same story every week with the Denver Broncos and how they utilize Courtland Sutton and that is a problem.
The Denver Broncos second round pick is doing well showing his big play ability throughout the early parts of the season. However, it is always on deep balls where we see Courtland Sutton be utilized. Obviously the most glaring weakness for Sutton entering is route tree and diversifying his approach. But Case Keenum and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave need to take training wheels off Sutton. Losing streak or not, Sutton’s impact on the field must be exploited.
One trait for Sutton that was unnoticed until now are that defensive backs are struggling to adjust to his huge frame. As such, Sutton is drawing quite a bit of pass interference penalties. If this is in fact true, Keenum needs to utilize this to help move down the field. Whether their questionable calls or not, penalties are penalties. Keenum should take advantage of this by passing to Sutton as much as possible.
This particular skill set was not talked about in our unleash Courtland Sutton article. However, the game against the Rams confirms he is a mismatch nightmare. Especially with the losing streak at four, the Broncos must expand the roles of Sutton and others. Sutton’s play snaps and touches must increase.
The best chance he has to display why the team drafted him is by doing more on offense. No more fly or go routes for Sutton. Expand the aperture a little more to see what else Sutton can do.
Sutton’s monstrous frame is bigger than Demaryius Thomas coming from Georgia Tech. It is worth noting Thomas started slow in his first season before exploding on to the scene with Peyton Manning at the helm. Sutton will not have a Manning at quarterback, but Keenum is still more than qualified to make positive plays happen.
The issue is Keenum’s not comfortable. He’s rattled and appears to hold onto the ball longer. Musgrave needs to make Keenum comfortable running more play action and with short passes mixed into it. Sutton must be a big part of that.
Musgrave mentioned he wanted to take the training wheels off the two rookie running backs Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay. The same needs to be applied to Sutton. As we creep closer to the midway point of regular season, Sutton’s touches need to grow. It’s up to Musgrave to make it happen and for Keenum to execute the game plan.