Broncos will not have Pat Shurmur calling plays vs. Eagles

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Pat Shurmur. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Pat Shurmur. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos will not have offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur against the Eagles after a positive COVID test. Who will call the plays?

Coming off of arguably his unit’s best game of the 2021 season, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will not be available for the team to call plays against the Philadelphia Eagles due to COVID-19 protocols.

The circumstances are unfortunate, but the Broncos will be in good hands as Shurmur works toward clearing protocol and getting back into his seat.

The offensive coaching staff for Denver, fortunately, includes a couple of former NFL offensive coordinators, including quarterbacks coach Mike Shula.

Broncos will not have Pat Shurmur calling plays vs. Eagles

Shula was the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator from 2013-17 when he had Cam Newton as his quarterback.

Newton obviously had his MVP season right smack in the middle of Shula’s time on staff as offensive coordinator, and the Panthers as a team had three seasons with 11 or more wins in that timeframe.

Shula joined Pat Shurmur’s staff with the New York Giants in 2018 after Shurmur was hired away from the Minnesota Vikings.

Many fans in Broncos Country have been absolutely screaming for a change at offensive coordinator, though obviously no sane person actually wishes ill for Pat Shurmur.

Perhaps Shula being in the driver’s seat of the Denver Broncos’ offense will be a blessing in disguise for everyone involved.

It should be noted that Vic Fangio didn’t directly confirm that Shula would be calling the plays. Running backs coach Curtis Modkins has also called plays in the past at the NFL level as well.

Still, Shula undoubtedly has the most experience and given the fact that he works with Teddy Bridgewater every single day, that line of communication is already strong. It would make a ton of sense for him to assume Shurmur’s role as offensive coordinator for this week against the Eagles.

It’s tough to know exactly what a change like this could mean. Shula hasn’t called plays for a couple of years but it will be fascinating to see how different his script will be from Shurmur’s or if he will have that kind of autonomy over the playbook on Sunday in the first place.

Given what is at stake for the Broncos in this game, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Shula to be instructed to go a little ultra-conservative in the play-calling department, but it might also be in the best interests of the Broncos to cut him loose, so to speak, and let him really just get into the flow and express his own unique “voice” as the offensive coordinator for a week.

You never know what might happen.