Broncos coaching staff with another egregious mistake in latest loss

Denver Broncos, Albert Okwuegbunam - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Albert Okwuegbunam - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos coaching staff is racking up Ls this season, and I’m not just talking about the nine losses this team has on its record. When you look back to the beginning of the season and even before, there are a lot of major issues to be taken with this coaching staff, some that stand out more than others.

Early on in the season, the obvious ones included game management from Nathaniel Hackett, which he then passed off to Jerry Rosburg, who was hired specifically to take on the role. We also saw Hackett pass off play-calling duties to Klint Kubiak, who hasn’t been able to get the offense back on track whatsoever.

There are plenty of other issues to take with the coaching staff — specifically offensively — but the biggest of them all has been the regression or lack of improvement from almost literally every offensive player on the roster. It’s not the fault of Nathaniel Hackett and the offensive staff that the team is dealing with so many major injuries, but what is their fault is the fact that they are failing to give opportunities to guys to get better.

Against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the Broncos went into the game with more major questions at the wide receiver position and an intent to go heavy at the tight end position. Although Jerry Jeudy was active for the game, his snaps were sparse and much of his involvement came simply as a decoy on the field (where have we heard that before?).

Against the Ravens, the Broncos went in expecting to run the ball more and they did just that, borderline force-feeding the ball to Latavius Murray 17 times while also sprinkling some carries to Mike Boone and Marlon Mack. It wasn’t overly effective, however, and the team stuck with it anyway, which resulted in a variety of unfavorable third-down situations throughout the second half of the game.

Despite rolling heavy on tight ends in this particular game, the Broncos once again couldn’t find a spot in the rotation for Albert Okwuegbunam. You remember Albert Okwuegbunam, right?

He’s the guy that many in Broncos Country were saying was better than Noah Fant this time a year ago? The guy who was supposedly the TE1 after the Russell Wilson trade that sent Fant to Seattle? The guy who caused the team to pass on the top tier of free agent tight ends?

The Broncos are struggling with wide receiver injuries, and that was amplified against the Ravens as Jerry Jeudy was on a pitch count and Courtland Sutton ended up going down with a hamstring injury. The question now is very simple.

If the Broncos went into this game knowing they were going to go heavy on rotating tight ends, how could they not activate Okwuegbunam? Yes, Eric Tomlinson and Eric Saubert are better blockers, but what kind of great success are they having in the running game right now to justify not using Okwuegbunam, if only in certain situations?

Or even as a wide receiver!

At this point, the Broncos are trotting out the worst group of receivers in the league fairly consistently. With all due respect, players like Kendall Hinton, Brandon Johnson, Jalen Virgil, and Montrell Washington are still growing. There have been a number of examples over the last couple of weeks that those guys simply don’t know what they are doing out there on a consistent basis.

What makes this even more frustrating is the fact that the Broncos tried so many different quick-hitting pass plays to the tight end position. Getting Greg Dulcich more involved is great, but let’s not sit here and pretend like Dulcich is Rob Gronkowski when it comes to blocking out here. This coaching staff is obviously more invested in Dulcich and less so in Okwuegbunam, but given where the team is currently at with its receiver room and the passing game overall, getting a talent like Okwuegbunam at least a shot out there seems reasonable.

And yet this coaching staff is not doing it.