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View Full Version : One-Trick Pony [Manning article @ Grantland]


Blart
01-09-2013, 11:11 AM
Good article about the simplicity of Denver's offense, and how that simplicity empowers Manning to have more control.


http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8828013/how-return-simplicity-peyton-manning-indy-offense-ignited-denver-broncos


The small number of plays essentially put the full offense at Manning's disposal at any time, and by combining few formations with few plays, both veterans and newcomers to the offense had their acclimation eased by the small number of tasks. There were just a handful of routes, typically from one side of the field or the other, run just the way Manning liked them. Despite media intimations to the contrary, the most sophisticated quarterback in the NFL ran what was arguably its simplest offense. It also just happened to be the best.

Following their third loss of the season, the Broncos offense became what it likely should have been from day 1: as close to the Manning-Moore offense as possible.When asked how similar Manning's current offense is to what he ran in Indianapolis, New England coach Bill Belichick was typically candid. "It's identical. It looks the same to me."
But the play Denver runs more than any other is the same one Tom Moore diagrammed on the back of a golf scorecard for Larry Fedora roughly a decade ago. Known as "Dig" in the old Colts playbook and as "Levels" to most coaches, the play has an inside receiver run a square-in or dig route while an outside receiver runs a five-yard, in-breaking route on the same side of the field. On the other side, an inside receiver runs a "Read-Seam," either streaking up the seam if there is a single deep safety or breaking to the middle between two deep safeties. The image below is the actual page from Manning and Moore's old Colts playbook.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2013/0109/grant_h_dig_diagram_sl_640.jpeg

It's difficult to overstate how often Manning ran this with the Colts and how often he still runs it with the Broncos. Ten times a game in various forms and from different formations is not uncommon; if games in which he's throwing a lot, 15 or 20 wouldn't be unheard of. Dig is Manning's Lombardi sweep: You know it's coming, but try to stop it. The Broncos ran it early and often two weeks ago against the Chiefs, setting the tone for what became a 38-3 drubbing.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2013/0109/grant_h_dig1_sl_640.jpeg

The Chiefs showed soft coverage, and Manning is essentially reading this play high-to-low: the Read-Seam to the deep dig to the short in. He's been doing this so long he can often quickly zero in on where the ball needs to go, and this play is no different. After making a quick run fake, Manning knows immediately that Eric Decker will be open on the short in-breaking route and hits him for a quick gain.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2013/0109/grant_h_dig2_sl_640.jpeg
Full article here:
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8828013/how-return-simplicity-peyton-manning-indy-offense-ignited-denver-broncos


What do you think this says about McCoy?

cutthemdown
01-09-2013, 11:25 AM
It means McCoy is lucky as hell to have gotten Peyton Manning to play QB and its making him look like a genius when in fact he hsan't really done anything that amazing.

Not sure if it would have mattered who our offensive coordinator was this yr as long as he was a competent NFL coach.

Irish Stout
01-09-2013, 11:37 AM
It means McCoy is lucky as hell to have gotten Peyton Manning to play QB and its making him look like a genius when in fact he hsan't really done anything that amazing.

Not sure if it would have mattered who our offensive coordinator was this yr as long as he was a competent NFL coach.

I don't know about this. As the article points out McCoy has gone through three different styles of QBs and offenses over the past two years.

Mediator12
01-09-2013, 11:47 AM
It think it implies that McCoy is a versatile coach. He has not only changed the passing game but the running game as well. While the passing offense completely changed, they did not make it Sean Payton or Mike McCarthy complex. They simply used the KISS principle and focused on changing the run Game to fit the new scheme.

spiralism
01-09-2013, 11:51 AM
I don't know about this. As the article points out McCoy has gone through three different styles of QBs and offenses over the past two years.

Gives me the indication McCoy would be better suited to a Head Coaching gig than OC. Very adaptable, i'd like his chances.

Binkythefrog
01-09-2013, 11:52 AM
From my limited understand of pro offenses I think McCoy has provided contributions in red zone situations - especially with the designed roll out plays as well as some of the inside running plays (thinking of Hester) on goal to go situations. This makes sense to me - it seems that for the Broncos many times in goal line situations it is harder to run no huddle.

The Broncos definitely run that Dig/Dag combo constantly - but other similarities I see to the Colts offense are those deep comeback routes on the sidelines, slot receiver crossing routes and well as the TE wheel/seam routes.

Kaylore
01-09-2013, 12:11 PM
From my limited understand of pro offenses I think McCoy has provided contributions in red zone situations - especially with the designed roll out plays as well as some of the inside running plays (thinking of Hester) on goal to go situations. This makes sense to me - it seems that for the Broncos many times in goal line situations it is harder to run no huddle..

Good post and this is so. We've been very creative in the redzone this year and a lot of that is McCoy. Just because we fold in a very good staple for Peyton into our offense doesn't mean that McCoy is just using Tom Moore's stuff.

2KBack
01-09-2013, 12:19 PM
It think it implies that McCoy is a versatile coach. He has not only changed the passing game but the running game as well. While the passing offense completely changed, they did not make it Sean Payton or Mike McCarthy complex. They simply used the KISS principle and focused on changing the run Game to fit the new scheme.

I'd like to see fewer Shotgun draws on first down....Those always seem to get blown up

Smiling Assassin27
01-09-2013, 12:22 PM
Maybe we should throw the Pats for a loop and stop saying 'Hurry Hurry, Set!', but maybe go with 'Purple Monkey Dishwasher, Set!'.

Beantown Bronco
01-09-2013, 12:24 PM
Maybe we should throw the Pats for a loop and stop saying 'Hurry Hurry, Set!', but maybe go with 'Purple Monkey Dishwasher, Set!'.

Since it's NE, I think "Honey Nut Cheerios, Set" might be more appropriate.

Mediator12
01-09-2013, 12:26 PM
I'd like to see fewer Shotgun draws on first down....Those always seem to get blown up

It depends on the pre-snap reads and even though it gets blown up occasionally, it also slows the first down pass rush as well. What I would like to see is better execution on that play. There were several where penetration destroyed the playcall and if it was stopped the play would have been a big gainer IMHO.

SonOfLe-loLang
01-09-2013, 12:28 PM
Good post and this is so. We've been very creative in the redzone this year and a lot of that is McCoy. Just because we fold in a very good staple for Peyton into our offense doesn't mean that McCoy is just using Tom Moore's stuff.

I agree with both. I was gonna say the only differences i see are in the red zone, where Manning is on the move a bit. As far as formations, it seems like we ditched the "creativity" used in the beginning of the year and use the same stuff he did in Indy (as the article suggests) along with the same tempo. No ones complaining about our slow offense anymore, and they are just wearing out the same concepts.

I like the comment someone made about McCoy's adaptability as a reason he'd be a good head coach. I think its essential to bend.

2KBack
01-09-2013, 12:43 PM
It depends on the pre-snap reads and even though it gets blown up occasionally, it also slows the first down pass rush as well. What I would like to see is better execution on that play. There were several where penetration destroyed the playcall and if it was stopped the play would have been a big gainer IMHO.

I would certainly not complain if we break one, there just seems to almost always be someone penetrating right up the middle. Maybe Kuper will fix that.

Rohirrim
01-09-2013, 01:18 PM
I enjoyed that. Thanks for posting it. BTW, I love the TE running the "MOFO" route. ;D

SlyEli
01-09-2013, 01:39 PM
Great article. It's amazing to me that no one is able to replicate his style. Painter was just terrible. Hopefully osweiler can figure it out when it's time to take the reins

ludo21
01-09-2013, 01:50 PM
My favorite Manning play:

4th and 1 and a bomb down the right sideline.... so ballsy and i hate it until it works!! ;D

what game did this happen in? Pittsbugrh?

OCBronco
01-09-2013, 03:52 PM
One big difference I have noticed is that the old Colts offense was never feared for running up the middle. You took that team out of the dome, and into cold weather, and it became a lot tougher for them to win close games.

This current team hasn't neglected the power running, and the last month of the season has emphasized it more. So, in that sense, it's a blend of what Manning did in Indy with Foxball.

I don't see this as a problem. Manning is still probably 85-90% of what he was before the surgery, and sometimes you need to win a close game in bad weather with defense and ball control. This team is built for that, which is why I like our chances the next couple weeks.

errand
01-09-2013, 08:49 PM
Maybe we should throw the Pats for a loop and stop saying 'Hurry Hurry, Set!', but maybe go with 'Purple Monkey Dishwasher, Set!'.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hVx4EjaqY78?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Doggcow
01-09-2013, 08:57 PM
I enjoyed that. Thanks for posting it. BTW, I love the TE running the "MOFO" route. ;D

LOL Yeah. I saw that and had to post. Denver usually screams MOFO when TE's run good routes though

extralife
01-09-2013, 10:08 PM
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hVx4EjaqY78?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

LOUISVILLE SOULTRAIN

...why is 90% of this video against the Broncos?

wait, don't answer that question.

Blart
01-09-2013, 11:42 PM
...why is 90% of this video against the Broncos?

wait, don't answer that question.

:'(

I used to hate Manning.

cutthemdown
01-10-2013, 12:13 AM
I don't know about this. As the article points out McCoy has gone through three different styles of QBs and offenses over the past two years.

He does seem able to try whatever will work instead of being rigid and stuck on one thought. Still though not sure he has done anything to say hey hire this guy as a head coach. Broncos win the Superbowl then maybe I will change my mind. Right now though it seems like our offense sucked until Manning got here.

Doggcow
01-10-2013, 12:33 AM
LOUISVILLE SOULTRAIN

...why is 90% of this video against the Broncos?

wait, don't answer that question.

I also can't wait til we have another MIKE like Al Wilson.

broncocalijohn
01-10-2013, 01:14 AM
Why I never hated on the guy. Amazing QB and had some great commercials (except the oreo one with his brother...lame). Funny how many hated him and now love him. Difference of him being on our team and is a winner for us.

Mediator12
01-10-2013, 09:25 AM
This is the simplest offense most defenses face all year. From an x's and o's standpoint, its very simple and focuses on being adjustable. The complexity stems from the playcall being made at the Line and any play in the playbook being available at every snap. The thing most people miss is the individual adjustments that are also available in every route. Manning can change the route depth of the receivers breaks to screw with teams that play heavy on coverage keys and QB drops. He can adjust the splits in the formation and even the typical options in a option route. He can signal a double move and add protection to gaurantee time to get the ball there in single coverage. Everyone has to pay attention and get the message right.

The one thing that happens with this is a hightened focus on every snap, because you can not mentally tune out once the play is called and just think about your job. It may change in an instant. I think it can hurt the run blocking some times, but it generally favors the pass protections because they rarely make mental errors and just miss guys coming off the line.

Its not coincidence that NE and Brady have adapted this method for their offense over the years. They run a hurry up, check with me offense as well almost all the time. It is a huge advantage in keeping out of bad plays. You want proof, NE is tops in yards per drive and DEN is a close second in the NFL. That means they are efficient in staying out of bad plays that make three and out's and make other teams reduce the possible number of defenses they can call at the LOS as well.

That is the other point. Teams can not be as exotic with their playcalls or personnel as they would versus a team that huddles and allows a typical substitution pattern. They have to rely on playing solid fundamental football more. Most teams simply can not compete at that level when they are used to being a scheme oriented defense.

The only time it works is when teams get out of what they do best and play simple with some changeup coverages. ATL got away with it for a half against Manning earlier in the year and untypically, he made 3 huge mistakes that let them get way ahead. They did figure it out and almost won that game if they had not letten ATL get so far out in front. I do not think that would happen again, especially now as they are settling into the offense much better.

Pony Boy
01-10-2013, 09:39 AM
Why I never hated on the guy. Amazing QB and had some great commercials (except the oreo one with his brother...lame). Funny how many hated him and now love him. Difference of him being on our team and is a winner for us.


I wonder how many true blue Colts fans want to see him win another super bowl or do they want him to fail.

Bronco Rob
01-10-2013, 10:06 AM
Don't think this is an indictment of McCoy's skill as a coordinator but nod in the direction of Peyton's greatness. There's a reason he won't be with us next season, ANY OC that could have success with Tebow and Manning if nothing else shows his versatility. He earned my respect with one play, when he played Dick Lebeau like a fiddle. That being said the offense shouldn't miss a beat as long as PFM is at the helm.

Bacchus
01-10-2013, 10:12 AM
I was on a Clots' message board and I was surprised that there were quite a few people saying they no longer cared about Manning. It seems that they have had drama on their board similar to the Tebow drama. Some people saying Manning should not have been cut and they resent the organization and many of them started following the Broncos. This caused a backlash from the "true fans" and they had their own civil war. So now there are many colts fans actively rooting against Manning even if it means rooting for the Ravens and Patriots.

I found the whole thing very strange and very familiar.

Mediator12
01-10-2013, 10:13 AM
I wonder how many true blue Colts fans want to see him win another super bowl or do they want him to fail.

Peyton has not reached the Elway admiration scale here in INDY just yet, but 90% of them want him to win it and especially to hand it to Brady now that the Colts are out of it.

Mediator12
01-10-2013, 10:15 AM
I was on a Clots' message board and I was surprised that there were quite a few people saying they no longer cared about Manning. It seems that they have had drama on their board similar to the Tebow drama. Some people saying Manning should not have been cut and they resent the organization and many of them started following the Broncos. This caused a backlash from the "true fans" and they had their own civil war. So now there are many colts fans actively rooting against Manning even if it means rooting for the Ravens and Patriots.

I found the whole thing very strange and very familiar.

Which one? Most of them suck even worse than the mane on homerism and fair weather fans.