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prunch
09-30-2009, 11:11 AM
Brains over brawn

http://www.gazette.com/sports/broncos-62952-week-englewood.html

ENGLEWOOD - Each week, the Denver Broncos wipe the game plan clean. Other teams take pride in their “identity,” but the Broncos proudly admit their identity is they have none.

“I do not think we are one of those teams that you could categorize as, ‘We do what we do,’” coach Josh McDaniels said. “We kind of do what we do each week differently.”

Every football team tries to exploit the opponents’ weakness, whether it is a specific player, a thin position group or a vulnerable formation. The Broncos take that to an extreme level. They feel they have smart, versatile players and assistant coaches who take pride in their teaching ability, so they change and cater their weekly plan to exploit weaknesses.

On Monday and Tuesday, coaches spend many hours finding the opponent’s deficiencies. During the first team meeting on Wednesday, the plan is revealed.

“I think the thing that I really enjoy is coming in there on Wednesday morning and trying to describe what kind of team we are playing and how we are going to try to play to beat them,” McDaniels said. “And you see 55 guys, 60 guys taking notes, writing things down and then digesting it.”

Though the exploitative approach is the same for Denver’s offense and defense, it is easy to see the weekly differences on offense. For example, against Oakland, the Broncos apparently felt they could line up with multiple tight ends, be physical and run the ball. That was the crux of the plan, and they rushed for 215 yards. They also felt Oakland’s speed in the secondary, especially at cornerback, was a strength. So pass plays worked the middle of the field. Receiver Brandon Marshall often lined up tight to the line and was matched up against a linebacker or safety. He caught a touchdown when he got a mismatch against linebacker Kirk Morrison. Marshall caught five of Kyle Orton’s 13 completions.

There are challenges for the coaches and players with the weekly overhaul. First, the coaches need to find a weakness to beat. Tight ends coach Clancy Barone said that’s a fun part of the job.

“Imagine doing this from July until February, hopefully, and it’s the same thing, the same cookie cutter every day seven days a week,” Barone said. “That would get kind of old, I think. It keeps us fresh, keeps the players going. Because every team we play is going to be different.”

Preparation for the players is intense. Some weeks, a four-receiver set might be the main formation. The next, it could be three tight ends. And based on what the Broncos consider favorable matchups, any skill position player could be featured. According to McDaniels, many of the plays, formations, personnel groupings and ideals the team used beat Cleveland in Week 2 were never discussed last week before the Raiders game.

“You have to be on top of your game and put a lot of time into studying,” receiver Brandon Stokley said. “If you don’t, you’re going to be lost.”

Broncosfreak_56
09-30-2009, 11:19 AM
Cool article. Our coaching is great. Thanks for posting.

Steve Sewell
09-30-2009, 11:25 AM
Cool article. Our coaching is great. Thanks for posting.

Has there been a crow-eating thread started yet?

If we beat the Cowboys, there certainly should be one on this board.

BroncoInSkinland
09-30-2009, 11:25 AM
Good article, flexibility on our offense is a good thing. Maybe that's why we have seen so little of Royal thus far they thought (correctly) that they could beat teams with other weapons and decided to go that route. I wonder what the plan for the upcoming week will be. I thought I saw a weakness on Dallas against the outside run, and covering the TE.

Edit: I'll line up for the crow eating with a few more wins, but more specifically with a few more good Defensive showings. I always said McDaniels would be good at the X's and O's side of things, the personel decisions were where I had issues, and mostly on the D-line. One or two quality wins (or even close fought games where the O is the problem) and I will take that serving of crow gladly. It is two quality teams short right now though, unless you think Oakland and the Browns are playoff bound.

TheDave
09-30-2009, 11:31 AM
Every team does this to some degree... I curious how much we change things up compared to other teams.

Rock Chalk
09-30-2009, 11:33 AM
Every team does this to some degree... I curious how much we change things up compared to other teams.

The article says that every team does it.

But Denver does it to the "extreme".

I think its got pro's and cons. The pro's seem to be that it is difficult to game plan against Denver if they are doing something different every week. The con's seem to be that if the players dont get it in the short amount of time, it will fail.

TheDave
09-30-2009, 11:41 AM
The article says that every team does it.

But Denver does it to the "extreme".

I think its got pro's and cons. The pro's seem to be that it is difficult to game plan against Denver if they are doing something different every week. The con's seem to be that if the players dont get it in the short amount of time, it will fail.

Thats what I'm curious about... Back with Shanahan ran the offense we would change our formations so much teams couldn't get a bead on what we were doing even when looking back several games.

With McDaniels it seems that it goes significantly beyond formations. Take last week, on one play we had a TE, LG, and Clady pulling on one play then a few plays later we come out in a 3 WR /single back set and gash them with ZB.

Just the change up in the blocking strategies must be a lot for an opposing defense to practice against.

Obviously some of the weaker teams are going to be more limited in their ability to change from week to week. I'm curious how different we are from more seasoned teams like Philly, Pit, Baltimore, NE, etc.

gtown
09-30-2009, 11:48 AM
This is the Patriot way. That franchise puts so much stock in game planning for a specific opponent and it has shown over the years. Other franchises just go out there and say the usual trite BS "we are gonna go out there and play our game." We'll see how this works out the rest of the season, but I really like the attention to detail.

outdoor_miner
09-30-2009, 11:48 AM
I think its got pro's and cons. The pro's seem to be that it is difficult to game plan against Denver if they are doing something different every week. The con's seem to be that if the players dont get it in the short amount of time, it will fail.

I agree... It seems like it would be fun for players (and coaches, obviously, like Barone said) to be constantly shifting and evolving, especially when things are working. It seems that it would foster a true "team" environment where every player is involved and feels like he will have the opportunity to significantly contribute to the team's success.

However, I think there is danger in it, as well. I could definitely see McD "out-thinking" himself in situations where maybe the simple solution is the best. I could also see a problem when a team doesn't have a bread and butter to fall back on (particularly later in the year)

Mr. Elway
09-30-2009, 11:53 AM
It also seems like this is the kind of thing that will become more effective over time, as players gradually become more familiar with the wide variety of plans.

McDaniels is certainly a creative guy. Who knows, maybe this will be the new equivalent of the ZBS for us - an idea that the early adopters get to exploit to their benefit.

USMCBladerunner
09-30-2009, 11:56 AM
I agree... It seems like it would be fun for players (and coaches, obviously, like Barone said) to be constantly shifting and evolving, especially when things are working. It seems that it would foster a true "team" environment where every player is involved and feels like he will have the opportunity to significantly contribute to the team's success.

However, I think there is danger in it, as well. I could definitely see McD "out-thinking" himself in situations where maybe the simple solution is the best. I could also see a problem when a team doesn't have a bread and butter to fall back on (particularly later in the year)

I think that's true, but it takes some time to truly know yourself and identify your own bread and butter. Given some injury situations or just game time scenarios, I'm sure that the team will have to fall back on some known strengths, but much of the value in this approach is in the preparation process itself, not just the playscript that comes out of it.

Marshall Dumervil
09-30-2009, 11:57 AM
I hope this week the defense has WITTEN drilled into their brains.

Garcia Bronco
09-30-2009, 11:57 AM
The article says that every team does it.

But Denver does it to the "extreme".

I think its got pro's and cons. The pro's seem to be that it is difficult to game plan against Denver if they are doing something different every week. The con's seem to be that if the players dont get it in the short amount of time, it will fail.

It seems to me that Shanahan developed a game plan around his starters where as McDaniels and Nolan do it around the team. It seems that more players are playing during the game.

TheDave
09-30-2009, 11:58 AM
It seems to me that Shanahan developed a game plan around his starters where as McDaniels and Nolan do it around the team. It seems that more players are playing during the game.

Very good point...

Rabb
09-30-2009, 12:08 PM
now we know why he goes after smart players

colonelbeef
09-30-2009, 12:09 PM
This is the Patriot way. That franchise puts so much stock in game planning for a specific opponent and it has shown over the years. Other franchises just go out there and say the usual trite BS "we are gonna go out there and play our game." We'll see how this works out the rest of the season, but I really like the attention to detail.

Not really.. the patriots were a passing team, specifically utilizing slants in 2007 and never deviated right up until it ruined their season in the Super Bowl.

OBF1
09-30-2009, 12:24 PM
now we know why he goes after smart players

If this is the case, Say goodbye to Brandon Marshall Hilarious!

Rock Chalk
09-30-2009, 12:45 PM
Not really.. the patriots were a passing team, specifically utilizing slants in 2007 and never deviated right up until it ruined their season in the Super Bowl.

Really?

Because they attempted 586 passes to 451 rushes that year. They basically ran on 45% of their plays.

That's not exactly what I would call a passing team. They passed more than they ran the ball but to say they were a passing team is a gross exaggeration.

delany
09-30-2009, 12:47 PM
The best thing IMO about this flexible approach is that Denver should be more resilient to losing star players to injury. They will be able to game plan more effectively not only to an opponents weakness...but away from their own.

I think you will see this team absorb any injury much better than past years (even the decimation of the RB position)...with the possible exception of the quarterback. That will change after Tom B has a couple years of tutorship under McD and can step up in Cassell-like fashion.

Bronco Warrior
09-30-2009, 01:19 PM
The Hidden point in this article is the veritility of our personel....and the Staff!We have Olineman playing Fullback and Fullbacks split wide and Marshall lined up as a Tight End! How the Freak do you scheme against that?

baja
09-30-2009, 01:26 PM
Has there been a crow-eating thread started yet?

If we beat the Cowboys, there certainly should be one on this board.

I made two crow eating threads one for each side but they were promptly shuttled off to the butt. Guess some of the mods were not ready for a crow thread....

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=83897

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=83898

cutthemdown
09-30-2009, 01:27 PM
I hope this week the defense has WITTEN drilled into their brains.

probably bracket him with a linebacker and a safety. Leave Champ 1 on 1 a lot. Let Hill play the deep middle but shaded towards Crayton.

Dallas may try to go 3-4 wr to expose Smith being out but mostly they really like to run a lot. But with a RB out, Barber banged up, we may see them come out throwing.

prunch
09-30-2009, 01:28 PM
I made two crow eating threads one for each side but they were promptly shuttled off to the butt. Guess some of the mods were not ready for a crow thread....

Even though I was on the pro McD side .... lets just be done with the who was right and who wasn't ... it ruins the board and is ancient history now. What the hell .... Lets have a winning season and enjoy it together.

The common element we all share is a desire to see our team win it all and enjoy the ride.

Go Broncos!