With Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos' passing offense had a lot of yards, points and records. Manning and company were putting up "Star War Stats" according to some, but times have changed. Under Head Coach Gary Kubiak, the Broncos win by running the ball and letting their defense dominate the opposing team's offense. This leaves quarterback Brock Osweiler to just be a "game manager" in the Broncos offense.
Osweiler knows his role. Knows it's not about going downfield, big numbers, lots of attempts. Reiterates importance of "managing the game."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 9, 2015
Osweiler knows the importance of the run game and the Broncos' No. 1-ranked defense and how his role is just to "manage" the game.
I think, as a quarterback, you need to understand what puts your team in the best situation to win football games. Right now, for me, that’s doing certain things on the field on Sundays. That’s maybe not asking me to throw the ball 40 or 50 times, but Coach Kubiak, Coach Phillips and the rest of those coaches—Coach Dennison—they’re going to put together the best game plan to give our team an opportunity to win and it’s my job to understand the big picture and manage the team throughout the game on Sunday so that we have that opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter."
Managing the game means being able to move the offense and most importantly, not turn the ball over. Osweiler has done a good job of not doing that in his first three starts in which he has only thrown two interceptions (one being a batted pass against New England). That's quite an improvement over Manning, who was averaging nearly two interceptions per game in his starts earlier this year.
Osweiler also understands the importance of the running game and how it opens everything else up for the offense.
I think everything starts with the run game, just like you said. If you’re running the football well, linebackers and safeties have to honor that. If they don’t honor that, well then you’re going to get more yards. When they do honor that and they suck up just like you said, it provides opportunities to hit some throws downfield.
The Broncos offense didn't connect on those deep throws last Sunday, but Osweiler says he and quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp looked over the film to see where Osweiler can improve on those plays.
Did we connect on those last week? We didn’t. Once again, that’s something that I really looked at with Coach Knapp—when to take those shots, what shots were good and when to maybe just check it down to the back. That’s all part of the process, but certainly the running game is opening up some things downfield."
Lastly, Osweiler understands that he cannot put the Broncos' dominant defense in a bad situation going forward. He sees the big picture, and he knows he just needs to manage the game to put the team in the best chance to win the game.
That’s one thing when I was on the sideline as the backup earlier in the year watching all those games, that’s one thing that I learned. If you don’t put our defense in bad situations, if you don’t put them in short fields, they’re going to make that opposing offense’s job very tough to go 70, 80, 90 yards to score points. My job is to always see the big picture—run the offense, understand how the special teams is doing, understand how the defense is doing, manage the football game and put our team in the best position to win football games.
This means you probably won't see Osweiler putting up the big numbers week in and week out for the Broncos, but he'll be doing his job - managing the offense, handing the ball off to the running back, taking shots when they're available, and most importantly, not turning the ball over and putting the defense in a bad situation.
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