The starting Denver Broncos tight end, Owen Daniels, joined Eric Goodman and Zach Fogg on Mile High Sports' Afternoon Drive and talked about the anemic rushing attack the Broncos have produced through the first two games of the 2015 NFL season.
The talk was pretty much all about the issues on offense. There were questions about Peyton Manning's arm and all that, but Daniels - to his credit - redirected everything back to the terrible running attack. Bringing that phase of the offense will let loose everything else the Broncos want to do offensively. It's certainly his primary concern heading into Week 3 against the Detroit Lions.
On the long term viability of Manning throwing 45 times a game
"Well, Ideally we don't want to do that. We want to stay balanced and run the football. We've always done that with this offense, so that's something we want to be good at. we want to be able to run the ball for a couple of yards when everyone in the building knows we're going to run it. And still be able to get it done. We've had some talks about that about how to get better in that situation. I think that's going to help everything else out. Obviously it's going to help the play action game and the pass game in general. Linebackers and safeties get a little nosy wanting to stop the run, that tends to open everything up and opens up things for tight ends a lot."
On teams daring Manning to throw deep
"I haven't really noticed that. He made a great deep throw earlier in the game to Emmanuel Sanders that he didn't connect on. It was a good throw. I don't think he has a problem with his arm, even overthrowing some balls. That's obviously want to complete those passes between the receivers and quarterback, but it's good to see that out of him. He's got some juice in his arm, so he can make it work. I don't see that out of defenses, I saw them drop a lot of guys back into coverage. I saw that a lot against Kansas city. They were dropping seven and eight guys in coverage, almost as if they were daring us to run the ball. That's where we need to get better."
On the lack of production from running backs
"Well it's a collective thing, you can't just point you finger at the running backs. It's the tight ends, the fullbacks and linemen up front."
Will the Broncos find their running game in Week 3?
I want to believe they will, but I think it will take this team another month before they start to gel. The reason for that is due to something I heard our own Kyle Montgomery say in his own interview with Mile High Sports today referencing a quote from Evan Mathis talking about guys still working on just individual technique. If they are still working on individual technique then forget about line cohesiveness. They've got to get their own technique down before starting to work together as a unit, which means we're at least a month of practice away from that. Good thing the schedule is lined with cupcakes after this week all the way through the Bye.
Eric and Zach also chatted with Kyle from Mile High Report. Among what I referenced above, was some interesting comments on C.J. Anderson. Making positional changes when the offensive line is just a mess right now would be a bit premature. Hopefully Gary Kubiak and the offensive coaching staff understands this and will continue to be patient as things come together.
On C.J. Anderson maybe being replaced by another running back
"I want C.J. Anderson to get healthy, but because he is a little nicked up, that it is a mild concern to me, that I am open to Ronnie and Juwan taking more reps. But that is really the only reason. I saw enough from C.J. Anderson a year ago, some of those incredible 50 yard breaking tackle runs, to know that he is not the issue. C.J. Anderson is not the issue with the running game. The offensive line is the issue with the running game. And so as long as that's the case, I'm not sure inserting another running back is going to be all that helpful. I don't think that Juwan [Hammer Pound] Thompson is going to be your answer and the Broncos are going to start averaging five yards a carry."