I was listening to the radio and heard a discussion about Jared Goff. Everything they brought up could be what's happening in Denver.
The thoughts they had concerning not starting him were concerning, deeply concerning, if it also applies in Denver. Because Trevor Siemian is now ranked only a couple spots ahead of Case Keenum. Neither QB is doing great. Right now, Trevor is 2-2 in the last month.
First, they questioned Jeff Fisher. Why isn't Goff ready? Did he badly miss in drafting him?
Why didn't they go get either QB any tools during the off season?
If Goff (Lynch) isn't ready, then it’s Fisher (Kubiak's) fault. They either badly missed on the talent OR they have the wrong personnel. Either way, it falls on Jeff (Gary).
Based on the fact that the entire Rams (Broncos) offense is a mess, it lead them to think it's on the coaching. The fact that they had no productive TEs (hmm) or were not able to use Todd Gurley (C.J. Anderson) effectively was a big red flag.
They asked, “what are they doing in LA?”
I'd say they're not safe or warm. And Denver needs to stay away.
They didn't lay all the blame on Keenum (Trevor Siemian) since without a scheme that was helpful or with the right personnel, it would be tough for him to thrive, even being a mediocre QB.
They wanted to trust Jeff (Gary) since he had worked with rookie QBs before and had some success in Steve McNair (Steve Young) and Vince Young (TJ Yates). By the end of the conversation, the feeling was that coaching choices were to blame. In today's game, if you draft a first round pick, and don't have him ready to go by week 8, you either missed big time in recruiting or you've not coached your guy right. As they asked, how will you know until you play him?
Here's why both L.A. and Denver is really in trouble - both use schemes from Bill Walsh and aren't tweaking them to fit today's game. Or most importantly, the players on their teams. I dare say, ole Bill would be disappointed.
We've all seen Trevor's throwing chart. To say he likes short passes, and in particular short passes to the left, would be an understatement. The question is - is he doing it because he's following a strict Walsh plan? And is opening with pass, pass that Rico and Kubiak follow, predicated on passing to set up the run, or is it all that he's capable of?
Even in the Cincinnati game where the defenders missed a couple assignments, and their defense was porous, we still see a lack of completions from one side to the other. Also, only one intermediate completion (to the left).
The scheme Kubiak, and Fisher to a large extent, both Walsh guys, follow requires a few things: short passes all across the field to stretch a defense out. This spreading the defenders out is supposed to help a runner because it's supposed to create bigger defensive gaps for him to run through. It also makes them bring defenders up to cover short passes and to stop the run, allowing intermediate and deep strikes where they're thin.
It also requires a QB who is extremely accurate, thinks fast and has a quick release. He must go through his reads in a snap and if they're covered, dump it off to a TE or RB.
It needs WRs who can make adjustments to his defenders and come back to the ball. But most important, it needs the QB and receiver to have impeccable timing.
It also needs a mobile QB who can and does run. Boots, rollouts, QB sneaks, etc. This is a must if the run game isn't producing.
This last part is crucial because not only do defenders have to be ready for a run or pass, but be prepared to chase the QB, too. This is a weak armed, but smart QBs best friend.
Where Denver has a problem: our QB lacks wheels. Plus, he can't or won't throw to the center of the field. Against Oakland he did increase his throws to the right and beyond ten yards which is good; however, it may have had more to do with the coverage to the left. Oakland squatted over there, forcing him out of his comfort zone. Which could have to do with all defenses now knowing where he (or Rico) wants to throw to. The result of throwing to more areas of the field? 48% completion.
If he was spreading the ball equally across the field around the ten yard marker, we could say it's all play calling. However, when Lynch played against Atlanta, in a game planned for Siemian, his throws were predominately to the center and right and almost none to the left. Incomplete or not. The exact opposite of Trevor.
That Atlanta game was game planned for Trevor. There were no changes made until Gregg Knapp took over.
Against Tampa when Kubiak or Rico tossed out the play book and called plays based on what Lynch could do, both in shotgun and under center, we see passes covering a larger portion of the field. Almost half were intermediate strikes.
So, two weeks in a row, we see a wider range of passes covering more of the field. We also saw Lynch use his legs to make plays. Both staples of a Walsh/Kubiak scheme. The quality of the defenses played weren't worse than what Siemian has faced.
The following week, when Siemian resumed his starting position, the passes were for the first time evenly distributed; however, only one pass travels more than ten yards. Most didn't travel more than five yards. So, that leads one to wonder, what is going in?
That game he was obviously hurt and why the passes were extremely short despite his saying that wasn't the reason. The next game, with his arm better, the passes went longer and back to the left.
One could conclude that his accuracy and comfortability comes at the five yard line. And Deep passes he launches up where our WR only has one guy covering him and it's a 50/50 jump ball.
Minus not spreading the ball equally across the field stretching the defense out, and intermediate strikes, Siemian is acting like a Bill Walsh disciple. Walsh used a WCO scheme to fit QBs whose arms weren't great throwing downfield. Downfield, as in beyond twenty yards, not beyond five. Intermediate passes were the surprise bread and butter that lead to scores.
Lofting a rainbow up isn't the same as throwing a strike twenty yards downfield. The first doesn't require a lot of accuracy, it's above the reach of guys under the ball and it's dependent on the WR being able to outmaneuver his coverage and jumping up for it. The latter requires precision because the ball is being thrown at a level where any defender in its path can reach up and tag it. This is especially true between the seams.
If Trevor lacks the arm to deliver the passes needed to work in a Bill Walsh scheme, why aren't the coaches adjusting it? At least calling far more boots, rollouts, etc.? He's 24. He doesn't need a left shoulder to run. And not to be cruel, but he's not our first round draft pick we need to save to be able to play for a decade.
If they're saving his body, does this mean they're terrified at playing Lynch, again this season? Even if this time it would be with a starting OL, Green and a healthy Kubiak? If so, why was Lynch able to complete 67% of his passes against a NFC SB contender Siemian hasn't done that since week 1. If it's not that, then why, please, please tell me why they aren't using Siemian to get third downs?!?! Are they telling him to and he won't?
Are they are married to their philosophy instead of being married to the talent level of their players? Of are we seeing the result of the talent we have?
DT is a vertical receiver. I’ve covered this before. He was drafted and used as a vertical receiver. Toss him a screen which allows him to get up to speed before he hits the LOS or hit him in stride downfield. Not in traffic, guy. Emmanuel Sanders is also a vertical guy, remember he played with Big Ben, but E has an incredible catch radius. He catches balls at his feet, two feet over his AND and a foot in front.
I'm not sure what skill set Cody Latimer, Jordan Norwood, Bennie Fowler and Jordan Taylor have. What receiver do we have that was drafted as a Walsh type guy? These guys have to be able to run complicated routes and be ok catching in heavy traffic. We didn't draft anyone like that. Have we?
Our offense has a hodgepodge of RBs and WR’s. QB, too. If we could blend Siemian and Lynch, we'd have the perfect QB. Lynch has all the physical tools and the passionate mentality. He's a gunslinger like Elway, who was a great fit for this scheme, who also used his legs. At this point though, he lacks the mental ability to process plays quickly because he's working on the office stuff.
Trevor has all the office stuff down, but he doesn't seem to have the phycial gifts needed to run the scheme Kubiak wants.
So, we have a QB starting who doesn't have all the requirements needed, doesn't have all the offensive tools needed and doesn't have coaching to find ways to make it work.
We have another QB who also doesn't have all the requirements needed and won't until he spends time playing. He too will have the same missing tools and coaching that doesn't appear willing to adjust.
This is exactly what's going on in LA. What we don't know is if the coaches blew it on drafting the talent or if it's on their coaching. With half the season gone, neither team (or fans) are going to know that answer until next year.
Neither Goff nor Lynch starting after their byes is going to be the cure-all. They're going to struggle. Instead of struggling in the front half of the season when play offs aren't imminent (possibly Denver, not LA), they'll struggle at the worst time. Learning in a play off game, especially as a wild card team who has to travel, makes for a one and done season. The next part of that song may be all that saves us...