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Broncos mid-season snap count review

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Here’s how the Denver Broncos players have shared their snap counts over the course of the first eight games.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to try to keep the prose to a minimum in this like I usually do on these Denver Broncos snap count reviews. First I’ll present the tabular data for those who are color-blind.

Offensive Snap% through 8 games

Player Pos Num Pct
Matt Paradis C 562 100.0%
Garett Bolles T 543 96.6%
Ronald Leary G 506 90.0%
Trevor Siemian QB 491 87.4%
Demaryius Thomas WR 464 82.6%
Menelik Watson T 446 79.4%
Allen Barbre G 345 61.4%
C.J. Anderson RB 331 58.9%
Bennie Fowler WR 322 57.3%
Emmanuel Sanders WR 311 55.3%
Max Garcia G 305 54.3%
Virgil Green TE 285 50.7%
A.J. Derby TE 271 48.2%
Jeff Heuerman TE 150 26.7%
Jamaal Charles RB 140 24.9%
Jordan Taylor WR 128 22.8%
Cody Latimer WR 122 21.7%
Devontae Booker RB 89 15.8%
Isaiah McKenzie WR 83 14.8%
Andy Janovich FB 71 12.6%
Brock Osweiler QB 71 12.6%
Connor McGovern G,C 56 10.0%
Billy Turner G 46 8.2%
Hunter Sharp WR 29 5.2%
Donald Stephenson T 15 2.7%

Now the positional graphical game-by-game breakdown

Offensive Line

Matt Paradis has not missed an offensive snap this year. He’s the only offensive player to be able to say that. Garrett Bolles missed a few in the second game when he was carted off the field with that ankle sprain, but he has played every offensive in the other seven games. Billy Turner player ok at RT for the one game that he was in, then he got hurt. Allen Barbre played the worst of any of our RTs this season in the second meeting with LAC when he started at RT. Elijah Wilkinson was only active for one game (last Sunday) and he has not taken an offensive snap this year. Donald Stephenson has only taken 15 offensive snaps. If Allen Barbre is a better option at RT than Donald Stephenson, why is Donald Stephenson still on the roster? Connor McGovern played almost half of the offensive snaps at RG in game 1 and has hardly seen the field since (on offense at least).

This practice of rotating Max Garcia and Allen Barbre at LG is bullshit. Whoever is the better player should be playing 100% of the offensive snaps at LG. Rotating the two guys does nothing but lead to breakdowns in communication between our rookie LT and the guy who is playing next to him. There’s a very good reason why the best offensive lines in the league play 5 guys and ONLY 5 guys if at all possible. This rotational experiment needs to be deemed a failure and stopped immediately.

Tight Ends

None of these guys has really contributed outside of one good game from A.J. Derby and a couple of nice catches by Virgil Green. I don’t think there is anything to discuss here.

Running Backs

We continue to underutilize Jamaal Charles. The argument that we are saving him for a late season run at the playoffs is hogwash. I don’t know why we aren’t playing him more, but C.J. Anderson continues to be a down waster. He has no vision. Plays that Charles or Devontae Booker would get 4 or 5 yards on, he gets 2 because he runs into his own blockers too often. Booker should be getting the highest % of the carries, IMO, followed by Charles and then C.J. but what do I know. I’m just a blogger. It’s not like a track the data or anything like that.

Wide Receivers

Cody Latimer continues to confound. He has finally gotten some offensive snaps in the last two games, but it does not appear that he gets any kind of separation. It may be that he still doesn’t know how to run routes (which is why he never played with Manning at QB). With DT and ES we have two great wide receivers in the game who threaten the defense. With Emmanuel Sanders out of the game, what little dynamism our offense has completely evaporates. We have not used Isiah McKenzie in the way that most envisioned (slot receiver). Bennie Fowler will forever be known now for dropping more touchdowns from Trevor Siemian than he caught. Jordan Taylor, so far this year, has not been able to use his one asset (height/highpointing ability) because our offense really hasn’t tried to use him in that capacity.

Defensive players

Player Pos Num Pct
Justin Simmons FS,SS 480 97.6%
Aqib Talib CB 463 94.1%
Darian Stewart FS 454 92.3%
Brandon Marshall LB 448 91.1%
Chris Harris CB 447 90.9%
Von Miller LB 415 84.4%
Shaquil Barrett LB 382 77.6%
Derek Wolfe DE 377 76.6%
Bradley Roby CB 322 65.5%
Will Parks FS,SS 278 56.5%
Adam Gotsis DE 268 54.5%
Domata Peko NT,DT 262 53.3%
Shelby Harris DE,DT 227 46.1%
Todd Davis LB 180 36.6%
Shane Ray LB 106 21.5%
Zaire Anderson LB 70 14.2%
Kasim Edebali LB 55 11.2%
Corey Nelson LB 44 8.9%
DeMarcus Walker LB,DE 44 8.9%
Zach Kerr DE 37 7.5%
Jamal Carter SS,S 16 3.3%
Ahtyba Rubin DT 13 2.6%
Lorenzo Doss CB 8 1.6%
Kyle Peko DT 7 1.4%
Brendan Langley CB,DB 6 1.2%
Tyrique Jarrett DT 3 0.6%

We’ve cycled some players through on defense. During the regular season we’ve sent one defensive player to the IR, Corey Nelson, picked up and dropped another defensive player in Ahtyba Rubin and shuttled three defensive players between the practice squad and the active roster (Tyrique Jarrett, Kyle Peko and Jerrol Garcia-Williams). Garcia-Williams has not taken any defensive snaps this year, but he has played on special teams in place of Corey Nelson.

Defensive Line

Derek Wolfe has been the ironman of the down lineman on defense. Domata Peko has been getting more and more playing time as the year wears on. The trend for Adam Gotsis and Shelby Harris has been slightly downward after a little heavier usage in the first four games. I don’t know what happened with Rubin, but apparently that experiment failed as he is now on the Falcons. So far Zach Kerr has been all but invisible when he has been in there. He has assisted on one tackle and gotten a roughing the passer penalty called on him. So I guess he hasn’t been invisible and it might have been better if had remained invisible.

Inside Linebackers

Corey Nelson actually played quite a fair amount for us on defense in 2016. I think his loss is being felt more than some people realize. Zaire Anderson is not as good in pass coverage as Nelson. Brandon Marshall has had to play every defensive snap over the past three games. I think he is getting worn down by the workload. Joe Jones was signed to find a solution for our seeming team-wide inability to cover TEs. I expect him to see the snaps that Nelson was getting early in the year once he is up to speed.

Outside Linebackers

Our defense is much better with Shaquil Barrett on the field instead of Shane Ray. Ray has been a liability in the past two games much more than he has been an asset. Demarcus Walker is not, nor will have ever be an OLB. Trying this stupid experiment with him has wasted his rookie season. Trying to make him a 3-4 outside linebacker is almost as dumb as trying to make Robert Ayers a 3-4 outside linebacker. Our team seems to have no institutional memory. Ayers at least has the lateral agility to make the experiment worthwhile. Five minutes of watching college tape of Walker told me all I needed to know about his lack of lateral agility and told me that this was a doomed venture from the start. Not only did we waste his rookie year, but we wasted all of the time that Bill Kollar could have been working with him to turn him into a great passing down 3-4 defensive end.

Cornerbacks

For whatever reason we gave Chris Harris Jr and Aqib Talib a fair amount of rest in the game in KC (I think KC was using a lot of three TE sets). Lorenzo Doss and Brendan Langley have been used very little with Langley getting the first defensive snaps of his career last Sunday in Philly.

Safeties

Will Parks continues to get used quite a bit when we go to single LB looks. On many of those plays Darian Stewart plays in the box as a nickel LB.

Special teams snaps

Here are the players who have gotten more special teams snaps than our long snapper.

Player Num Pct
Jamal Carter 194 82.2%
Will Parks 188 79.7%
Andy Janovich 154 65.3%
Zaire Anderson 152 64.4%
Kasim Edebali 139 58.9%
Corey Nelson 115 48.7%
Brendan Langley 115 48.7%
Bennie Fowler 103 43.6%
Justin Simmons 93 39.4%
Virgil Green 86 36.4%
Cody Latimer 80 33.9%
Devontae Booker 77 32.6%

We were told that Cody Latimer was our special team’s ace. It’s hard to understand how our special team’s ace has only been involved in 80 special teams snaps through 8 games. Latimer was game-day inactive for three games (games 4-6) so he has played 16 special teams snaps per game when he has been active. Compare that to Jamal Carter who has been active for all 8 games and has played 24 special teams snaps per game. Jamal Carter is on almost every special team. Cody Latimer is not. Andy Janovich has more than twice as many special teams snaps as his does offensive snaps. So in essence both Latimer and Janovich are on the team solely for their special teams contributions.

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