clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vance Joseph is looking for coaching answers - so let’s give him some

Guys, our coach isn’t sure what he’s doing. We need to help.

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country...

Vance Joseph needs our help.

I’ve written letters. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been (relatively) patient.

But now we need to realize why such motivation isn’t working - he doesn’t need to be motivated; he’s “working hard” after all.

Coach Joseph just needs some answers. In fact, the problem appears to be that he has too many answers for opponents and needs to simplify.

You heard me right. Apparently our game plans are too complex.

“We have to find a formula that helps us win. When you’re game planning for an opponent, you can sometimes have so many answers that it costs you somewhere else,” Joseph said Monday. “We’re making too many small mistakes within the game plans. Sometimes you have to scale it back and not have so many answers, but play a cleaner brand of football. Our guys played hard yesterday.”

Stop it with the “playing hard” already. I played hard Sunday too, and I don’t see an NFL paycheck coming my way today.

But I digress. This isn’t about complaining; this is about finding solutions. So let’s get to work.

First, Joseph has a puzzle for us:

“We have to figure out how much [of the] offense, defense and [special] teams we go in to a game with so we can play more efficient because we’ve spotted teams in the last three weeks — 14 in K.C., 14 in Philly, and yesterday 24 — on special teams. You can’t beat NFL teams spotting them 14 and 24 points. You can’t do it. It’s not going to happen. You can’t beat NFL teams spotting them 14 and 24 points. You can’t do it. It’s not going to happen. We have to figure out a way not to spot the teams points and then play the football game.”

Oh, oh, oh, oh...I know this one, coach - how about DON’T PUT THE GUY IN WHO KEEPS MUFFING THE PUNT?!?!

The first time Isaiah McKenzie muffs, you pat him on the butt, tell him to do better next time and you put him right back in the game to see what talent/competitive fire he’s made of.

The second time he muffs it, you pull him out of a return play or two to see if the next guy came ready to play. If McKenzie is able consistently to prove himself in practice over the backup, then you put him again.

But after a third, fourth, fifth muffed punt in a season? You bench his ass until he’s called in out of necessity as a backup. This is where we are.

And then there’s the matter of Brock Olivo:

“I’m in [Olivo’s] meetings every day, and he’s a detailed guy. He goes over those guys’ assignments over and over again. Lots of energy, he’s a very bright guy and he’s learned from a guy who’s the best in the entire league. I watch him work every day and the mistakes that we’ve had, Brock’s responsible and I’m responsible, but he hasn’t muffed a punt. I watch him work with our returners every day before, after and during practice. I work with the returners also, so I know what’s being taught there. I’m not down on Brock. That game yesterday was bad for us as far as the [special] teams,... but I’m fine with Brock. Brock works hard, he’s a young coach and he’s a bright coach. He’s going to be a great coach in my opinion.”

I’m probably one of the few not really in favor of firing the special teams coach in the middle of the season.

But the coaching approach absolutely has to change.

Great “energy” is doing nothing for the score.

“As far as the other turnovers and blocked punts, we have to be more detailed with our younger guys,” Joseph said about fixing special teams. “We have young guys playing teams. They’re in critical positions. They have to do a better job.”

Yes. Yes they do.

And that begins with better coaching...but “get more detailed?” I don’t think that’s such a good idea. What happened to “our game plans are too detailed?”

Broncos had one job yesterday - tackle the guy running the ball - and they couldn’t do it in 103 yards.

McKenzie had one good option - call a fair catch - and he couldn’t do it.

I think practicing tackling and catching the ball are the bigger priorities here.

Maybe even have Olivo sprint over to players and scream in their faces just before the ball lands in their hands to simulate crazy-ass defenders. Might be a good use of his “energy” too.

Also, practice counting. To 11. Twelve is too many; 10 is not enough. See how easy it is? Maybe I should coach.

Finally, covering tight ends and running backs:

Coach, have you heard the one about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Right - insanity.

“We have to make more plays. Yesterday was strictly about matchups, the backs and the tight ends again. We can have a plan to take away one guy, but if it’s one back and one tight end, you can’t take both guys away. Someone has to win the one-on-one and that’s what it comes down to. When we’re in base defense and they’re in base offense, someone has to win the one-on-one. In the matchups with tight ends and backs, we haven’t won. That’s been the issue.”

And every team in the league - especially the one coached by Bill “The Sith Lord” Belichick - knows this and will exploit it.

It’s true that when Broncos play more man - as they did Sunday night - then the linebackers and safeties have to be ready to win the one-on-one with the tight ends. That’s never going to work in the Broncos’ favor putting Will Parks on Rob Gronkowski. That’s a matchup Gronk will win every. single. time.

So our answer to the TE problem can’t just be “win the one-on-one” because our guys aren’t winning the one-on-one, haven’t been winning it, and don’t seemed very equipped to win it. So we need a new plan here.

Expecting the current plan to magically work after it has failed miserably week after week is, well, insane.

Some advice, Coach:

A majority of these players played on the Super Bowl team. They’ve always worked hard. They are already motivated. They didn’t need a simple morale boost and a little “rah, rah, you can do it” for their “reset” button this season.

As we learned from Domata Peko, the big issue on defense is bad communication. This is a mostly veteran group that shouldn’t have those issues. That comes down to coaching.

What this team needed - that was missing last year - was focused coaching and solid scheming that showed creativity as well as adaptability to each opponent - rather than the reactionary approach this staff seems to be taking to each game situation.

Every team is watching Broncos film better than they are and figuring out how to use the weaknesses to Broncos’ disadvantage.

The “leader of men” this team needs is for confidence in a game plan that can instead use its stacked talent to the Broncos’ advantage.

Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day

Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco 49ers lauds Marquise Goodwin -- 'He was hurting'
49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin just wanted to play football after his son was delivered stillborn early Sunday morning. "He was hurting but he was adamant he wanted to play, and that's something as a coach you respect," Kyle Shanahan said.

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey quietly on a record pace - ESPN
Christian McCaffrey ranks second among rookies in all-purpose yards with 777, and he's only going to get better.

Horse Tracks

Denver Broncos will give Brock Osweiler another start at quarterback - NFL Nation- ESPN
Despite a second straight blowout loss, the Broncos saw enough improvement from Brock Osweiler to stick with him under center next week.

Eye on the Bengals: Road struggles continue for sliding Cincinnati – The Denver Post
For the record: Cincinnati has lost two in a row, the latest a 24-20 defeat Sunday at Tennessee. The Bengals took the lead with five minutes left on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green, only to watch the defense yield a game-winning TD drive led by Titans' quarterback Marcus Mariota. The loss dropped the Bengals to 1-4 on the road.

Next-Day Notebook: Broncos could look to 'narrow' down focus
In order to play a "cleaner brand of football," Head Coach Vance Joseph said Monday the team might have to "scale it back."

Bill Belichick: Near-TD catch highlights need for goal-line cameras - NFL Nation- ESPN
Another close call near the end zone prompted Bill Belichick to reiterate his hope that the NFL will pursue goal-line or pylon cameras for every game.

How bad are these sad Broncos? "Nobody respects us," says Derek Wolfe after loss to Patriots. (Kizsla)
Forgive me. But it hurts so badly the only way to begin is with a curse.

3 Broncos stood out in an embarrassing loss to Patriots | Broncos Wire
We recognize the standouts for the Denver Broncos in their devastating loss to the New England Patriots.

Vance Joseph confident in Broncos special teams coach -
On Monday, coach Vance Joseph told reporters that he maintains full confidence in Denver Broncos special teams coach Brock Olivo following Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.

Eye on the Bengals: Road struggles continue for sliding Cincinnati – The Denver Post
For the record: Cincinnati has lost two in a row, the latest a 24-20 defeat Sunday at Tennessee. The Bengals took the lead with five minutes left on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green, only to watch the defense yield a game-winning TD drive led by Titans' quarterback Marcus Mariota. The loss dropped the Bengals to 1-4 on the road.

Mike Zimmer to name Vikes starting QB on Wednesday -
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he knows who will be starting under center versus the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11, but won't announce whether it will be Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater until Wednesday.

GIFs that help tell the story of the NFL in Week 10 -
Every week of the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. So let's tell the story of Week 10 through GIFs.

Chargers place Philip Rivers in concussion protocol -
Philip Rivers' consecutive starts streak is in jeopardy. The Chargers quarterback was placed into concussion protocol Monday, coach Anthony Lynn told reporters.

Adrian Clayborn's six sacks earned $750K pay day -
Adrian Clayborn has struck gold. The Atlanta Falcons pass rusher triggered $750,000 in contract incentives after registering six sacks Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Next man up doesn't get job done for Dallas Cowboys - NFL Nation- ESPN
Without their star RB Ezekiel Elliott and All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith, the Cowboys looked powerless against the Falcons.

The NFL got it right on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict - NFL Nation- ESPN
There may come a time when the league will have no choice but to throw the book at the Bengals linebacker, but Monday was not it.

Ben McAdoo's hot seat only got hotter after performance vs. 49ers - NFL Nation- ESPN
Sunday's loss to the 49ers is just the latest struggle for coach Ben McAdoo and the Giants in their lost season.

Cowboys' Orlando Scandrick explains late-game talk with Jason Garrett - NFL Nation- ESPN
Dallas' Orlando Scandrick said his sideline chat with Jason Garrett was just him venting to his coach about his desire to finish games, even in a rout.

Washington Redskins' offense produced but wasted too many chances - NFL Nation- ESPN
The Redskins' offense didn't cost them the game Sunday but certainly could have done more to help them win.

Who was that?! Unheralded ballers who mattered in Week 10 - NFL Nation- ESPN
Case Keenum won't let go of the starting QB job, and a Lions CB scores redemption. Here are the not-quite-household names who made a big difference.

NFL Compensation Committee tells Jerry Jones to stop fighting extension for commissioner Roger Goodell
The NFL's Compensation Committee has told Jerry Jones to stop threatening to derail contract extension talks with Roger Goodell.