Ever since the debacle in New York, there’s been a severe lack of offense.
No punch. No juice. No imagination. No life. No anything. Since the loss in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos offense has been offensive, kept alive by a historic defense. If anyone had a heart, the offense would have been put down two seasons ago.
Enter Mike McCoy, Bill Musgrave and the offensive coaches who served as the initial shock to the system. Throw in the moves in free agency with the recent draft picks and the transformation to a monster on offense was close.
John Elway may have just added the juice that monster needs to live with running back Jamaal Charles, who was signed to a one-year deal worth up to $3.75 million. The obvious concerns are there with his knee injury history. The former Kansas City Chiefs standout has basically missed two seasons with ACL tears. This move wouldn’t have happened if there was a setback in Charles’ rehab or further risk of injury.
If you haven’t seen the videos on social media of Charles, you need to. He looks awesome, especially for a guy with previous knee injuries. While it is a great first step, the key isn’t what Charles does in shorts or on the practice field for Denver. That will come when he gets hit for the first time since the injury and when he gets hit in the knee. How Charles responds to both scenarios will let the team know he’s up for the task.
The other factor is he’s 30. The list of running backs to succeed after that magical number is few and far between. But there are aspects that benefit Charles and the Broncos to mitigate those concerns.
Look no further than McCoy and his offense. In the past, he’s utilized guys like Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead to great success. He’s never had a weapon in the backfield like Charles. The pair of Charles and McCoy in this offense could be dynamite, as Adam Malnati and I stated on the latest Mile High Report Radio Podcast.
What also helps Charles is that he will no longer have to be the primary running back. Instead of getting 25-30 carries per game, get his touches to 10-15 per game, with those being carries and catches. When you pair Charles with C.J. Anderson, you get one of the best duos in the NFL. It’s fitting you have the same injury concerns with 26-year-old Anderson as you do Charles. But the same way this move aids Charles, it does so for Anderson.
Don’t forget you also have Devontae Booker in the mix. He’s another young player who will benefit from the new offensive staff now in place. Booker also will grow from watching and working with the veteran Charles on a daily basis, in the running back meeting room and on the field.
There was disappointment from some in Broncos Country when Elway wasn’t able to draft the prodigal son, Christian McCaffrey. People felt that was the natural way for this to go, and when it didn’t happen, it was like forcing down brown tap water when you’re perched.
Excited to have Jamaal Charles join the Broncos. A great addition to our backfield, and we're thrilled we won't have to play against him!— John Elway (@johnelway) May 2, 2017
The addition of Charles fills that role, only Charles is a more proven commodity than McCaffrey. Over the course of Charles’ career, he’s fourth in NFL history in yards per carry at 5.5. There’s no reason to think he won’t have the same type of success in Denver and in this offense, just in a more limited role.
The Broncos also are getting a driven and motivated player who is out to prove he still has it. You get that sense by watching the videos of his training. Charles still knows he has it, and he wants to rub the Chiefs’ face in it. If the signing of Charles brings a little more misery to Chiefs fans, all the better.
Since the embarrassment in New Jersey, Denver’s offense has been on life support. It occasionally shows signs of life by making grunting noises and muscle spasm. It’s clear the offseason moves were made with the intent to breathe life into this monster.
The addition of Charles should finally bring enough juice to jolt the Broncos offense back to life.