Few things have frustrated me more with the Denver Broncos than the offensive play calling. Time after time this season, the offense would abandon the run game early in favor of Case Keenum aerial assaults.
On Thursday, Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave finally was asked the tough questions regarding play calling. From the first direct question on, you can sense Musgrave getting frustrated with the line of questioning despite dodging this first one.
“That’s a really good question,” Musgrave said when asked if he calls plays ‘chasing the game’. “I don’t think that we get into ‘chasing’ too much. I don’t feel that way. I really love our team. We’ve got a good nucleus of guys, both old and young like we’ve talked about. I think the games—we’d like to have more wins at this point, but I think they’re on the way. We’re looking forward to the second half of the season and I think we’ll keep preparing as best we can and putting our best foot forward on gameday. I think each game is different, and we get a feel and a rhythm each time we get out there on Sundays.”
If you look at the games the Broncos lost, Musgrave absolutely began ‘chasing the game’ in those. With a strong run game in each, the Broncos playcalling instead featured a heavy dose of Keenum throwing the ball.
“I don’t know, we’d have to go back and look specifically,” Musgrave said when asked if the play calling was due to playing from behind. “Time is a factor at times on what plays you want to call and also how different games are going. Are we running the ball, are we throwing the ball, is misdirection better or play-action? I think each game is different.”
This question annoyed me, because during that first loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos were leading when they abandoned the run in the third quarter. Then last week, on third and two, Musgrave calls a jet sweep to Emmanuel Sanders that went absolutely nowhere.
Each game is different and the playcalling has been disappointing in different ways and the Broncos having a lead or not didn’t seem to matter in that regard.
“I think it would depend on each and every game,” Musgrave said on running the ball more if they had more leads in games. “I think we’ve got good receivers and good tight ends, I think it would depend on how the defense was constructed and also what our plan was each and every week to give us our best chance to win.”
The answer is no, having a lead did not mean more running plays being called by Musgrave. I found it odd he would talk about having good wide receivers and right ends when asked if he should run the ball more when the Broncos have a lead.
Apparently, he was fed up with this line of questioning too.
“Let’s keep it going, let’s get some more,” Musgrave said. “I second the motion. I second the fucking motion. Let’s keep it going.”
Let’s keep what going? Are you going to run the ball more, Bill, or do the same cute bullcrap that has gotten the Broncos to a 3-5 record with several close losses to Super Bowl contenders?
Run. The. #$%^ing. Ball.