There were two major storylines I saw coming out of the game yesterday that have been used to throw some major shade on the offensive coaching staff, Rich Scangarello, in particular.
Storyline #1: Courtland Sutton mentioned after the game that Drew Lock changed his route on the touchdown play in the huddle, which led many to praising Drew Lock while simultaneously saying it proves the offensive coaches aren’t any good.
Believe it or not, the Lock-to-Sutton diving touchdown was not the designed play.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) December 2, 2019
Lock changed the play in the huddle.
A rookie QB changing plays in his first start.
Sutton’s comments after the game:
“You know what’s crazy, [QB] Drew [Lock] actually told me—I wasn’t supposed to run that route. Drew told me to run it, which I was happy that he told me to do, because I’m not going to go off-schedule. But him telling me to do it, it was awesome, and it was cool to be able to get a touchdown from him and get us rolling, get his confidence going and get the momentum on our side.”
“In the huddle. He told me, ‘Hey, run a fade.’ ‘Ooh, cool.’“
Storyline #2: Vic Fangio saying after the game the offensive coaches wanted to take a knee, and he told them “no” and wanted to go for the big play. Which again led to a piling on of the offensive coordinator and proved he is “too conservative”.
However, as more information has come out today, it seems that those two storylines jump the gun a bit. Coach Fangio clarified today during his Monday news conference that the touchdown play to Sutton was “tagged that way. He had the ability to change the route.”
Now, this doesn’t take anything away Lock as it is great to see a rookie QB changing the play and comfortable in the offense, it does change the narrative knowing that it was built into the design of the offense. So the play was a great adjustment by Lock, but was also part of the offensive design from the coaches, and works against the narrative that Denver had Lock on a leash.
Secondly, Fangio also clarified the comments he made about the decision to not kneel down at the end of the half. On KOA this morning when discussing the play, he said the offensive coaches asked him if he wanted to kneel it down, and he said “no”, deciding to go for the big play.
Fangio on KOA Logan & Lewis Show clarified on final offensive play Scangarello ASKED Fangio if he wanted to take a knee and Fangio said “no.” #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) December 2, 2019
So it seems we jumped the gun a bit as the way Fangio worded the post-game comments made it sound as if there was disagreement among the staff about what to do in that situation.
These may seem like minor clarifications, and perhaps they are, but I thought it best that we’re all operating off of the same information as we critique and comment on the coaching staff and the team in the aftermath of yesterday’s win.