While Broncos Country has been rehashing “what if the refs weren’t so awful” all day on Twitter, Vic Fangio has been focusing on what he can control - or at least what he can influence - and needs to fix.
And one of the glaring areas of need in that department is the Broncos’ left tackle and his penchant for killing a good drive with a holding penalty.
Given the increased tendency across the league to call holding, Fangio was adamant that he and the coaches have to insist on better performance across the line.
“We have to — obviously, it hurt us yesterday at different points of the game,” Fangio said. “We had six of them. A lot of times, even though we overcame a couple of them, those are drive stoppers, so we’ve got to be able to block our guy without holding.”
Fangio didn’t agree that this was what he meant with “death by inches” because he meant that more as “during the week” details, but he definitely believes Bolles has got to improve his technique.
“The unusual part of those is when you hear one guy got called for four holdings, you’re immediate thought is passing,” Fangio said, adding that three of Bolles’ four holding calls were on run plays. “I think he suffers from him thinking he’s in good position sometimes and dumps the guy at the end where he thinks it’s a legal block. We have to do a better job of explaining that to him. He’s got to do a better job of listening to the explaining, but I think he can.”
But if you’re thinking Bolles might be benched over his four holding calls in one game, just take a gander at the depth chart and you’ll understand Fangio’s predicament.
Although in theory Dalton Risner could slide over to tackle, Fangio said that’s not their first option. One of the reasons for bringing Jake Rodgers up from the practice squad is to avoid moving Risner, one of the few bright spots on the line.
“With our depth the way it is at this point, that’s probably not an option,” Fangio said about replacing Bolles. “That could be a possible move, but it’s one of the reasons we brought Rodgers up was to not have to do that move.”
Fangio also indicated that adding more depth to the line is possible but “it all depends what’s available.”
Other notable comments from the coach:
Quoting New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Fangio reiterated that he “can’t control poor officiating or awful calls.”
“And we’ll just go about it that way,” he added. “We still have to find a way to win the game regardless of what’s happening.”
Broncos need more “explosive plays” to keep the offense rolling:
“We were moving it, but it seems like we’ve gotten into that midfield, plus-45 area and that’s where a lot of our drives have stalled. We haven’t had as many series as most teams have probably had because we’ve been able to make a first down, two first downs, three first downs and get us past the 50, and then we’ve stalled out. We’ve got to get a few more explosive plays.”
Noting that “yes” there were coverage mistakes on Mitch Tribusky’s final offensive play on fourth down, Fangio said he believes time had run out before a timeout was called:
“They’re assuming a lot there, and they will tell you that there has to be lag time. He went down at one — and nothing in life and in the world happens simultaneously. There is lag time there, and they didn’t deem there was lag time there.”
On going for two at the end of the game instead of forcing overtime:
“It’s part of it, but to me the biggest part is just in your gut. Analytics is good and stats are good, but you just have to go with your gut sometimes. ...The harder one, really, the harder choice for me during the game was going for it on the fourth down in that drive because that was around midfield and if we didn’t get it, they make a few yards and can get a field goal, so it would have gone from six to nine. That to me was more risky than the two-point play, albeit if we don’t get the two-point play we don’t win right then and there.”
Regarding lack of sack production:
“We’ve had two unusual games in that the other team’s offenses have run the ball more than they’ve thrown it, which is usual these days. We’ve been behind in both games. Albeit yesterday it was 6-3 or 3-0, 3-3 for a long time so it wasn’t like it was grossly behind. I think it’s just going to be a combination of getting in better situations, but we had our chance yesterday in the rush on the last drive. Our rush wasn’t good enough on that one.”
Joe Flacco’s performance overall has been “pretty good” but not “good enough” because the offense only scored 14 points:
“That’s a pretty good defense they went against yesterday, and we were able to methodically move the ball at times and convert some third downs and had a pretty good mix of run and pass. I think Joe played well yesterday overall. ...We’re not getting the points that we need to get out of our first downs. We had I believe 27 first downs yesterday and you should get more than 14 points with 27 first downs.”
Diontae Spencer’s punt returning is NFL caliber:
“Although he didn’t have many opportunities, he’s definitely an NFL quality returner at this point.”
One day later, what is making you more mad?
This poll is closed
The bogus roughing the passer call on Chubb
Four holding penalties by Bolles
Not blitzing on the Bears final 4th down play