When Ryan Edwards posed the question, “What are the Broncos getting with the Pat Shurmur-Mike Shula combo?” Benjamin Allbright had a quick and definitive answer.
“You’re going into the Drew Lock Era, and you don’t have the time as a head coach to groom a quarterback and groom an offensive coordinator,” he said Monday night, adding that Vic Fangio has a limited winning window. “You’ve got an executive that demands you win now, you’ve got a fan base tired of losing, you’re 60+ coach...you don’t have the luxury of being able to groom both.”
Allbright noted that if Joe Flacco had panned out in the offense, the growing pains with Rich Scangarello could have been more easily absorbed.
But a new head coach needs to have confidence in his play caller, so Shurmur and Shula come with 40-plus years of combined experience running an offense - exactly what Fangio wants.
“You’re brining in two noted quarterback developers, coaches who have been around for a long time. Shula is a football lifer. His last name tells you everything you need to know. Shurmur has worked with Andy Reid and knows that offense inside and out so you’ve got insight into how to get past the best team in the division,” Allbright added, pointing out that every quarterback who has played under Shula had his best years with the coach.
Andrew Mason pointed out that exact fact with some hard numbers on Twitter.
On average, the QBs w/ previous pro experience that Mike Shula inherited had passer ratings of 7.5 points higher w/ Shula than w/o him.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 29, 2020
For Drew Lock, matching that rate would give him a passer rating of 97.2. Among 42 QBs with 100+ att., that would have placed him 13th in 2019.
“They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, a proven track record, an offensive coordinator who will go deep...you won’t have communication issues because you’ve got guys with 40 collective years of experience in the league.”
Edwards gave big props to Fangio for making the move - especially after the team finished on a 4-1 upswing with Drew Lock at the helm.
“I give Vic Fangio a lot of credit for making that move,” Edwards said. “If they had rolled forward another year with Rich, and he continued to have growing pains, it would have been a wasted year.”
Allbright added that Fangio “made a gut call, and I love it.”
While Scangarello appeared brilliant at times on-script, the new offensive coordinator seemed lost and unable to adapt once the game was into a flow and he had improvise.
With an experienced coordinator and a quarterbacks coach who has made every QB he’s worked with better, the Drew Lock Era is ready to take off.