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Pat Shurmur: ‘You just have to throw the ball down field. That’s how you score points’

Broncos’ new offensive coordinator told the media today that an offense just has to attack the defense sometimes - and you do it with the deep ball.

New York Giants v Chicago Bears Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

If Drew Lock heard Pat Shurmur’s introductory press conference on Thursday, he probably did another lip sync, tried to dance and then grabbed some footballs and started hurling them down the street as far as he could.

Because if he heard the same presser I did, he heard “aggressive, attack, deep ball.”

Maybe not in those exact words...but pretty close.

Shurmur was asked how he would incorporate explosive plays in the offense, and he said the most honest thing he could - “You just have to throw it down there.”

Because, of course. At some point, all the trickery and scrambling and misdirection isn’t quite as effective as just burning a guy deep for a huge play - and often a momentum shift (just ask the 49ers).

“I think that’s how you do it. ... I think it’s important that you do attack the defense down the field,” Shurmur said Thursday, noting that sometimes the offense is forced to do other things. “I think you have to challenge the defense. One way to do it is to do it downfield. That’s how you get points. That’s how you move the ball.”

In his introductory remarks, Shurmur mentioned how influenced he’s been in his career by great defensive coaches - Nick Saban, Steve Spagnuolo, Mike Zimmer among them - but working under Andy Reid at the Eagles is where he really learned to embrace the role a good offense can play.

“That’s where I got my start and my appreciation for the importance of throwing the ball and how you score points and doing it in a way that’s efficient and explosive,” Shurmur said. “We’re just going to do what’s best for our offense and hopefully we’ll put together an offense that can help us win games.”

The new coordinator said the Broncos will run the West Coast offense, but like all his predecessors, added the “we’ll do what’s best for the Broncos”

But ultimately it will come down to favorite plays that Lock and his targets prefer.

“I’ve coached forever from that {Andy Reid] book. I think when you look at offenses though—we are all fond of the plays that work, but we as coaches are always trying to do the things our players do best,” he said. “They have a unique skill set [in KC] that allows them to do some things that maybe some other teams can’t do. We just have to try and do the things that are best for us.”

Although Shurmur’s previous team drafted Daniel Jones for its rookie QB, Shurmur acknowledged he had always been high on Lock as quarterback.

“We had a very, very high opinion of Drew Lock. We liked him a great deal,” Shurmur said, noting Jones and Lock had several similarities. “You saw flashes of really good football from both of them this year as they played as rookies, so I’m very, very excited to be able to work with Drew Lock and really all the offensive players.”

The coordinator is also excited to have QB-whisperer Mike Shula aboard his offensive team.

“No. 1, Mike’s an outstanding coach, and No. 2, he’s an even better person,” said Shurmur. “I think the Broncos are really lucky that he was available and willing to come here. He’s an outstanding coach, does a great job not only with quarterbacks but also with the whole offense. He called plays in the Super Bowl. I think the players here are very lucky that he’s here.”

Shurmur also noted that being able to come work with offensive line coach Mike Munchak helped in persuading him to join the Broncos.

“He’s an outstanding coach and person. He goes in that Mike Shula category for me,” Shurmur said of the Hall-of-Fame offensive lineman. “He’s had great success obviously first as a player, but he’s an outstanding person, outstanding coach. That had a little bit to do with me coming here. I think for an offensive coordinator being around a tremendous offensive line coach that’s huge.”

And with Munchak and Shula, Shurmur hopes to create a much better Broncos offense in 2020.

Vic Fangio approves. Noting that in each of Kansas City’s eight losses over the last two years, the other team has scored 31 or more points. You can’t reach that number by being conservative.

“Yeah, that’s what I like,” said. “Contrary to the stereotype that is always out there—a defensive head coach wants to ground and pound and considers a pitch to the halfback a pass—that is not me. I like to be aggressive.”

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