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Can Shurmur effectively use Phillip Lindsay to justify keeping him?

Steve Atwater really wants No. 30 to stay in Denver, but he’s not sure the RB is a great fit for Shurmur’s offense.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Steve Atwater was in the studio Tuesday night with Ryan Edwards, and they started off the conversation with a hot topic - what to do with Phillip Lindsay?

There’s no doubt Lindsay is not only talented but also the kind of player who gives 100 percent every time he’s on the field.

And there’s no doubt Broncos Country just loves him. A native son who played for the Buffaloes and then stayed at home as an undrafted college free agent, Lindsay has some superhero status in Denver.

But there is doubt whether Pat Shurmur knows how to use him that justifies keeping him in Denver. The likely scenario is the Broncos put a tender on him and end up keeping No. 30 on the roster another year at a decent price.

The question is - will he be worth the cost because the offense utilizes his strengths?

Edwards and Atwater discussed a little known stat that Lindsay’s best gains have come with a fullback out there.But Shurmur doesn’t really use fullbacks in his offense.

For Edwards, the question is not Lindsay’s ability. It’s the offensive coordinator’s vision that matters.

“Lindsay has got to fit the system,” he said, adding that unless Shurmur is going to adapt and work with Lindsay’s strengths - find ways to get him in space, run screens, etc. - it’s probably not a good fit. “He’s got to fit what the OC is thinking. And it’s got to fit the blocking scheme.”

Atwater lamented that the Broncos never really got to see Shurmur’s plan for the two starting running backs - Lindsay and Melvin Gordon - since most of the season, one or the other was out for injury.

“I thought it was going to be a situation last year where both Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon got a chance to tote the rock quite a bit,” Atwater said, noting that Lindsay getting hurt kept him from seeing as many opportunities on the field all season. “And because of that, I just don’t know what his future is going to be here. I want him here. I would hate to see him go somewhere else and hit us up with 200. But I just don’t know.”

Bonus listen

The most fun part of the broadcast comes at 21 minutes in the first hour where Atwater and Edwards debate briefly the need for the Broncos to sign a veteran tight end like Kyle Rudolph - one Atwater called a “veteran veteran.”

Edwards: “He wouldn’t be expensive. He’d bring leadership and a veteran presence. It’s not a priority free agent signing; I’m not talking about wave one getting Kyle Rudolph, but....”

Atwater: “Bro, of ALL the positions on the team, we don’t need a tight end.”

Edwards: “Are you sure about that?”

Atwater: “I’m 100 percent positive.”

Edwards: “We’ll take the case to court.”

Atwater: “We’re not taking it to court. We don’t need a tight end. We’ve got a stack of tight ends.”

Edwards: “Not really.”

Atwater: “Really.”

Conversation over ;)