The Broncos start up Week 2 by traveling to Jacksonville to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. There are some uncertainties on what Denver will face given the new coaching staff and scheme coming in with Urban Meyer.
On Thursday’s Broncos Country Tonight, linebacker Josey Jewell joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright to preview that game and some of what the team is expecting from the Jaguars offense:
“There’s a lot of young guys that have had good careers so far. You know, they’ve got a lot of RPO stuff they like with their new quarterback. They like to run some zone-read stuff with him; some pulling guards every once in a while. But really it seems like it’s a lot of RPO with the quarterback and letting him decide. It’s not too, too complex but we’ve got to be ready for it because RPOs will keep you on your toes.”
Jewell also mentioned that the team has to be prepared for anything since there’s so little game tape available on the new scheme. While they’ve been using the preseason and the Week 1 game, Jewell mentioned that Jacksonville would “re-examine their tendencies” and try to even them out so they don’t become obvious.
Jacksonville called several RPOs against the Texans, with a fair amount of success. Here’s an example of what Josey Jewell was talking about.
Josey Jewell mentioned the Broncos have to be on their toes for the RPOs that Jacksonville uses frequently.— AJ Schulte (@AJDraftScout) September 17, 2021
Kamu Grugier-Hill felt that on this play. pic.twitter.com/eAPPjIxFVW
The Jaguars come out in 12 personnel with two receivers to the right. Initially, the team lined up in empty with James Robinson and then he shifted into the backfield. As he does, the corner, Terrance Mitchell creeps up closer to the line of scrimmage. Trevor Lawrence knows this is man coverage, and the heavier personnel looks will typically point to a running play.
He also knows that he has linebacker #51, Kamu Grugier-Hill, in man coverage working against Tyron Johnson in the slot. If that linebacker makes a move to stop the run, he knows he’ll have Johnson underneath with a linebacker out of position against him. If he makes a move to follow Johnson, Lawrence hands it off to the void left there.
Watch Lawrence’s eyes read #51 the whole way. The handoff freezes Grugier-Hill long enough that he’s out of position to take Johnson. Lawrence turns and fires the ball, and it’s a six-yard gain on first down.
This is what Jewell’s talking about. These plays are designed to put defenders in a bind, and when the opposing team has a QB as talented as Trevor Lawrence, it’s always a tough ask to defend. Jewell’s right. Despite their poor week 1 showing against Houston, Denver still needs to be ready against Jacksonville.