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Jenkins: Third-string o-line is not the Broncos biggest problem

It’s the lack of coherent play calling that’s really keeping this offense from getting on a roll.

Denver Broncos v Tennessee Titans Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tim Jenkins of All Things QB joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright on Broncos Country Tonight Monday to hash out what is going on with this Broncos offense and who’s to blame?

Let’s not even talk about the fact that those questions were the exact ones we were asking in weeks 1 through 3 (way back when it was still understandable that “being on the same page” wasn’t happening.

But now it’s coming up on Week 11, and we should not be trying to figure out if it’s the coaching or the execution as to why this offense is so horrendous.

“My general feeling is kind of pissed off because there are so many things that should be better that we’re just not figuring out - whether it’s the coach not coaching up or the QB not taking the adjustments,” Jenkins said. “So you just end up pissed off and then kinda bummed because of what you thought this offense could be back in the summer when all the pieces were coming together.”

Right there with ya, Tim.

Allbright noted that the Broncos’ offense just looks so difficult and asked Jenkins what he attributed that to.

Even Jenkins, who spends hours studying the tape and breaking down the concepts, has no idea.

“I don’t know! That’s why I’m kinda frustrated too,” he said, adding that sometimes he’s like ‘oh wow, the design is pretty good, we just don’t have our eyes in the right spot.’ “Then I watch other clips and have no idea on planet earth where I’d go with the ball if I was playing QB. And that’s watching film!”

Jenkins added that it would be infinitely harder watching it unfold real time “when you are 2.5 seconds away from a 300-pound guy putting you on your tail. Imagine if you’re actually under center?”

But again, the biggest frustration for Jenkins is not being able to find any consistency to the play calling in order to study where the primary problem is - is it execution of the plays or the actual plays themselves?

“Half the time you have no idea what Russ is looking at, but the other half you have no idea what these concepts are,” he said. “The reason I think it’s so hard [to watch] is you don’t have to look far [across the NFL] to find easy concepts. We’re missing the easy stuff and also missing out on some of the schemes we could be utilizing.”

And that brings us to the O-line. It’s no secret that the third-string linemen being forced into action because of injured starters was far less than ideal for the Broncos against the Titans.

But it also means the opposing defense is going to be very predictable and will no doubt try to take advantage of the huge mismatch.

And yet, the Broncos seemed to be the only ones with no answer.

“When you’re beat up up front, it’s really hard for me to be like, ‘O-line sucks!’ Because if you’re beat up, you know what people are going to do to you. They’re going to heat you up,” Jenkins pointed out. “You have to have blitz answers.”

Guess who didn’t have a good answer for the blitz?

“We have a coach with an offensive background. We have a quarterback who is signed to a mega deal. To sit here and go, “it’s the O-line’s fault because we’re on tackle no. 3” is kinda ludicrous,” Jenkins added. “If we don’t have blitz answers, and we have long-developing plays, that doesn’t make any sense!!”

Jenkins acknowledged that the o-line was missing some one-on-one matchups, but he’s still more mad at the overall set of play calls for the given defense.

“Sure we are losing one-on-one matchups every once-in-a-while, but we’re also trying to scramble when we have Cover 1 robber and we have a corner route that’s wide open and we could have just got the ball up and early and on time.”

“Think how mad Peyton Manning has to be watching this right now?” Jenkins joked, pointing out that Manning was the king of reading the protection and deciding the best route for that. “If you gave him Cover 0, he was going to throw tunnel screen to DT and let him go 88 yards. Instead, what do we do when we get Cover 0? We think that’s the time that we’re going to scramble. And we take egregious sacks and we have stuff that just doesn’t make sense.”

For all the blocks the O-line missed on Sunday, the biggest problem isn’t that.

“The o-line definitely is struggling but there’s no way I’m going to say, ‘you know who’s really letting us down is our second and third string offensive linemen’ when we have $300 million tied up in two guys who should have answers for that.”

Broncos/NFL News

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