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Scangarello hire bodes well for direction of Broncos’ next offense

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The missing piece is a solid quarterback, but the new OC’s track record with that position in particular should bolster the Broncos’ offense in the short and long term.

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

It’s a great week in the Mile High City as John Elway has nearly finalized his overhaul of the Broncos’ coaching staff after sealing the deal on Wednesday with Rich Scangarello, former 49ers quarterbacks coach, to be the Broncos’ new offensive coordinator.

Combined with new offensive line coach Mike Munchak (and hopefully current running backs coach Curtis Modkins, there is renewed hope in Broncos Country that the Denver offense can be exciting again.

Or at least interesting - and hopefully effective.

While Hall-of-Famer Munchak has proved his mettle as an O-line coach, having recently coached perhaps the best offensive line in the league at Pittsburgh, Scangarello comes in with no experience as a coordinator at the NFL level, but plenty from college.

And that’s probably why he was so enticing to Elway and new head coach Vic Fangio.

Scangarello’s success with four different quarterbacks - three of whom were patchwork backups - in the past two seasons at the Niners was impressive, but what should impress Broncos fans is something only a good story can tell.

Matt Barrows, now covering the Niners for The Athletic, told that story in a 2017 Sacramento Bee article about the QB coach, who while coaching at UC Davis in 2009 was hired by the Raiders to work with their quarterbacks:

A year earlier, the Texans hired [Kyle] Shanahan to run their offense, making him, at age 28, the youngest coordinator in the league. While Scangarello was in Oakland, Shanahan’s Texans offense averaged nearly 300 passing yards per game, the best in the league.

His system hit Scangarello like a thunderbolt. It was impressive, ingenious and meshed so well with Scangarello’s own ideas that he began adopting key components at the next stops in his career.

“I started to model my offense after his,” he said. “It’s what I always believed from afar. The truth is that I taught off of his film and he didn’t even know it for years.”

Scangarello told Barrows that he knew he’d really need to work with Shanahan to fully grasp the concept, so when a position that didn’t even really have a title came open under Shanahan at the Falcons, Scangarello grabbed it.

“The truth is it completed me in the cycle of knowing everything about this system,” he said. “… I really took the job in Atlanta for free, quite honestly. And I wasn’t afraid. I was willing to do the work and I really just wanted to be around coach Shanahan.”

And having worked closely with Shanahan at the Falcons, Scangarello learned that evaluating quarterbacks to thrive in their complex system was going to have to go beyond just arm power.

It was going to take a quarterback who could process things quickly because that’s what the pro game required. And no doubt, part of Scangarello’s success with Nick Mullens when Jimmy Garoppolo and then CJ Beathard went down with injuries had actually started months before when evaluating the Southern Miss quarterback during the pre-draft process.

“Nobody visualizes like they do in the NFL. So you got to be creative with how you see their learning style, how they retain information, how they process it and then how they articulate it,” Scangarello told The Athletic. “Because one of the more underrated things in playing quarterback is your ability to articulate things clearly to everybody and it can be a huge stumbling block for quarterbacks that are good players that can’t get that done. It holds them back.

“When you’re searching for a developmental prospect or quarterback later in a draft or a free agent,” he added, “it’s putting a puzzle together of qualities that are going to make this guy get the most out of himself.”

While the 2019 quarterback for the Broncos may still be in question, it seems obvious Elway has picked a new offensive coordinator who can help him do a much better job evaluating young talent and ultimately developing a quarterback of the future.

Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day

49ers: QBs coach took lowly job so he could learn from Kyle Shanahan | The Sacramento Bee
“I would say the one thing I could truly appreciate beyond anything with coach Shanahan is that he’s trying to score on every single play he calls,” Scangarello said. “And I never thought that way as a play caller in the pass game. Sometimes I was thinking more about staying on schedule. And he was always thinking, ‘How can we attack the defense and create explosive (plays)?’ It really changed my mindset for the better.”

Horse Tracks

Why the Broncos hired Rich Scangarello as their offensive coordinator – The Athletic
The Broncos appointed a trusted assistant of Kyle Shanahan's who has only four years of NFL coaching experience to lead their offense. A gamble? The Broncos don't think so.

The Vic Fangio effect: How the Broncos' new head coach has built two of this decade's elite defensive units
In San Francisco and Chicago, Fangio transformed two struggling units into dominant defenses that were among the NFL's best. What could he do for a follow-up act in Denver?

What do Broncos need to do to fix their offense? - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
Without Peyton Manning, the Broncos have been middling to bad on offense. Inconsistency, QB issues and scheme deficiencies should be first to be fixed.

Harris Jr. rips ex-coaching staff: 'We needed better game plans'
By complimenting Vic Fangio, Chris Harris Jr. insulted his Broncos predecessor.

Long snapper Casey Kreiter named to 2019 Pro Bowl
Kreiter is a Pro Bowler for the first time in his career.

3 reasons Billy Turner should be high-priority for the Broncos
Here’s why the Broncos need to prioritize bringing Billy Turner back.

Report: Broncos among ‘six teams in the race for Joe Flacco’
Could the Broncos go after Joe Flacco this spring?

Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders trade Twitter barbs - NFL.com
As the hot takes concerning Antonio Brown’s actions at the end of the season continue to streak across the sky, Brown isn’t taking them quietly. This time, he dragged an old teammate into the mess.

Report: Broncos meet with QB Brett Rypien at Shrine Game
It’s officially #ScoutingSzn.

Sporting News NFL Awards
Broncos' new head coach Vic Fangio earns "Best Coordinator of the Year." That's a good way to come into a new job.

Could Scangarello take 49ers QB with him to Denver Broncos?
Rich Scangarello has left his post as 49ers quarterbacks coach to become the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, so could one of the 49ers quarterbacks follow him there?

FMIA Divisional Weekend: Doobie Pump and a Big Piece of Cheese—How the Saints Saved Their Season – ProFootballTalk
NFL playoffs recap of Colts-Chiefs, Cowboys-Rams, Chargers-Patriots and Eagles-Saints, along with coaching insight, All-Pro teams and more.

Saints preparing for surging Rams' ground attack - NFL.com
The Saints were able to shut down the Rams' running game in a Week 9 matchup. But even with the new addition of running back C.J. Anderson, New Orleans is ready to stop the ground attack.

Andy Reid on Tom Brady: 'The age thing hasn't hit him' - NFL.com
Fans of #GradualDecline, avert your eyes. Tom Brady might be 41, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid doesn't see anything but a number when he watches the quarterback play.

Biggest looming 2019 free-agent decisions for all 32 NFL teams
Could Clay Matthews move on from Green Bay? Will the Texans bring back Tyrann Mathieu? Here are the questions facing every team.

Biggest 2019 offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams
The Giants and Patriots need long-term quarterback solutions. Seven teams need new coaches. NFL Nation reporters assess every team's top priority.

Kyler Murray declares for 2019 NFL draft - Answering questions about what's next
Murray has declared for the NFL draft. Can he still play baseball? What are the key dates to pay attention to? Here's what you need to know.

Sunday felt like Nick Foles' goodbye to Philly - Philadelphia Eagles Blog- ESPN
The Eagles quarterback didn't want to elaborate on the likelihood he's headed elsewhere, preferring instead to savor his Philadelphia moment.

Just for fun (and my favorite thing this week)