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.
Coach Fangio on Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello: pic.twitter.com/K4EHL6u4Lu— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 17, 2019
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.”
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