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Brock Osweiler: Final preseason evaluation

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Hello Broncos Country! With the close of the preseason, this will (hopefully) be the final evaluation of Brock Osweiler until next season.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There wasn't a lot of negatives to take away from his final performance.  The offense had eight drives and managed to score 24-points.  Brandon McManus missed a FG so it could have been more.  They managed to score a FG in the two-minute drill before halftime and then came out and scored a TD on the first drive of the 3rd quarter. Let's take a look at 3rd downs.

3rd down efficiency: Dallas

Overall, the Broncos were 5-9 (55.5%) on 3rd downs.  The issue wasn't the passing game, the issue was the short running game which failed to convert on 3rd and 2 and 3rd and 1 twice.  One first down was gained via penalty, but Brock was 4-4 on his opportunities starting with this curl route to Jacob Tamme:

Oz_dal_12_yd_to_tamme_medium

The protection holds up and Brock delivers an accurate ball right to the numbers before Tamme makes his break. Looks like a standard Cover-2 sink coverage from the Cowboys meaning a lot of zone. This next play showed Osweiler's maturity in the pocket.

Oz_dal_12_yd_to_burse_on_3rd_down_medium

There are a lot of cues that Dallas is going to bring the blitz.  Coupled with traffic at the LOS, you have secondary players at the top of the screen that are playing way-off.  The Corner on the bottom also starts with outside leverage meaning he is going to funnel anything deep back to the middle of the field where you have a single safety.  Call this Cover 1 with a corner blitz.  Look how sneaky the LB is dropping to a zone on that inside crosser.

Forget the defense though, Brock is going to get nailed and he knows it.  He stands strong and delivers an accurate ball to Isaiah Burse over the middle.  When we look at the next angle we can more or less see that Brock is throwing to a spot.  This spot is low and away from the defender keeping both his receiver and the ball safe.  It takes guts to stand and deliver knowing you're going to take a beating.

Oz_dal_12_yd_to_burse_on_3rd_down_2_medium

I apologize for the size of the next one, the Dallas announcers had a split screen.  Out of the trips formation, Morrah works his way into the flat and breaks a tackle for a 5-yard gain on 3rd down.  Oz also had Jordan Palmer on the crosser.  It's an easy read and throw with the off coverage due to the bunch.

Oz_dal_5yd_to_morrah_3rd_down_medium

Finally, we have some YAC.

Oz_dal_yac_to_latimer_medium

The Dallas LB's end up picking each other on the short cross by Latimer.  Quick accurate throw that Latimer turns into a foot race.  Gauging his open-field speed, the eye tells me he's faster than Demaryius thomas in the open field. He outruns his blocker Juwan Thompson down the field.

3rd down efficiency: Preseason

Under Brock Osweiler, the Denver Broncos offense converted 13/24 3rd down opportunities (54.2%).  Last season, San Diego converted 49% of their 3rd down opportunities which was the highest mark in the NFL.

Brock Osweiler on 3rd downs: 11-13 (84.6%), 184 yards (14.2 APA), 10 conversions.

Add another conversion on a 3rd down scramble and Brock accounted for 85% of the Broncos 3rd down conversions.

The Deep Ball

Brock is 5-10 on all passes 20 yards or more down the field.  He has worked both sides of the field equally.  Ball placement is something he'll need to work on a little bit more.

Oz_dal_deep_to_caldwell_medium

The ball is out quick so Brock is choosing a spot to the field to throw to.  When we see where it ends up, closer to the boundary on what would be the outside shoulder, it's not a bad throw.....except Bubba Caldwell has to slow down and awkwardly torque his body (as if to catch a back shoulder throw) in order to make the catch.  This sort of tells me that Oz underestimated Caldwell's speed.  But let's go to the next deep throw.

Oz_dal_inc_deep_to_latimer_medium

Latimer has about a half step.  He is capable of making this play, but Brock leaves the throw too much to the inside. Cody has to turn into a DB and break up a possible INT.

Brock has had some nice passes outside the numbers, and he's had some poor ones.  It goes with the territory.  Last season the most prolific deep ball passer was Russell Wilson.  Wilson had 60 attempts and managed to complete 28 of them (46.7%) for 9 TD's and 5 INT's.  Peyton Manning was a close 2nd (at least in percentage) 38-83 (45.8%) for 12 TD's and 5 INT's.  From the numbers outside, Brock is 3-8 for 100 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT.  Small sample size but similar numbers when you include a drop.

Something that Osweiler has excelled with is passing the ball down the seams.

Oz_dal_deep_to_burse_medium

The ball is out on rhythm.  The only issue I have is with the placement.  It is slightly high to a receiver like Burse. If you were playing against a secondary that is more aggressive, that leaves the ball or your receiver in danger.  In the end it was a nice read to split the zone coverage underneath and the single high safety over the top.  Brock's vision in the middle of the field is top notch and this next play is the prime example of why.

Oz_dal_deep_to_morrah_medium

This is an absolute laser that splits triple coverage.  Here's the endzone view.

Oz_dal_deep_to_morrah_2_medium

I can watch this all day.  Perfect ball splitting textbook cover two zone.  Watch both safeties clear toward the boundary, the Mike coverage responsibilities fall to #45 who reads Brock's eyes but is too late to help.  The ball falls over both linebackers and to the inside of the safety keeping Morrah safe and sound from a big hit.

Speaking of big hits, with that big body does Oz take them?

Oz_dal_read_option_3_yd_medium

Brock is down safely off of this read-option. Maybe he can teach RGIII to slide?

Oz_dal_scramble_medium

The shove at the end is a bit dirty, but at no point in this 26 yard scramble is the lumbering 6'8" Osweiler in danger of becoming a turf stain.

Osweiler is big, strong, athletic.  But he isn't a Ben Roethlisberger.  Brock can scramble and buy time without becoming a heavy bag.

Brock Osweiler drive stats (Entire Pre-Season)

Drive

Plays

Yards

Result

1

7

44

MISS FG

2

4

46

TD

3

5

10

Punt

4

1

0

INT

5

10

80

TD

6

3

9

Punt

7

10

58

TD

8

9

30

Punt

9

1

33

TD

10

3

9

Punt

11

1

0

INT

12

15

98

MISS FG

13

4

0

TOD

14

6

24

MISS FG

15

6

11

Punt

16

3

38

TD

17

6

21

Punt

18

9

76

FG

19

6

71

TD

20

3

9

Punt

21

3

42

TD

21

115

709

6.2 YPP

That's 21 drives yielding 7 touchdowns and 1 field goal.  Three missed field goals, two interceptions, and a turnover on downs highlight the bad.  So what does this mean?  It means that in 21 drives, the Broncos offense under Brock Osweiler managed to score 52 points.  Broken down by drive that gives them a 2.48 points per drive average. Looking back at 2013, only the Manning-led Broncos (2.98) averaged more points per drive.  Pre-season aside, you can say the offense was more than efficient.  In fact the 6.2 yards per play would have tied them with the 2nd ranked Philadelphia offense last season.

Something else impressive to notice are the lack of three and outs.  This squad only committed three of them (14.3%).

Final time to throw

Player

Drops

Throw

Attempt

Sack

Scramble

Manning

56

2.32

2.30

2.70

3.10

Osweiler

56

2.61

2.44

2.37

4.36

Get rid of time to attempt, I have no idea what difference that is to time to throw.  Average time to throw is on all dropbacks.  Osweiler started off at about 2.6 seconds and finished there.  Remember, this time puts him top 7 in the NFL compared to last years passers.  He has some work to do in order to catch Manning, but it can come with time and study.  Look at the time to sack.  Brock's average is much quicker than Peyton's--just an indicator of the level of lines they played against this preseason.  For those that think he takes off and runs after his first read is covered, check out the 4.36 seconds to scramble.  That number tells me quite the opposite.

Brock Osweiler's final throwing chart

I could have used the one from PFF, but I dont' like it.  The reason being they only divide the field into three main areas, outside the numbers and middle.  The middle of the field is quite large and I like the idea of more accurately pinpointing the throws.  Everything should be self explanatory.  Green is a completion, Red is an incompletion.  The five main areas are now the space between the numbers and boundary, the space between a hash and the numbers, and the space between the hashes.

(Click to Embiggen)

Brock_osweiler_2014_preseason_passing_chart_medium

LOS= Line of Scrimmage

LB=Left Boundary

LN=Left Numbers

LH=Left Hash etc...

Not sure if this is a "thing" with right handed QB's, but throwing to their right seems to happen more infrequent than throwing to their left.  What we see though is a passer that is capable of attacking the defense on all levels of the field.

Final Verdict

Brock is coming along well.  He has all the physical tools--this preseason he has started to put together his understanding of the game together with his capabilities and there are lots of promising signs of improvement some of which show through on a play to play basis, others represented by the overall success of the offense.

I am confident in my analysis that Brock's ceiling is still very high.  Does that mean he will be an elite QB someday? Could be, the potential is certainly there.  Bottom line, Brock will go as far in this game as he wants to.  If he were to approach the level of dedication and study that Peyton Manning puts in every week, the future of the Denver Broncos shines bright.

The stage isn't too big for Brock Osweiler.  He can make all the throws.  He has shown the ability to read defenses at least on a base-intermediate level.  He has shown the ability to remain cool in pressure situations, and he can use his legs to make plays that aren't there.  That being said, I hope we only get to see him in mop-up duty this season.

Previous Installments:
Brock Osweiler vs. Seahawks
Brock Osweiler vs. Niners
Brock Osweiler vs. Texans

Hope you enjoyed this series, GO BRONCOS!!!