Broncos QBs Coach Davis Webb Doesn't Want 'Checkdown Charlies'

Davis Webb had a parting message of sorts for the Denver Broncos quarterbacks as OTAs ended.
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Bo Nix (10) and quarterback Jarrett Stidham (8) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Bo Nix (10) and quarterback Jarrett Stidham (8) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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It's still early enough in the development process of the new Denver Broncos that, to a certain extent, everyone is getting a hall pass until they find their feet. That includes rookie quarterback Bo Nix, his teammates, and the coaching staff, the latter of whom will get an opportunity to mold the 24-year-old former Oregon Duck into a bonafide NFL starter.

As things currently stand, head coach Sean Payton and his key offensive assistants seem comfortable with the way things went during recent OTAs. Indeed, Broncos second-year QBs coach Davis Webb feels that Nix is rounding into shape quite nicely, and that's reassuring to fans who understand the massive challenges ahead.

"Bo is a great kid. He's been really good out here," Webb said on Thursday. "All of them have done a good job. I think they've all had really good days. There are still some rookie moments, but that's every single rookie in the league. I think he is coming along just nicely."

Payton, Webb, and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi have been laying out the basics for Nix to follow, and he seems to be coping admirably. We can expect that Nix will begin to see the workload increase dramatically during training camp, and with that, the complexities of the offense will inevitably be revealed.

In some quarters, there always exists a dusty old school of thought that it's best to strip things back and simplify the install for any rookie signal-caller. That's frequently done in the hopes of minimizing mistakes, but Coach Webb isn't one for playing possum with his new charge.

"We don't want to be 'checkdown Charlies.' We want to be aggressive down the field, and if it's not there, we want to keep moving forward," Davis explained during the week. "So I don't think we have that tendency. I think it's just being smart with the football. To the naked eye it might look that way, but if you look at what's going on with protection or down the field, getting a completion sometimes is the only thing you have. Right now, we're just going through the installs, kind of learning the offense. We have two guys that are brand new to this offense, so kind of the attention is put there." 

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The key to finding success early with Nix will be whether the Broncos translate the offense to him accurately. Therefore, helping Nix digest the extra details of a traditional Payton offense will come to rely a great deal on Webb's ability to communicate clearly, which is especially pertinent because he is a former NFL QB himself.

Coach Lombardi is a firm believer that Webb can use the tool of relatability to unlock the depth of talent that inhabits the Broncos' QB room. Lombardi says that Webb is particularly well versed in the best use of the modern-day technology that he has at his disposal to crunch the relevant numbers and teach.

"He has a lot of experience obviously playing the position, and that's always helpful," Lombardi said of Webb. "A lot of energy, smart, works really hard. His meetings are always prepared. He gives them a lot of good information but makes them entertaining. He's just really good with the technology and using the audio-visual to maximize the learning experience. [He's] just real sharp and a hard worker, and that's what you want from coaches. [He's] easy to get along with."

Whatever data the computers might spit out at Webb, having played the position as a pro, he knows it requires the kind of touch and feel that's unique to those who have lined up under center. Webb will continue to use all the experience he soaked up when he shared the sideline with the likes of two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning in New York. 

"I obviously went through it, and I had Eli Manning in the room, which was pretty great," Webb said of his playing days. "[Nix] has a different experience with 'Stiddy' (QB Jarrett Stidham) being his second year in the offense, Zach [Wilson] being in multiple systems throughout his career. So it's a good room to have that for a young guy. Over the offseason, I called plenty of coaches, plenty of former teammates just kind of talking. 'Hey, back then this is what we did. What would you change? What would you like now?  What was really important? What wasn't? So that's been a process honestly since February in regards to just gathering information and kind of getting everybody ready."

The hope is that Webb's insatiable quest for knowledge will flow directly to Nix and his fellow quarterbacks, and make them and the Broncos that much better.

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Keith Cummings

KEITH CUMMINGS

Keith Cummings has covered the Denver Broncos at Mile High Huddle since 2019. His works have been featured on CBSSports.com, BleacherReport.com, Yahoo.com, and MSN.com.