Elway Weighs in on Rich Scangarello's 2019 Body of Work

KeithCummings

All told, it’s been an extremely challenging first year for Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. The past couple of weeks have probably been the most demanding yet.

Not only did Scangarello have to break in a rookie QB ahead of his first NFL start, he had to deal with his own wings being clipped by his head coach when the matchup vs. the L.A. Chargers came down to the wire.

Vic Fangio appeared to bluntly take credit for overruling his offensive staff in his post- game presser, revealing that he vetoed the initial call to kneel on the ball and play for overtime.

“The first thought that the offensive coach said, ‘just take a knee.’ I said, ‘No’,” Fangio said post-game.

Fangio's refusal to submit to a passive clock-eating kneel-down by boldly opting for game-deciding bomb downfield that drew a pass interference penalty and set up Brandon McManus' walk-off 53-yard field goal worked out sweetly this time around for Denver’s head coach.

Fangio has since largely backtracked from his post-game remarks by downgrading the perceived veto by saying the staff was just working through the most logical late-game analytics and options. He put any internal strife to one side at least but it hardly served to deliver a ringing endorsement of his offensive sidekick.

It fell to GM John Elway to offer some support and guidance to Scangarello this week when he appeared on his weekly show on Broncos TV to explain the difficulties of dealing with changing QBs and running an offense.

“He’s had to adjust a lot, that being said he’s done a heck of a job, a lot of adjustments,” Elway told Broncos TV.

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The Broncos jumped from the injured Joe Flacco to an untested backup in Brandon Allen, before inserting the fit-again rookie protégé Drew Lock. It has made it a considerable juggling act of coaching.

With hopes now high that Lock can improve the struggling offense and provide a long-term solution at QB, Elway is fully aware of how hard it has been for the coordinator to prepare three different players to run the system.

“Rich has been through a lot with three different starting QBs," Elway said. I" think he’s done a nice job."

Despite the boss handing out some praise, it’s the recurring issues of poor and anemic second-half performances and play-calling that still stick with and rankle Broncos Country, and Elway the most.

“We’ve struggled in that second half, so it’s a constant effort to be more able, to be more aggressive in that second half and put more points on the board,” Elway said.

The message has undoubtedly been delivered loud and clear to Scangarello for the remaining quarter of the Broncos season and he would be smart to take heed. At least a confident and more physically gifted QB provides a more positive skillset to build upon and design more aggressive game-plans around moving forward. 

It all starts with a very tough trip the Lonestar State to face the playoff hungry Houston Texans this Sunday.

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (33)
No. 1-18
D.M.G
D.M.G

Seriously? He's Doing a heck of job WHAT!!!!???? He's gutless and not fit

Laverl
Laverl

He hasn’t had a good 2nd half all year so you can’t blame it on changing QB’s

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Denver is one of the better offenses in the first quarter (when they are on their script that every coach has a voice in making) but second-fourth quarter they rank 32nd in multiple categories when the offensive coordinator is the lone voice making the calls.

That isn't doing a fine job, but what can we expect from a guy that said Joe Flacco was just entering his prime and said Tim Tebow was going to be their starter.

Broncos61
Broncos61

Who decided to run modern Kubiak- Shanahan system at Broncos? J. Elway. Who recommended R. Scangarello to J. Elway ? : M. Shanahan Why G. Kubiak left Broncos : Beacasye J. Elway did not want to bring his assistants Rookie OC in Minnesota is working with G. Kubiak.... R. Scangarello is very capable!!!!!!!, Why not J.Elway ask M. Shanahan to play G. Kubiak role for 2020 ??????????? The one common denominator is Broncos problems is John Elway as GM.

Hrski
Hrski

The defense hasn't exactly been holding the teams back in the second half.

Pmanningsir1
Pmanningsir1

Scangarello has done a poor job overall. Id give him a C- and thats being generous. You can't make excuses about how many QBs there are, this is the NFL flaaco is a 12yr vet its your job as playcaller is to adjust and still call the right plays regardless who is under center. The reason his grade isnt lower is its his first year calling plays; essentially he's a rookie too and everyone gets a pass their first time. That being said, its game 13 and fright should've worn off by now. These next 4 games will tell us all we need to know about rich big game caller Scangarello.

Pmanningsir1
Pmanningsir1

Doesn't matter what the D does, if you can call plays and score points that should be evident; its not! Half of the defense problem is the alarming 3 & outs the offence commits in second half with those vanilla plays that speaks to rich's hesitation, fright and inexperience. He needs to be better over the next 4 gms. I hope we dont have another mike mccoy on our hands. Not utilizing the TE more in the second half like his daddy shanny jr does is a 4th of his problen as well.

Eastcoastbronco
Eastcoastbronco

allthough the offense been poor and there are many reasons, I hope that the staff is brought back. It would be better to let Rich and the offense develope. We can’t keep changing every year.

Jman75
Jman75

I would agree that Scangarello has been subpar, but did we expect it would not be a work in progress? The play calling down the stretch has been poor, but the development of our young players is looking good .

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Scangarello has been J E L L O, kind of squishy and cold in the second half. But I agree that it would be discombobulating not to give him one more year to see if he can't grow into the job. Then again, if the perfect OC candidate comes available ....

Choibake
Choibake

Scanger Danger’s challenge is situational play calling. Thinking on the fly given the time left, down and distance, strengths of opponents vs. weakness etc. There are a matrix of fact sets to analyze quickly as a game progresses. The script from the first 3-4 series goes out the window due to other team adjusting and the situations evolving. Fangio said no two games have the same “personality”. That’s true of each series of downs. That being said, Scanger is somewhat right that a rookie can’t be trusted to those decisions just yet. However, I think Lock has the instincts to adjust in play. Let him also call audibles to develop that skill.

GorillaPimp_45
GorillaPimp_45

He's a first year guy and you've seen some glimpses of what he can do. This is how you build a culture. You just don't go on a team and be successful overnight. As a Broncos fan, I'm realistic. I knew it was going to be difficult for Scran. Stall him out.

MN-DBFL
MN-DBFL

Can we all just cut two first year coaches both with good to great upside some slack? Glad calmer minds are in control or we would have a new coach twice a year.

DKMI
DKMI

You have a team that is going nowhere this season. What’s there to be scared of? They have nothing to lose. The play calling should reflect that.

KeithCummings
KeithCummings

Scangs certainly draws some heat. A lot depends on the last 4 games with Lock at the helm.

WORLDWIDEWACO
WORLDWIDEWACO

Elway won 20% of his games come from behind in the game... yet he fails to see the significance between a 1 min TD Vs a 9 minute FG drive that ends a game maintaining position... we have LOST 5 Times & how many points just before the 1/2 this way... almost lost last week SAME way for a whopping 6 of 12 games 50% LOST (almost last wk PI & McManus bailed us out of SAME scenario)... by this SAME stupidity... no one should even need the empirical experience to understand that possession & winning by 1 point is more important than a spectacular 1 min drive bomb TD that hands ball back to the other team so that they end game with possession & no time for us to answer... when did Elway get stupid... must be when bush-ellis stole the team off of the Bowlen family... criminals = stupid

Josie749
Josie749

Well guess what? Flacco could have taken this team to a winning record but the OC didn’t listen and decided he had to hold the reigns too tight and take losses instead of playing aggressively. I don’t care what your coaching background is, Flacco could have turned this team around and the OC and HC didn’t make adjustments until he opened his mouth and said something. You and others beat him up when it should have been the HC, OC and Elway who bore the brunt of the criticism. You don’t bring in a vet and not let him have input and neglect listening to him.

Josie749
Josie749

BS about Flacco! He is the only reason the playcalling changed not Elway or the HC or OC. He got a little tired of being blamed for the way the team was losing and spoke out.


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