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.

10 Replies

Rcsodak
Rcsodak

Says the anti Elway elitist. How much coaching do you have in your background again? Writer comments are like.....well you know the rest. Belicheat can't draft wr's. His OC cant win games as a HC. A 6th round Qb is considered a GOAT. Problem with being on your high horses is its a hell of a bigger fall.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

I am not an anti-Elway elitest. He is a flawed general manager, who has a history of speaking false truths because he doesn't speak out against his coaches.

As for my coaching background, I have a total of 6 years of coaching experience at a high school and semi-professional level, as well as analyzing the game for 15 years.

The end of my comment was pointing out other things Elway has said, that were not exactly true.

Jman75
Jman75

You guys look way too hard to find criticism of Elway. Did you ever consider for a minute Elway said all of those things just to be positive . If you guys had your way you would have Jerry Jones, a man that undermines his employees. A good leader and GM should be positive in public, that does not mean it is precisely what his analytical view is just because he makes publicly uplifting comments

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Elway has earned his criticism. Just look at the state of the team if you don't think he has. We (I) don't need to look hard at all to find criticism because it is right there in front of you. Nothing wrong with being positive and never said there was. All I pointed out were other comments he made that mde him look foolish.

And a good general manager isnt afraid to hold people who are failing at their job accountable, not blow sunshine and rainbows at them because it doesnt fix their struggling.

Jman75
Jman75

Strawman arguments are not necessary and frankly are for weak minds, of course he deserves criticism. I did not say anything about rainbows . But as to the points I actually made you don’t need to be willfully ignorant of the idea Elway knows full well the troubles his OC is having and is trying to encourage as opposed to undermine him. Same with the Flacco comments, after all the contract Flacco has does not reflect one that a team gives to a qb in his prime.

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

It's still amazing to me that knowledgeable analysts can look at the same film and get two opposite views. Stink did an All 22 review of every play in the last game...he praised the design and play calls...there were a lot of missed blocks and drops, etc. We don't always see that on game day. Just because our GM doesn't pull a Jerrah Jones in the media doesn't mean they are critical behind closed doors. His job is not to assuage you or other media types, its to help the HC improve the OC.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

You mentioned about him being positive and how that makes a good leader, which is where my comment about sunshine and rainbows came from.

I know Elway is aware of the issues Scangarello is having. There is a lot more there going on between the scenes, which makes Elways comments even funnier. If he is trying to encourage him publicly, then he should do the same privately, which he isn't, but that is another issue.

It's funny that you are saying what you are and then talk about strawman arguments when your first comment is just that.

Never said he can't be positive, never said to undermine the OC. Just pointed out that Elway has a history of saying things that aren't actually true just to say it using two of many examples. I also used facts to support that he isn't doing a good job, so Elway saying he is, is arguing with those facts.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Good for Stink. There are many out there, besides us here at MHH, talking bad about the play-calls. There are people within the Broncos org that aren't happy with the play-calls and designs. Execution is a problem, but that doesn't mean the play-call was a good one.

I know Elway is critical behind closed doors, but he does need to stop lying. It cracks me up you are all bringing Jerry Jones into this, which is the other extreme. Never said Elway needs to be like that. That doesn't mean Elway can't come out and say that there are a lot of issues besides just the second half that need to be fixed. Praising him for adjustments is rather asinine of him because there is proof he doesn't make good adjustments. "He has had to deal with three quarterbacks" yea, and? That sucks, but he is still failing to do his job.

Adjustments come in the second half, where the Broncos rank in the bottom 3 of just about every offense statistical category, and most of those 32nd, and adding the second quarter barely improves their standing. Yet in the first quarter, where they don't make adjustments (unless Scangarello is overridden by QB/HC) they are in top 10 in most statistical categories because they are on their script.

Also, the general manager's job is to make the team better and do things to improve the team. It isn't to help the HC make the OC better. The media comes with his job and like great general managers, he needs to find the line of not lying, but not being Jones.

But I am done with this conversation.

JeffL
JeffL

I'm not sure I understand your Tebow reference. Tim Tebow was the starter in 2011 starting in week 6. Further, it wasn't Elway who picked Tebow, it was McDaniels. It was under Elway/Fox that Tebow had some success winning that playoff game against Pittsburgh in overtime. Elway certainly would not have drafted Tebow, but he was stuck with him and left to clean up that mess.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Not long before free agency started that offseason, John Elway made multiple comments about how they are going to stick with Tim Tebow and that he is their starter, despite everyone knowing they were going to pursue Peyton Manning. Circumstances were obviously different, but it is another instance of Elway lying to media and everyone knowing he was lying.

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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