Fangio Describes WR Jerry Jeudy's Rookie Season as 'Up and Down' So Far
In each of the last three games, Jerry Jeudy has only caught two passes. In the month of October, the Denver Broncos' rookie first-round wide receiver hauled in a grand total of six passes.
Even tight end Nick Vannett, who'd been non-existent in the Broncos' offense for the better part of two months, had a couple of receptions in the team's 43-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sunday's loss might have been an outlier considering how helter-skelter the offensive game-plan felt. But there was no focus on involving Jeudy in the offense. There was more of a front-of-brain push to involve fellow rookie KJ Hamler — who had three total touches — than Jeudy.
On Monday, head coach Vic Fangio shared his thoughts on Jeudy's season thus far and which way the arrow is ticking with 10 games left to go in his rookie campaign.
“He’s been up and down," Fangio said of Jeudy. "I thought yesterday was a good example. He has some plays that he’d like to do over, both from a mental standpoint and an execution standpoint. He also had some very good plays yesterday and I think that’s probably a way you could describe his season to this point."
I haven't watched the All-22 film quite yet but it seemed to me upon two broadcast viewings that Jeudy was getting open. The ball simply wasn't going his way.
That's on offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and quarterback Drew Lock.
"I do think the arrow is up on him," Fangio continued on Jeudy. "We like him, he’s going to be a really good player for us, we just need to eliminate some of those negative plays.”
The first quarter of the season was replete with negative plays, if one measures them in drops. But the last two games against New England and Kansas City, respectively, have seen Jeudy receive only nine targets combined from Lock.
Perhaps some of that has to do with a lack of trust in Jeudy after he dropped so many passes, several of which were in key situations that really let his team down. But I don't think so.
Just last week, Lock called Jeudy a "break-out" player waiting to happen, talking him up as the rare talent that he is.
"Anytime Jerry Jeudy is on the field, you should expect a breakout day from him," Lock said last Wednesday. "That’s just the type of player he is. That’s the type of mentality that he brings to the field. That’s the type of player we know he is on the offensive side of the ball. Anytime, any given Sunday, Jerry can come out and have a breakout day.”
Those are great words but the deeds of Lock did not match them. Jeudy made one really nice play for his team vs. the Chiefs, catching a third-down pass short of the sticks, making a man miss, and moving the chains.
I would argue that Jeudy hasn't been used right in Shurmur's scheme thus far. Too many vertical routes that don't play to his strength as a route runner.
Has Coach Shurmur ever heard of a slant or a curl? Jeudy can do it all but this offense is missing the forest for the trees with how often it's trying to go for the jugular while not taking what the defense gives it. On almost every play, Jeudy gets open.
If Lock and Shurmur aren't going to take what the defense gives them, they should at least be wise enough to take what the Football Gods gave the Broncos: Jerry Jeudy.