In Wake of Broncos' Week 7 Debacle, OC Rich Scangarello on the Hot Seat


This is in no way a defense of Joe Flacco, the offensive line, execution or anything that is being seen on the field from the Denver Broncos offense. 

With that said, OC Rich Scangarello deserves a whole lot of blame for the putrid offense the Broncos have fielded this season. There are multiple reasons for it, and I get that there is only so much he can do with the talent at his disposal, and I understand that he's inexperienced, but he just doesn’t have what it takes. Yet.

When he was hired by the Broncos, Scangarello had only four years of coaching experience at the NFL level. None of them were as an offensive coordinator. 

While Scangarello was an offensive coordinator in college, it was for the likes of Wagner, Northern Arizona, Millsaps, and UC Davis. To put it another way, his experience as a play-caller was low-level experience.

Scangarello's time in the NFL has been as a quarterbacks coach, quality control assistant or quality control coach. With little experience and making a jump to being an offensive coordinator, it is safe to say he is in over his head. Basically, he got the job because of what San Francisco did with Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard and Scangarello's contributions in developing both young signal-callers.

That is all fine and dandy, but how much of that was Scangarello and how much of it was Kyle Shanahan and his scheme? What Scangarello is running in Denver is very different from what the Niners are using in San Francisco and far from what was expected when he was hired. Yes, Scangarello is limited by the players he has, but he has failed to make adjustments to the personnel limitations.

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Watching the Broncos offense each and every week, it is a unit that is getting worse. There are no adjustments coming from the coaching staff, primarily Scangarello, to help this unit. 

There are constant horrible play-calls from Scangarello and word is, there isn’t freedom to adjust the calls at the line. That is a huge limitation for a veteran quarterback.

There have been many things coming out from sources within the organization regarding Rich Scangarello and issues with players on the offense, as well as other coaches. There are many internally that are not happy with his calls, game-plans, and how he is using certain players. 

This was made public after Vic Fangio and Emmanuel Sanders made comments after the 30-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs about the game-plan and play-calls.

Scangarello's inexperience is handicapping the team and causing a lot of frustration within. After watching this Broncos offense for seven games, it is clear he is over his head. 

His hiring was a snap reaction and was probably affected by John Elway ruing his decision to pass on hiring Kyle Shanahan in January of 2017. Could Scangarello get better? Sure, but the seat for Scangarello has to be getting hot. 

If he doesn’t improve, he must be gone after this season for someone who is more capable, adaptive and not beleaguered. After two years of Vance Joseph, Broncos fans should know what it looks like when a coach is completely in over his head. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle. 

Comments (23)
No. 1-4

The problem is not the offense the problem is Flacco this offense is a version of Mike Shanahan’s offense that Kubiak also ran and this offense relies heavily on the QB doing bootlegs and designed rollouts Flacco can’t do either effectively. They tried to do some bootlegs in the preseason with Flacco and he was terrible he just can’t move well like it or not he is a statue. Right now Flacco basically takes a five or seven step drop straight back and if he can’t find a receiver takes a sack he just doesn’t move around well. Teams are stacking the line taking the run away from the Broncos and making Flacco beat them which he can’t do the Chiefs did it to perfection last night. The Texans are the perfect example the Chiefs had to account for Deshaun Watson and that opened up run lanes for Hyde which gave the Chiefs fits on the other hand the Chiefs had no worry about Flacco they new exactly where he would be. Go back and look ar Drew Lock during the preseason you will see lots of bootlegs and a QB that moves around really well and would flourish in this kind of offense. It will just take a little bit of time and patience from the Broncos which they now have because this season is lost. Don’t overreact on Scangarello just yet he is a first time OC and right now is dealing with a QB that doesn’t fit his offense no matter what the Broncos brass are trying to sell you.


Are we sure Fangio is good enough to be a head coach? His defensive scheme isn’t in doubt, but this team has lacked a counterpunch all season. When something goes wrong, the team folds like a cheap suit. That points to a leadership void at all levels.



It isnt a version of Shanahans offense, that is the big thing. Does it pull some concepts? Yes, but that's it. There is no freedom for Flacco to adjust plays or blocking alignments without backlash. He calls designed dump offs to the RBs, so not all of those are just Flacoo. This isnt an overreaction, this is an informed reaction about a coach who is in way over his head.

As bad as he is, not everything if Flaccos fault with this offense.


Another failed decision by the Caesar Elway. We must start by build a offensive line then defense line. Till we do this every quarterback is doomed. I refuse to watch these professional athletes get paid for their poor performance.