Thursday is the final session of OTA’s for the Denver Broncos before we head into training camp in late July. The players on the defensive side of the ball keep giving themselves praises on how well the D is coming along.
Obviously, the NFL world is focusing on Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Bronco offense.
The last OTA’s we heard about how the offense was struggling in the passing game, but according to the Denver Post’s Mike Klis, Manning “He zinged medium-range crossing patterns to tight end Jacob Tamme and receiver Matt Willis. And he nailed deep go-routes to each side of the field, one to Eric Decker, the other to Demaryius Thomas”.
Recently, Willis McGehee said he has a goal of rushing for 1,200 yards this upcoming season. Last season, he was one yard short of that goal, but was done mostly in the zone-read offense with Tebow. Enter Manning, in all of his time as a Colt, the running game there was mediocre in his tenure as a whole. Yes he had Edgerrin James for a while, but the running productivity slipped following his departure the the second year for Joesph Addai. Manning has spent his career building up the numbers to be one of, if not arguably the greatest QB of all time. Coming to Denver, many people were lead to believe that the Broncos offense would look like the Indy offense, pass first, second and then run third. Well, after hearing Manning’s recent comments, he understands the Broncos history and what this team has been built on over the years and has really has adapt to working with the Broncos brass and vise versa, making for the potential for a balance, unpredictable offense. Sam Davis of DenverBroncos.comspoke with Manning and this is what he had to say.
“(The running game) is still going to be a top priority,” quarterback Peyon Manning said. “I think (Offensive Coordinator Mike) McCoy has addressed the team, and he’s really preaching balance, and trying to be three-dimensional — where on any down and distance, you can drop back, you can hand the ball off or you can run play-action. If the defense can be thinking about all three of those things, hopefully that gives the offense an advantage.”
This offense is still far from looking like the offense that they want to be, for Manning to be effective and to be the manipulator that he is to defenses, he needs a good ground game. With Manning stressing and understanding how important it is to have a ground game, the offense seems to have changed in theory of doing everything in the air to establishing the ground game to set up the pass. With Willis McGehee, Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball and Jeremiah Johnson, there is no doubt this can be a potent rushing attack WITHOUT Tim Tebow. With an established running attack, this offense can and will look like the Manning style of offense that had a effective play-action attack they had in the years the Colts were consistently putting up 13 wins a season. The thought of having over 2,000 yards on the ground is plausible with this offense give now teams will have to respect the arm of Peyton Manning, meaning 6-7 men in the box instead of the 8-9 they were seeing last season. In doing so, this will make Manning a more effective passer, giving some that Manning hasn’t had the pleasure of doing in quite some time…destroying opposing defenses with play-action, but all will have to be set up with the ground attack. Something that Manning understands that has been the bread and butter for the Broncos for years, and something that will help make him more effective and prolong his career with the Broncos.