The NFL Referee lockout is over and the regular refs will work the games this weekend, starting with the Thursday night contest between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. The return of the regular referees is a great thing for every team but their return means different things for each team. The Denver Broncos are no different, so how does the end of the lockout benefit the Broncos?
Everyone knows by now that the biggest challenge for the Broncos has been getting to know each other, and figure out who they are as a team. Peyton Manning is trying to knock off rust while getting to know his teammates and that process is hard enough under normal circumstances.
The Broncos, especially offensively, are facing enough challenges without having to worry about how a game is being officiated. That may sound like a little thing but for a growing offense, getting into a rhythm is so critical and that was harder to do with the replacement refs.
It seemed as soon as the offense got something going, there would be a five minute delay just to spot the football. Those types of delays are challenging for an offense that has been together for years, it’s almost impossible to overcome for an offense that is still finding their way. That’s not an excuse, the offense for the Broncos has to be better especially early in games but there’s no doubt that the replacement refs were not helping the situation.
The one other area where the Broncos will benefit from having the regular refs back is when they run their no huddle offense. It’s a small thing but when the referees are able to spot the ball correctly and quickly, that benefits the offense that wants to play fast. There might not be a happier person than Manning right now, who expressed concern before the season about the ability of the replacement refs to keep up with the no huddle.
Again none of this is an excuse for the offense of the Denver Broncos; it’s just a statement of fact. Manning and his teammates have enough on their plate without having to worry about if the ball is being spotted correctly.
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