John Fox admitted to Woody Paige of the Denver Post that if he had it to do over again, he would have done it differently. No, he’s not talking about the final 30 seconds of the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens when the Denver Broncos kneeled down and played for overtime.
The play or plays Fox would change were on the drive before the Ravens scored on the 70-yard pass to tie the game. The Broncos had stopped the Ravens with just over three minutes to go and were trying to run out the clock. After picking up one first down, the Ravens used their last timeout and one more first down would have iced the game.
The Broncos ran the ball on three consecutive plays and were forced to punt the ball back to the Ravens. It is that series that Fox would have done differently. The Broncos may have still called running plays but they would have had different personnel on the field that would have allowed Peyton Manning to audible into a passing play.
Without coming out and saying it directly, Fox placed part of the blame on former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He may not say it directly but I will: McCoy held the offense the back in 2013. It’s no secret that Manning and McCoy often clashed last season over how to attack. Manning often wanted to be aggressive and go for the jugular when the Broncos had teams on the ropes, but McCoy tended to pull in the reins when the Broncos had a lead.
It’s safe to say that no one at Broncos Headquarters was sad when McCoy left to be the head coach of the San Diego Chargers. It’s also safe to assume that the first comments of new offensive coordinator Adam Gase were no accident. Gase used the phrase “Pedal to the medal” in his opening press conference more than Tim Tebow said “Excited” when he was introduced by the New York Jets.
Both the Broncos and Gase want to distance themselves from McCoy and the offense of 2012, as good as it was at times. If you need proof then try this, in the very first seven-on-seven of last week’s OTA’s, the Broncos were running the no huddle. Most teams spend those first couple of practices making sure everyone is lined up in the right spot, and the Broncos are going pedal to the medal in the middle of May. Makes you wonder how fast they will be going in the middle of September, doesn’t it.
It’s too much of an overstatement to blame the playoff loss on McCoy, there was plenty of that to go around. However, there’s no doubt that the Broncos believe that the offense should have been more aggressive in certain situations last seasons, and Gase has every intention of fulfilling that belief.
The Broncos offense in 2013 will have one basic theme, “Hurry, Hurry!”
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