It wasn’t all planning that helped Tony Scheffler score twice on Sunday.
“One of them was a play that I was kind of in the wrong spot and ended up scrambling with Jay (Cutler) and it ended up being a touchdown,” Scheffler admitted. “But it’s just the way it worked out yesterday.”
Scheffler’s numbers have skyrocketed since the Broncos inserted Cutler into the starting lineup; he had six catches for 67 yards in the season’s first 11 games and has four for 81 and two touchdowns in the last two. The two developed a rapport as training-camp roommates and on-field collaborators during the preseason, but Head Coach Mike Shanahan believes that Scheffler’s recent production isn’t due to Cutler’s ascension.
“It is just coincidence,” Shanahan said.
“I don’t know what it is,” Scheffler added. “The coaches put in a game plan that maybe suits me and Jay being out there together.”
Cutler has utilized the tight ends frequently in his two starts. Denver’s tight ends combined for an average of 2.4 receptions, 22.8 yards and 0.1 touchdowns per game in the season’s first 11 games; they’ve collectivel posted 4.0 receptions, 61.0 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a week in Cutler’s two starts.
But Scheffler has been the most productive of all at the position the last two weeks — in terms of receptions and yardage.
“Tony has done some good things in the last couple of weeks; (he was) given the opportunity to play and he took advantage of it,” Shanahan said. “It is nice to see him make those plays, especially for a young kid.”
And especially heartening considering Scheffler was scratched from the active roster for three weeks in November.
“It’s huge,” Scheffler said. “It gives me something to hang my hat on. Up until that point I really hadn’t had anything coming off the inactive list and all that sort of thing. It really gives you something to hang your hat on and try to build on that next week.”