In the microwave world of the NFL, there doesn’t seem to be much time for anything.
Normally, the pressure on a team to win now borders on ridiculous. Granted, no team wants to struggle but please, there are a lot of good coaches, players and teams in the league.
The good teams are trying to get better and the bad ones are as well. Many of the bad teams go for the quick fix. The Broncos have been there, done that and don’t even have the T-shirt anymore because it didn’t work.
Now, the Broncos seem to be trying the old fashioned way: Give some guys a chance to play and see what develops.
Certainly that is the case with quarterback Tim Tebow. In his first three starts, Tebow played poorly but still helped pull out a win against a bad Miami team. Then he played really poorly against a really good Detroit squad before turning in a solid performance against a puzzling Oakland team.
In the win against the Raiders, the Broncos turned to Tebow’s old friend, the read option, for success. Tebow looked more at ease in the offense he has run virtually all of his football life.
“As I’ve said all along, we’re trying to put guys in positions where they can succeed,” head coach John Fox said. “In his particular case, it’s something [QB Tim Tebow] is more comfortable with, he has a lot of background in it, he’s got a lot of confidence in it. We’re asking a lot, not just of Tim, but our entire offense—the coaching staff, everybody involved. We’ve kind of grown it as we’ve grown with Tim. There is no question that we are looking for balance in the run and the pass. We’re probably leaning a little bit more on the run right now. We have to improve in the pass game because in this league, you have to be two dimensional, not one dimensional, and it’s something that’s I’m sure he’ll grow, we’ll grow, in time.”
The question is: Can an NFL team experience long-term, championship-level success with that offense?
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the NFC South, and we competed against the Atlanta Falcons when they had Michael Vick,” Fox said. “Call it what you like, it was that quarterback having the ability to run that creates havoc on defenses because they don’t count that guy as a runner. Whether it’s taking off or not, they led the league in rushing for about four straight years, and Michael had a lot to do with that. He’s grown as a passer. He’s in the ‘West Coast Offense’ now, but he’s made some things happen in the Philadelphia Eagle offense, and that’s just the nature of his abilities. It’s kind of been done, but maybe not to the exact level where we’re kind of at right now.”
That sounds like a definite, “I’m not sure yet.”
And there is no reason Coach Fox should be sure. Teams that have dominated the NFL recently, such as the Patriots, Colts or Steelers, rely on quarterbacks who can dominate a game by passing the football. Sure, Pittsburgh usually has at least a really good running game, but the Steelers also have a quarterback who can throw with the best of them.
I’m hard-pressed to name a recent Super Bowl champion that has relied on the option game. That’s not to say it can’t happen. But it certainly is to say that if it were that easy, more teams would be trying it.
Only time will tell how successful the Broncos can be if they rely on an option-oriented offense. Defenses will no doubt adjust to what the Broncos did against the Raiders, that is, using the option to primarily run the football. One would think Denver will have to mix in more of a passing game into their version of the option.
How the offense evolves will likely take some time to develop. How much success the Broncos can have remains an open question.
It sure looks like the Broncos are going to take at least a little time to find out.
Kansas City is up next. How do you think this game will go? Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.