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The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

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Old 01-14-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
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Post The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

Posted Jan 14th 2010 12:49PM by Matt Terl (author feed)


Hey, do you guys remember when the Redskins gave playcalling duties to Sherman Lewis this season? You don't? But there was all this hoopla about it.... Here, maybe this will jog your memory:



Yeah, that.

Well, as I was rummaging through the internet to find information about new running backs genius Bobby Turner, I came across a 2008 article from the Rocky Mountain News that broke down what went on in the Broncos huddle as the play clock was ticking down.

And -- and brace yourself for some SERIOUSLY SHOCKING NEWS -- it turns out that it involved multiple people who were not the head coach.
All of this action takes place between the end of one play and the start of another. (It's missing from that version of the article, but I swear I saw a version earlier that had a timeline down the left side of the page; the text of that timeline is reprinted -- but poorly formatted -- here.)
  • Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates and head coach Mike Shanahan discuss via headset what play to call
  • Running backs coach Bobby Turner -- listening on his own headset --sends in the correct personnel group for the play that hasn't been selected yet.
  • Bates calls the play in to the quarterback via headset.
  • Quarterback calls the play in the huddle.
So, yeah, insert expressions of shock and confusion and sarcastic comments about what the head coach is doing if not calling the plays here, but that's not even the most amusing coincidence in all of this.

See there's a video attached to the article, a sort of dramatization of that timeline that tries to convey the breakneck speed of it all happening. It's mildly interesting (although not as informative as I'd hoped), but it does do a dramatic blow-up of some of the words that are used in the long playcall Cutler has to relay.

That playcall, according to the article, is Falcon left shift to weak left tight wide left H2 X bingo wide smash, so at around 0:26 seconds into the video, you see this:



And if you're watching this with the Redskins 2009 playcalling system in mind, that's at the very least a mildly amusing coincidence.

In further coincidence? The article quotes Joe Theismann (of all people) as a source:
"There's a lot going on. That's why the quarterback position is more like a dictatorship than a democracy," former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann said. "There's just really no time for anyone to say anything in the huddle but the quarterback."
And
"When you really see a problem with delay of games is normally with substitution packages around the goal line," Theismann said. "You've got a player you're substituting who's got to run basically from the 45-yard line all the way down to the 3. And you really can't call the play till the player gets there."
And also
Theismann said there really shouldn't be anybody in the huddle other than the quarterback saying anything. In Tampa Bay, he said, Jon Gruden's play calls can run up to 25 words, symbols and letters.

"You don't get two chances to get it out. I can't all of a sudden get 10 seconds into a play and say, 'Oh, wait, let me start over.' You start over and you're looking at a delay of game," Theismann said.
I'm just going to chalk all this up to ironic fate (combined with the fact that Joe Theismann is a generally chatty guy) and move on, I think. If anyone can tease more meaning out of it, let me know.

SOURCE: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:08 PM   #2
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

And a not so amusing coincidence is are records where about the same.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #3
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

Can JC keep that arm band thingy? we did so much better when they gave it to him. Give him a number let him look at the arm band and call it out so he doesn't have to remember a whole lot and hopefully he knows a play to change to with the package he has if the defense is not giving him what he needs to run the play sent in.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:14 PM   #4
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

Funny how "bingo" is part of the play...
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:57 AM   #5
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

I wouldn't be surprised if more teams had something similar going on really.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryfuhl View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if more teams had something similar going on really.
Titans and I think Panthers do
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

Since the offense and JC began to perform much better when the Shermans took over playcalling with this type of system, it's a good sign that JC and Shanny's system could work well together.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:08 PM   #8
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Re: The Broncos Chain Of Playcalling And A Bizarre Coincidence

Most football players will tell you that you are at your best when you are not thinking about your assignment. You are at your best when you know your assignment cold and you can just "react" to the environment and make "instinctive" moves.

The more complex an offense, the less success modern players seem to have with it. This says nothing about the intelligence of the players, just that with offenses and personnel changing so often, it is very difficult to install a complex offense and have it succeed (Al Saunders anyone?)

The best offenses of all time use 7-10 plays, execute them perfectly, and change up certain elements like formation and motion to throw off the defense. Dominating offenses make yards on plays where the defense knows what's coming, and that comes down to execution...

My Point...don't be surprised if our per game point totals don't improve much next year as the players will have to be constantly "thinking" about their assignments instead of "executing."
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