View Full Version : MMQB: The Little Things in Denver

10-26-2016, 08:30 AM
Interesting article on how the Broncos have two coaches specifically designated to look for an opponent's tendencies on film:

The Broncos employ two unheralded assistant coaches whose job descriptions are a closely-held secret. It boils down to this: Find the tells. Does a certain offensive tackle divulge run or pass with the placement of his feet? Or does a quarterback tip a play with a simple hand gesture? If so, Kubiak would like his players to know about it.

That sort of thinking excites guys like DeMarcus Ware, who had long been the lone preacher and parishioner of his own church of football thinking. Over nine years with the Dallas Cowboys, he developed this theory that NFL teams ought to spend way more time studying and informing players of the individual bad habits of opposing players. Ware wanted to know these things, and he wanted coaches to study them and teach the individual tendencies, not just the standard personnel and situational team tendencies taught around the league. His pearls of wisdom were met with pushback year after year.

“When the center points, or the quarterback says something, they’re telling you everything, so why not use it?” Ware says incredulously. “Every team should do it; the Dallas coaches would say, ‘You can't go off of somebody’s tendencies.’ And I would say, ‘Well, this guy on the other team has been doing this one thing for nine years and he hasn’t stopped doing it.’

Bogardus and Rauscher pore over hours and hours of film, and not just the silent, All-22 copies of games; they’ll break down the television broadcast, hoping an on-field microphone catches an audible call or a piece of defensive communication they can then catalog and use to discern patterns. They do the same with hand signals shared between quarterback and wide receiver or cornerback and safety. Then both coaches prepare briefings for position coaches and lead a weekly meeting with the offense and defense to point out the smallest bad habits.

The coaches are careful to stress that these are simply clues, and not necessarily the gospel truth of what will transpire on a given play.

It is, perhaps, a symptom of Denver’s success; the Broncos have lost just 16 regular season games since 2012 and won the Super Bowl in February on the strength of four defensive turnovers. Though NFL teams rally behind the notion of taking the season one week at a time, the Broncos are built for the playoffs, and their philosophy reflects that. “This franchise has been to the playoffs a lot,” says Stephenson, who joined the team this offseason, “so I guess in the playoffs those little edges really do matter.”

One man in the locker room didn’t see what the big deal was. Of course, cornerback Aqib Talib said, the Broncos put a lot of emphasis on player tendencies, just like he’d done at his previous stop ... in New England with Bill Belichick.

Well, Aqib, your teammate DeMarcus said they didn’t do that sort of thing while he was in Dallas.

“Well that’s why they suck on defense,” Talib concluded. “They’re not getting that little extra stuff they need.”


10-26-2016, 10:47 AM
I love Talib's comments. :D

Al Wilson 4 Mayor
10-26-2016, 11:02 AM
I love Talib's comments. :D
He cracks me up, "that's why they suck on defense." 😹

10-26-2016, 11:25 AM
I love Talib's comments. :D

That's the only reason I included that part from what I quoted - Talib is so hood!