The Denver Broncos not only have a new quarterback in 2018, they are installing an entire new offense under returning coordinator Bill Musgrave.
“Yeah, it’s pretty much all different,” Musgrave said last week, via Mike Klis of KUSA-TV in Denver.
Added Musgrave: “It’s a new system for everybody.”
Musgrave took over with a half-dozen games remaining last season when the Broncos fired Mike McCoy amid a six-game losing streak. In the throes of the season it’s nearly impossible for a coordinator to make wholesale changes to the playbook. When general manager John Elway retained coach Vance Joseph this offseason, it gave Musgrave another chance to install his system in Denver.
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“It’s really a system that we built as a staff this offseason,” Musgrave said. “We had wholesale changes on the offensive staff. We have our framework that I’m comfortable with and that I can teach and call in a timely manner. And then our staff has put together what we feel is a great system for our players, especially our QBs.”
Denver represents the sixth stint for Musgrave as an NFL offensive coordinator, most recently with the Oakland Raiders from 2015-2016 before he was let go by coach Jack Del Rio following a playoff appearance.
For a plethora of reasons, the Broncos’ offense was statistically worse under Musgrave than McCoy. Much of those struggles had to do with the problematic quarterback situations and offensive line issues. One area Denver improved under Musgrave’s play-calling was an enhanced running game, something the Broncos hope will continue in 2018.
As he reformats the offense with new signal-caller Case Keenum, Musgrave is installing a system the Broncos hope is more player friendly, especially for the quarterback.
“We’re trying to make it concise,” Musgrave said. “We don’t want long worded plays in the huddle. We’ve got three or four ways to go, ‘no huddle.’ And a lot of those are one-word calls. We’d love for guys to know it like the back of their hand, then they can just cut it loose and play.”
As the Broncos continue their organized team activities this week — the final sessions run Monday through Thursday with mandatory minicamp kicking off next week — Musgrave will get his final chances to install his offense before training camp ramps up in July.
While most of the offseason focus in Denver has been on the quarterback, last season’s OC change will have just as big of an effect on the Broncos’ 2018 brand of offensive football.