After digesting the Broncos’ major coaching change Monday, it came down to this:
Head coach Vance Joseph didn’t like the way his quarterbacks were playing. And Mike McCoy paid for it with his job.
They tried Brock Osweiler for three games at quarterback after season-opening starter Trevor Siemian had committed nine turnovers in his four losses, including eight interceptions.
But the costly turnovers continued. Osweiler threw four interceptions in his three losses.
And so now McCoy is out as offensive coordinator. Bill Musgrave is in.
“When we changed from Trevor to Brock, my goal was to stabilize the offense and not turn the ball over as much,’’ Joseph said Monday. “It was more about the quarterback position and hoping to get a veteran guy in to stabilize the offense and not give the ball away as much.
“That hasn’t happened. Brock’s had three starts now and the same problems have occurred. And so I felt at this moment for our football team moving forward that a change was needed, going from Mike to Bill Musgrave, simply because I want to have a more efficient pass game. You have to have that. Our running game has been good. But our pass game has not been good in my opinion.’’
The Broncos rank 30th in the 32-team NFL in passing efficiency with Siemian and Osweiler combining for a 73.2 rating. Only the winless Cleveland Browns have thrown more interceptions than the Broncos’ 14.
In his attempt to improve that pass game efficiency, Musgrave will start with a huge challenge as it appears Paxton Lynch, ready or not, will become the third starting quarterback in five weeks when the Broncos play the Raiders in the Black Hole this Sunday.
Lynch was a first-round draft pick last year, but he was beat out in back-to-back years by Siemian for the starting job. Lynch started two games last year but hasn’t played in a regular-season game since going a conservative, 12 of 24 for 104 yards in a 20-10 win at Jacksonville on Dec. 10, 2016.
He missed two months this season with a shoulder injury suffered Aug. 26 in the Broncos’ third preseason game against Green Bay. So, the game against the Raiders would be three months since he last saw the field in a preseason game, and nearly a full calendar year since he played for keeps.
“He’s fine, he’s ready to go,’’ Joseph said of Lynch. “He had a good week last week. I’m going to get with Bill and his staff to see who’s the best guy for the job.’’
Musgrave helped Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr have his two best seasons when they worked together in Oakland. In 2015-16, when Musgrave was the Raiders’ offensive coordinator, Carr combined for 60 touchdown passes against just 19 interceptions.
Under Musgrave, look for Lynch to throw a ton of quick, short passes. There might not be much heft in yards per pass attempt. Joseph just doesn’t want interceptions.
"You know, Mike didn't fumble the ball,’’ Joseph said. “Mike didn't throw interceptions. But ultimately it falls on Mike's plate. So, I don't want to stand here and blame Mike for all of our offensive issues, because it wasn't all on Mike. We've gotta play better around Mike. That's players and that's coaches coaching their guys to play better around Mike. Mike took the fall for it because he's the coordinator, but ultimately Mike's a good football coach and a good person."