ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Say this for Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello: He can handle criticism.
For a guy whose previous experience calling offensive plays was at Division I-AA/FCS Wagner College, Scangarello is not melting in the heat that comes when his unit not getting it done at the NFL level.
And the heat is on after the Broncos’ lousy offensive performance last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s all you think about and you come in and you reflect,’’ Scangarello said Thursday. “Fortunately, I had a little extra time to self-evaluate, too. It’s unfortunate how we did. They whipped our butt. You can’t put anything past Kansas City and how it played.
“What I will say is this: Whether you’re scoring 50 or you’re scoring 6, you can’t knee jerk either way. You’ve got to look at the facts, you’ve got to look at the real problems, you’ve got to study it and you’ve got to get better at it. In the end, if we continue to do that, who knows what could happen this week and we could be having a whole different conversation. That’s the way you’ve got to approach it, be positive and find solutions.”
Fine. Scangarello kept his cool and handled the tough questions in an utmost professional manner. The spoken word, though, is not what makes a good NFL offensive coordinator. A good offensive coordinator makes adjustments to a defense after the defense has adjusted to him.
And in this regard, Scangarello’s inexperience has shown. He’s been great with his script. But the offense has been terrible the past three games after the first 15 plays of the game.
The Broncos are 25th in total yards, averaging just 317.4 per game, and 29th in scoring, averaging 16.0 points per.
The Broncos’ offense against the Chiefs was not acceptable by Wagner standards. The Chiefs came in ranked 30th in rushing defense, 28th in total defense and tied for 24th in sacks.
Yet, the K.C. defense got eight sacks on quarterback Joe Flacco, held the Broncos to 203 yards fewer than their previous average and allowed just 71 yards rushing on 3.4 yards per carry.
“I divvied it up to a complete issue with the entire offense,’’ Scangarello said. “That’s me on down through.
“I think you’ve got to give the Chiefs a lot of credit, they got after us, they were definitely the better unit and they took the fight to us.’’
To Scangarello’s credit, he has been coaching up his skill set players with more pace and vocal energy in practice this week as the Broncos prepare to play the Indianapolis Colts at 11 a.m. Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Broncos’ No. 2 receiver Emmanuel Sanders is gone, but Scangarello seems excited about the challenge of helping others become more productive.
“I think we’ve responded well this week,’’ he said. “ I think the coaches, the players, everyone knows that we all have to do our part in that to make it better, whether it’s scheme, getting rid of the ball, protecting better or whatever it is. I get the sense that after today’s walkthrough and yesterday’s, we’re on the right track.”
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