DENVER (CBS4) – When Eric Decker and his Broncos teammates faced their former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday in San Diego they knew the Chargers would have some tricks up their sleeve.
Decker told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live that with McCoy leading the Chargers as head coach on the opposite sideline, the football game felt a lot like a “chess match.”
“That’s what is tough about this league,” Decker said. “You play guys that are familiar with the players and the scheme. (McCoy) knows what you are trying to do, he knows the formations. It was fun to see him again but it was tough to go against him.”
Decker said the Chargers did a good job disguising their defensive coverages, something he expects to see once again as the Broncos meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Denver on Sunday night.
“When you look at it, especially against Kansas City who is our next opponent and has a great front line, they do a lot of things to try to disguise their rushes,” Decker said. “We have to make sure we have extra guys protecting, whether it’s a running back chipping in against a defensive end or tight ends staying in and helping double team with the tackle. That is the biggest thing, just let Peyton Manning have the pocket to throw the football.”
Decker is part of a receiving corps for the Broncos that has been giving opposing defenses fits. Just look at how Manning has been distributing his throws: Demaryius Thomas leads with 55 catches, but then Wes Welker has 53, Decker has 49 and tight end Julius Thomas has 42.
“That’s what’s so great about this offense — it’s hard for defenses to key on one person. If they are trying to take someone away someone else will be open. And everyone has done a good job of making plays after the ball is caught.”
The Broncos offense continues to make blocking downfield a key focus, and according to Decker it’s one area where there’s still room for improvement.
“It is what we try to focus on in the running game — making sure we get to the safety so the running back is allowed to find some open lanes. We have done a good job but we can get better in that category.”
One thing that has helped the Broncos in their road games so far this season has been a surprisingly large showing of Broncos fans at opponents’ stadiums.
“I can’t believe all the orange in San Diego yesterday,” Lombardi told Decker. “When you got out there and heard the cheering, were you confused that this was a road game?”
“It was wild. The first drive they were chanting ‘Defense,’ and I said to myself ‘Are we at home?’ ” Decker said. “It is fun to see the support we have nationwide.”
Decker said the support they’ve been getting from traveling Broncos fans (or Broncos fans who happen to just live in enemy territory) has given the players a big boost.
“You always talk about how road games are so tough because of the noise and it’s basically you against everyone in the stadium, but the way it’s been for us, we’ve got a lot of support and a lot of fans showing up at the away games,” Decker said.
Watch more of the video with Eric Decker in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.