DENVER (CBS4)– As Pat Shurmur settles in as the Denver Broncos newest offensive coordinator, his job will be not only to revive an offense that’s near the bottom of the league, but to also develop the next franchise quarterback.
“Obviously the development of our young quarterback is going to be critical as we move forward, Shurmur told the Denver Broncos website on Thursday. “And really all of our players need to improve individually and then certainty do it as a group so that we can score points and help us win games.”
Rookie quarterback Drew Lock played well in his five starts leading the Broncos to a 4-1 record. Last season as the head coach with the New York Giants, Shurmur heavily scouted Lock and had him high on his draft board before settling on Daniel Jones in the first round of the 2019 Draft.
“We had a very high opinion of Drew. We did a lot of work on him, Shurmur said. “We were very certain that he was going to have an outstanding career and he had a bright future. I’m really looking forward to being able to work with him.”
Shurmur will look to develop an offense that will fit Lock’s strengths by using three wide receiver sets, throwing the ball deep off of play action passes and keep defensives off-balanced with a rushing attack.
Hopefully the changes will improve a Broncos offense that finished last season ranked 28th in scoring (17.6 ppg), total yards (298.6), passing yards (197.4), 20th in rushing (103.9) and was last in touchdown passes (16).
Fortunately, Shurmur has a habit of turning struggling offensives around. In 2012, the Philadelphia Eagles had the 29th scoring offense (17.5 ppg). Once Shurmur arrived a year later, the Eagles were the fourth best scoring team in football (27.6 ppg).
In his first season with the Minnesota Vikings, they were the 23rd scoring offense (20.4 ppg). A year later, they improved to the tenth best scoring offense (23.9 ppg).
Shurmur has a young core as his disposal in Pro Bowlers Courtland Sutton and Phillip Linsday. He’ll also inherit Noah Fant, Dalton Risner and Lock who will all be going into their second season with plenty of experience.
“I think it’s a very good group, Shurmur said. “I know what it’s like to have young players. This is a young players league. They need to come in the league, play right away quickly so I think that’s the challenge right ahead of us. But this is a really, really good group and look forward to working with them.”
In his two seasons as the Giants head coach, his offense produced 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkey and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones who threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Many expect the Broncos to target a wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft. In several mock drafts on CBS Sports, Denver is linked two receivers from Alabama, Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy.