After changing offensive coordinators each of the past three years, it appears the Denver Broncos will opt for stability at the position heading into 2021.
A year following the firing of Rich Scangarello after just one season, Broncos coach Vic Fangio gave OC Pat Shurmur a vote of confidence heading into Week 17.
"(Shurmur) has got a calm demeanor," Fangio said, via the Denver Post. "He's been doing a good job of mixing our run-pass plays on the early downs, both what type of runs we've run and short, intermediate, and deep throws. I think it's been a learning process for all our guys. The players learning the system and Pat learning our players and what's the best formula, what's the best approach with the guys we have. I'm excited about what Pat can bring to us moving forward."
Fangio is expected to retain his position for a third season. The head coach believes Shurmur is a "great fit" to help shepherd Drew Lock into his third season and nurture the rest of a young, growing offense.
Lock has disappointed in Year 2, but Shurmur preached patience with the young signal-caller, who made far too many mental errors in 2020. Lock has one or more giveaways in 11 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.
"Everybody talks about this being year two (for Lock), but it's really not year two, in my mind," Shurmur said. "It's like a continuation of year one because he didn't have the whole front half of year two. There's a lot of things that he's done really, really well, and then there's some mistakes that become glaring when it comes from the quarterback position. Everything that he's done and made a mistake on is correctable."
Added Shurmur: "We talk about decision-making early and late in the down. There are times when he scrambled outside of the pocket and made (a good) play. It's just a fine line, and I think the important thing is to play with confidence, play with moxie, but also not be anxious, because then you can't do the easy things."
Outside of one season in Minnesota with Case Keenum, Shurmur's offenses have been a bland amalgam of mediocrity. Still, the Broncos have the weapons on offense to be an explosive menace, especially with Courtland Sutton returning in 2021.
It all lands on Lock's shoulders. Fangio believes Shurmur is the man to get the best out of the QB. He better be right, or the entire staff could be looking for new jobs a year from now.