Clayton: This season is as big for Pat Shurmur as it is for Vic Fangio
As important as this season is for Vic Fangio if he wants to stay remain the Broncos head coach, it’s also a vital year for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Shurmur is a good play-caller, but he needs to have his best season.
His offense has the talent to do well. Even though Jerry Jeudy is out four to six weeks with a high-ankle sprain, Shurmur still has A.J. Hamler, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick for his three-receiver set. He has Noah Fant at tight end, while boasting Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams in the backfield. It also helps that he was Teddy Bridgewater was his offensive coordinator for two years. He knows how to use Bridgewater.
Both got off to a good start with the season-opening win over the New York Giants. Things should go well in the games coming up against Jacksonville and the New York Jets, too.
Unfortunately for Shurmur, it didn’t work last season for Drew Lock. Lock tied for the league with 15 interceptions and had the worst quarterback numbers in the league. Lock looked better this preseason, but Bridgewater won the starting job.
The Broncos have the 10th best pass catchers in the league. But to win, Denver will need a nice balance of the run and the pass. It will help Shurmur and everyone to get off to a 3-0 start. After that, the test will see how well he does when the competition heats up.