- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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In an attempt to breathe life into a stagnant first-quarter offense, Denver coach Josh McDaniels said he scripted plays for Denver’s game against Kansas City on Sunday. McDaniels usually doesn’t script plays to start games.
It looks like Denver needs to continue to plan ahead. Denver scored 21 points in the first quarter in a 49-29 win over Kansas City. It scored just seven points in the first quarter in its previous eight games. McDaniels said Denver scripted about the first 18 plays of the game. Obviously, McDaniels was pleased with the way the scripted plays worked.
“(We) stuck to them pretty well. When you get into situations like that, and I have gone in and out of doing that before, when you do that those plays are specific to first and second down usually,” McDaniels said. “Once you get to a third-and-short, we ran the wedge there with (fullback) Spencer (Larsen) in the first quarter. Once you get in the red zone, you go to your red zone offense. So, for whatever it is worth, we kind of found some things that we liked during the course of the week of practice. (We) had an extra day too last week, which we are going to try and take advantage of in the same way this week in terms of figuring out exactly the way we want to start. But, again, the credit goes to them (the players). They executed the game plan no matter what the play was, and I think that’s really the biggest part of our start on Sunday was their ability to go out there and do things right. I think out of 66 plays, we had no penalties, no turnovers and one minus run. They deserve all the credit for going out there and blocking and throwing and running and catching, and they did it very well.”
As much as the scripted plays worked Sunday, Denver quarterback Kyle Orton said he also likes the freedom of playing in McDaniels’ offense when the plays are not scripted.
“I have been in either situation where the plays are scripted or not,” Orton said. “I like (Head Coach) Josh (McDaniels) as a play-caller, I like the way he feels a game and is able to get off the script and if he sees a shot there or sees a screen that opens up he is real quick to do it, and I like that as well.”
5dEric D. Williams