Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Frank Schwab debate Denver’s disastrous offensive start to the season. Frank doesn’t know if the new look Broncos offense is going to get any better with their Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson at the helm. While Charles believes Denver made a huge mistake in the preseason that led to this awful start, he believes in time, the Broncos will turn things around. Remember, Tom Brady’s first season in Tampa was not smooth sailing until after their bye week. Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
FRANK SCHWAB: The Broncos win 11 to 10. We just got done watching one of the uglier games of the NFL season. Russ came up with some big plays, finally. But through 12 quarters, this Broncos team has not broken 16 points yet. They do not trust their quarterback. Russ looks very hesitant and lost.
They won, and that's great, almost entirely because of their defense here. There's a lot of problems with the Broncos right now. They do not look anything like a 2 and 1 team to me. This team is really, really, really struggling right now.
CHARLES ROBINSON: They are playing poor football offensively. I'm not gonna make any excuses for that. However, we're three games in.
FRANK SCHWAB: I think the argument we're having, do you think it gets better?
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yes.
FRANK SCHWAB: I don't know, man. I thought, eh, it's two games. But now in this game I'm like, I don't think Hackett has any faith in his quarterback. There were play calls in this game where you're just like, is run, run, incomplete punt on his play card? Is that all they're gonna do tonight? Like, there's third and 9 at the end of the game less than two minutes left. And instead of having Russ throw, they just ran it up-- a give up run up the middle.
He's got a guy they just gave $245 million to and he's saying, run and punt. We-- and hey, the defense is playing great at that point. I get it. But you got to say-- fourth and inches, they punt and all the first down runs. It is a coach that doesn't have any faith in either his quarterback or calling a right play to get some yards for his quarterback.
We all thought, hey, Russ is going to throw for 35, 40 touchdowns. They're gonna be a great offense, win the AFC West, or at least be in contention for the AFC West. It looks nothing like that to me now, and I don't know how this really changes that much by December. Do you?
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I do.
FRANK SCHWAB: Do you think it's just Russ cooking?
CHARLES ROBINSON: I-- a couple of things, OK. Number one, massive mistake by the Denver Broncos. But they're not the only ones who committed it. To not have taken more seriously getting your number one offense together in the preseason and playing some meaningful snaps, OK? It was a huge mistake. I don't think there's any question about that. They're not the only ones to commit it, but they did commit it.
And I think that is part of the reason why they look like dog water right now. OK? I think Nathaniel Hackett is a bigger work in progress as a head coach than I thought. However, I do think-- and he got clowned for this, which is unfortunate. I do think him deciding along with the general manager to go and get some outside help for him in terms of the game management was the right decision.
And a lot of coaches ignore that. They refuse to do that in season, because it makes you look bad. Like you were unprepared or you didn't see the problem coming, or you're not fully ready for the job. OK? The fact that they did it shows me something. Because it's not an easy thing to do in an ego-driven NFL world. I don't think Russ is dead. I don't think he's done, I don't think he's cooked, I don't think he's finished, OK?
I think Russ stepped in with a coach who has a steeper learning curve than I thought, and now realized-- and frankly, what I saw that encouraged me in the fourth quarter in that game was finally Russ said, I've got to [BLEEP] do something here, man. I got to make something happen.
FRANK SCHWAB: It was a good drive.
CHARLES ROBINSON: There is no $250 million quarterback in the NFL who does not at some point have to step forward into the void and go, maybe I need to start taking a little more of this on me and making things happen. It's odd to me that we don't accept that quarterbacks can switch teams, leadership positions, coaches, offensive, playbooks, everything, entire organizations, and not be given the grace to grow into it.
It was-- we went through this with Tom Brady. Greatest quarterback ever, right? He's the consummate winner. He's gonna have statues. His legend will far outlive both of us. If the NFL still exists, we'll be talking about Tom Brady. But what nobody will be talking about is how when he went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they had to get to a bye late as hell in the season.
FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah.
CHARLES ROBINSON: With everybody going, this offense doesn't look right! It sucks! They're not scoring points, Tom's struggling, why is he throwing interceptions? How come Arians is calling him out? All these different things.
But we forget that, because after that bye, they got their shit together, things broke their way. They went to a Super Bowl, won a ring, made everything better. So now people look back at that season like it was all seamless. It wasn't seamless! There were horrible moments. There were times where we looked at Tom, we were like, man, he looks pretty cooked.
I think everybody needs to calm down and look at this game and go, OK. Rather than just beating the living hell out of Nathaniel Hackett for another week. Rather than coming out and saying, well, maybe Russ is done.
Rather than going yeah, Jerry Jeudy just sucks and all these-- the same things that keep getting regurgitated again. Maybe look at it and go, hm, OK. There are a couple of things that went right, that have got a little bit better this week. This is September in the NFL. This is what everybody does.
FRANK SCHWAB: All right, all right.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Everybody freaks out.
FRANK SCHWAB: I don't know, man, though. I don't know.