Denver Broncos

Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag periodically during the season. Submit questions to Ryan here.

What is going on with Courtland Sutton? Is there a reason his activity is so low these past few games?

— Rich Berger, Idaho Springs

Rich is correct — Sutton’s production has dipped in the four games since Jerry Jeudy returned from injury. The totals against Washington, Dallas, Philadelphia and the Chargers:

  • Sutton — 12 targets, seven catches, 95 yards and no touchdowns.

  • Jeudy — 24 targets, 18 catches, 181 yards and no touchdowns.

  • Tim Patrick — 17 targets, 12 catches, 192 yards and one touchdown.

Coverage dictates where the football goes and the Broncos had only 25 pass attempts against the Chargers. Plus, they have gotten Jeudy involved with shorter passes. But if this offense wants to get more explosive, it starts by challenging teams more often downfield with Sutton.

What do you think it’s going to take to get our passing game booted up? General manager George Paton gave Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton nice extensions, but the two combined for just four catches for 43 yards. I feel like we should be throwing to them more.

— Harold, Fort Collins

Four catches for 43 yards, but that represented 26.7% of the Broncos’ completions and 27.7% of their passing yards against the Chargers.

Sunday’s game was ideal from a Broncos’ offensive standpoint. They improved to 4-0 when they rush at least 30 times — they ran 33 times for 147 yards.

Sutton had only two catches for 17 yards, but he did draw a 15-yard pass interference penalty on the Chargers.

But you’re right, Harold. Starting Sunday night at Kansas City, finding ways to complete chunk passes to Sutton and Patrick (and Jeudy) will be required.

Being that Vic Fangio was a great defensive coach when calling plays from the booth, would it be beneficial to hire an offensive coordinator as a co-head coach and move Fangio back to the booth?

— Matthew Gomez, Pueblo

Well, I give Matthew an “A” for not just thinking outside the box, but outside the box that contains the box. As a defensive coordinator, Fangio did call games from upstairs, but the scenario presented has no chance of conspiring. If Fangio is sitting upstairs next year during a game, it’s because he’s the defensive coordinator for another NFL team.

Ryan, what the heck was Drew Lock thinking on that awful pass that was picked off by Derwin James? He’s done here in Denver.

— Mike, Denver

A question and a comment from Mike. Lock’s interception was a great catch by safety Derwin James, but an awful decision considering the score (14-0) and situation (late in the first half).

Lock was trying to make something happen and it backfired. At that point, Teddy Bridgewater was going to re-enter the game so long as he could protect himself. Lock will only play this year if Bridgewater is injured. Fangio said on Monday that Lock remains the No. 2 quarterback.

Teddy Bridgewater had a gutsy performance Sunday. Any chance he winds up being re-signed next year? I don’t know if we can land Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson next year, and with a draft pick that’ll probably be in the mid-to-late teens of the first round, we’re not getting a blue-chip quarterback to mold.

— Miles, Parker

My first choice would be Wilson. The Seahawks need the draft picks to start their re-load (I’m going to call it rebuild) and Wilson would help kick-start that effort and it would allow the Broncos to keep their skill-position core intact.

As for Bridgewater, who is a free agent in March, his best possible plan is to show the Broncos enough to re-sign and be the place-holder for a quarterback they will draft in the first two rounds.

I still believe the Broncos will go big-game searching this offseason to find quarterback stability.

I think the Broncos need to use draft picks and go get Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.

— Barri Hicks, Ogden, Utah

Broncos general manager George Paton was in Pittsburgh last month to watch Pickett play for the Panthers.

Pickett, 23, has helped Pitt to a 10-2 record this year and has 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The issue for Paton, if he bypasses trading/signing a veteran: How many draft assets is he willing to give up to move up? My lean is Broncos fans should want to see what Paton can do with a full stock of picks.

Should the Broncos need to find their future franchise quarterback in the draft, do you see one this year they can select based on where they will approximately pick or will they have to wait another year with a place-holder at the position?

— Yoann, Beine-Nauroy, France

The scenarios: 1. Trade for a current starter. 2. Sign a place-holding veteran. 3. Keep Bridgewater. 4. Draft a quarterback.

I think it would behoove the Broncos to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds even if they acquire Aaron Rodgers from Green Bay. It isn’t as crucial if they acquire Russell Wilson from Seattle.

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Yoann, you hit on a big issue, though. If the Broncos (6-5) finish 8-9 or 9-8, they will have played themselves out of position to sit and draft a quarterback. They would have to move up, in theory.

It is obvious that Vic Fangio is not going to be fired at this point. So I am going to put you in his shoes. How would you sell yourself to George Paton saying you should stay if you end up 10-7 or 8-9 or 7-10? I am thinking a change is coming but Fangio might want to say something to Paton in regards as to why he should stay.

— Del, Lamar

I’ll push back on that, Del. There are still six games remaining and Fangio has in no way done enough to guarantee his return. If the Broncos go 9-8, but don’t make the playoffs, is that enough? Don’t know.

If I’m Vic, here’s how I would do the sell: The Broncos have overcome injuries to be over .500 entering December, the coaching staff has done a nice job developing several young players and, most importantly, Vic can handle the pressure if a veteran quarterback is acquired.

Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag periodically during the season. Submit questions to Ryan here.

Source : https://www.denverpost.com/2021/11/30/broncos-mailbag-courtland-sutton-production/

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Broncos Mailbag: Why has Courtland Sutton’s production declined over the last four games?

Source:The Denver Post

Broncos Mailbag: Why has Courtland Sutton’s production declined over the last four games?

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