Broncos sticking with QB, beleaguered special teams coach
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Both Brocks are keeping their jobs in Denver, where the Broncos are mired in their worst funk in decades.
Coach Vance Joseph said Monday that quarterback Brock Osweiler will start against Cincinnati next weekend, getting his third consecutive start despite being 0-2 since replacing Trevor Siemian.
Really, Osweiler has been the least of Denver’s worries in 28- and 25-point blowouts.
Joseph gave his beleaguered special teams coach Brock Olivo a vote of confidence, too.
Olivo’s units were directly responsible for 24 New England points in a 41-16 loss to the Patriots on Sunday night that dropped the Broncos to 3-6 with their fifth consecutive loss.
Osweiler threw for 221 yards and a touchdown to go with one interception and no sacks.
“Brock played a solid game yesterday,” Joseph said. “I was very pleased with how he played.”
So, Siemian won’t be getting his job back this week, and former first-round pick Paxton Lynch remains a non-factor because, Joseph said, he’s still working his way back from a sprained throwing shoulder he sustained in the preseason and still hasn’t turned it loose on deep passes.
“We want to make sure he’s totally healthy before he plays again,” Joseph said. “I’m not sure when that’s going to come.”
The only one who might lose his job is Isaiah McKenzie, but Joseph wouldn’t commit to benching the rookie from Georgia whom the Broncos drafted in the fifth round and handed the punt return job before the preseason.
His muffed punt Sunday night set the tone for Denver’s fifth straight double-digit loss . It came after the Broncos forced Tom Brady into a three-and-out on New England’s first drive. After the turnover, the Patriots scored five TDs and two field goals before punting again.
“He has five fumbles in 28 attempts, but he’s also top 10 in return yards,” Joseph said. “With that being said ... we have to figure out how to minimize those huge errors and play a cleaner brand of football. If that means having someone go in, just getting the ball caught and possessing the ball after a defensive stop — if it happens, it happens.”
The Broncos also gave up a 103-yard touchdown return on a kickoff and suffered a blocked punt . Plus, they had 12 men on the field during a punt on fourth-and-5 that resulted in a Patriots first down that led to a touchdown. (Another time, they had just 10 men on the field when Dion James scored on an 8-yard run).
Linebacker Brandon Marshall caught that punt — his first in a game since high school — and admittedly forgot he could run with it .
Joseph said he still has faith in Olivo, 41, who was Dave Toub’s assistant special teams coach in Kansas City the last three seasons. He praised Olivo’s energy, smarts, pedigree and hard work.
Despite the 24 points his units cost the Broncos, “I’m fine with Brock,” Joseph said. “Brock works hard, he’s a young coach and he’s a bright coach. He’s going to be a great coach in my opinion.”
Joseph said the coaches need to simplify the game plans starting Sunday against the Bengals (3-6) “so we can play more efficient because we’ve spotted teams in the last three weeks 14 (points) in K.C., 14 in Philly and yesterday 24 points on special teams.
“You can’t beat NFL teams spotting them 14 and 24 points.”
Joseph said he didn’t see any quit in his team even though the Broncos have been outscored 165-68 during their five-game rut.
You have to go all the way back to 1961, the franchise’s second year of existence, to find a five-game stretch in which the Broncos were outscored by more than 97 points.
“We’re not broken by any means,” Joseph said, “because we believe we can win.”
When he met with his team to go over the latest film Monday morning, Joseph said, “I didn’t yell. I told the guys that I’m disappointed of where we are right now because we’ve played good enough football outside of the huge errors to compete. Until we find a way to not spot good teams 14 points, we can’t win.”
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