Updated: October 9, 2009 at 12:00 am
ENGLEWOOD • The plan wasn’t working in the first half. The Denver Broncos tried spreading the field with multiple receivers against the Dallas Cowboys, but their only points before halftime came on a 9-yard touchdown drive set up by the defense.
A NFL halftime lasts 12 minutes. In that time, the Broncos decided to go in a completely different direction. In the final two quarters, Denver’s base offense was a two-tight end formation used primarily to run the ball. The Broncos outscored Dallas 10-0 in the fourth quarter and won the game.
Through a 4-0 start, one thing that is becoming clear is the Broncos’ new staff is adept at halftime adjustments and willing to dramatically change the plan if it has to.
“We have a plan that we have, and we spend a lot of time during the week planning and saying ‘What if?’ ” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “You play that game and sometimes chase ghosts and say what is the worst-case scenario, but that’s what we have to do. You say ‘What if they do this, what is going to be our answer?’”
The Broncos won’t be stubborn if the first-half plan doesn’t work, as they showed against Dallas. The players need to be sharp, as well. From all indications, in the week leading up to the Cowboys game the Broncos hadn’t spent too much time practicing some of the sets they ran so often in the second half. Yet, they executed well.
“Some guys can’t handle it,” receiver Brandon Stokley said. “Some guys can’t do that if they haven’t had a lot of reps at it during the week, it’s hard for them to go out on game day and if you make a quick adjustment they can’t go out on the field and do it. We have a good group that has been able to adjust.”