Expect Broncos’ offense to air it out in 2017

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The pass attack is back.

Despite not knowing who the starting gun-slinger will be, the Broncos are committed to putting the ball in his hands often.

After a two-year break from a pass-happy offense during Gary Kubiak’s tenure in Denver, all indications point toward a return to an offense that thrived in the Mile High City the last time Mike McCoy was in town in 2012.

While Denver didn’t rely on the run the past two seasons — only rushing on 41.1 percent of offensive snaps — their under-center philosophy did favor the run game. With McCoy back as offensive coordinator, the focus and emphasis will shift to the pass.

During Phase 1 of the team’s offseason workout actives, Emmanuel Sanders called McCoy’s offensive system “wide receiver heaven” simply because the Broncos “are going to throw the ball a lot more.” Although specifics of exactly what the new offense will look like won’t be known until OTAs in late-May and June, and even more so when training camp opens in July, there have been subtle hints that would support Sanders.

During the post-draft press conference after the first-round, Vance Joseph’s explanation on why Denver chose Garett Bolles instead of other offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk was very telling of the type of offensive scheme Denver is looking to run.

“They’re both very solid players. They’re both different,” he said. “Bolles is more of a leaner, an athletic tackle. Ramczyk was more of a powerful run-blocker, and in my opinion, a pass-protector secondly.”

According to Joseph, Ramczyk’s run-first, pass-second skillset was a major factor in deciding to draft Bolles over him. With not a major difference in talent level, the Broncos chose the tackle that would fit their pass-first scheme better.

Additionally, just a few days after the draft — where the Broncos drafted two receivers and a receiving tight end — Denver signed Jamaal Charles. While initially, it may seem that this move was to boost the running game, since Charles is a running back, it may have just as much of an impact in the passing attack.

When discussing Charles’ addition to the team, Shane Ray pointed to Charles’ ability to receive the ball as an added weapon to the offense.

“The fact that now we can run downhill with guys like [Ronald] Leary and C.J. [Anderson], but also spread the field out and have Jamaal Charles receive the ball out of the backfield or those stretch plays with his kind of speed, that opens everything up,” he said. “His presence spreading the field out is real.”

Much like Charles’ ability to spread out the field, McCoy’s new offensive scheme will focus on spreading the ball over the field via the passing game. With uncertainty at quarterback, it’s not known who the messenger will be, but the message is clear: the passing attack is back.

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