It didn’t take long for Defensive Coordinator John Pagano to state the obvious during his weekly address to the media.
In fact it took all of eight seconds.
“It’s a big time challenge,” he said. “They’re number one in everything.”
Pagano isn’t speaking with hyperbole either.
The Broncos offense ranks first in yards per game (466.4), passing yards per game (358.5), points per game (42.9), red zone efficiency (73.4%) and third down efficiency (50.5%). Needless to say the Bolts have their hands full when they host Denver this weekend.
“The personnel speaks for itself,” Head Coach Mike McCoy said of the Broncos offense. “With the quarterback and skilled position guys they have, they are a very talented group with good depth. A majority of them have been together for over a year now. It gets a lot easier with the tempo they play at. They have five guys up front that play together and have done a nice job of protecting Peyton Manning.”
Preparing his unit to face off against the talented Broncos offense, Pagano echoed many of the points that McCoy did.
“We’ve got to be very sound in everything we do and make sure that we have all 11 guys playing together,” he said. “They have so many weapons from the wide receivers to the runners and then with the leader who is probably the best ever at throwing the football downfield. It makes things complicated for us to go out there and do the things that we want to do because you have to be able to line up and go play. But we’ll mix it up.”
That includes dialing up some blitzes to get pressure on Manning.
“I think it’s important every week to be able to put pressure on the quarterback,” he said. “That’s some of the goals we’ve always established for ourselves. We’ve got to hit the quarterback and get him off the spot. Some weeks this year it’s been better for us and some weeks it hasn’t. We have to find a consistency of being able to do those types of things.”
Pagano is also hopeful a raucous Qualcomm Stadium can give his unit an extra edge.
“Number one, the biggest thing is it’s a division opponent,” said Pagano. “We’re already down one game in the division, (so) it’s important for us to start off in front of our home crowd being very loud that makes it tough on them. And then it’s about us being able to communicate with that crowd noise and being able to get lined up. These are the types of games that our guys are up for those challenges and ready to go.”