ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos' familiarity with Kansas City quarterback Kyle Orton -- and Orton's knowledge of them -- has been a hot topic leading up to Sunday's game between the Broncos and Chiefs.
"He knows a lot about us," cornerback
"We coached him for two-and-a-half years," Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy added, "so there are a lot of little things we know about him."
But just how valuable is that familiarity?
In answering that question, McCoy referred to his days with the Carolina Panthers, where his offense ran plays against opposing defenses that had to be well aware of what was coming.
"When I was in Carolina, we had a two-minute drill for five years and we ran the same six plays, and we played the same teams - the Falcons twice a year and Tampa Bay twice a year," McCoy said. "The teams always knew the signals and the plays, but they never stopped us. So it comes down to players making plays when you give them all the information."
McCoy isn't about to send his playbook to the Chiefs facility, but his point is clear -- execution, as it always is, will be paramount Sunday regardless of whatever pre-snap knowledge the teams may have on one another.
The Broncos offensive coordinator said changes have been made communication-wise and the Denver offense has certainly changed quite a bit since Orton's release.
"We've headed in a different direction," McCoy said.
Denver has mixed in some read-option plays at times and quarterback
The Denver running game, which leads the league, has also changed drastically and taken on more of a role in the offense. In the five games Orton started for the Broncos, the team averaged 101.8 yards per game on the ground.
Since Tebow took over in Week 7, Denver committed itself to establishing the run and the offense is averaging 190.7 rushing yards per game.
"We've changed the system to really go in the direction we're currently heading with Tim as our quarterback," McCoy said. "There are a number of different things that we're doing that (Orton) hasn't seen."
On the defensive end, Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen knows that while Orton might be familiar with the Broncos personnel, it's not a concern heading into the critical matchup.
"At the end of the day, we've got to really pay attention to what Kansas City's scheme is and what they're going to do with him," Allen said, "and put our guys in the best position to make plays and really not worry so much about whether he knows what we're doing or not."