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Broncos Offense Ready to Turn Up the Tempo

Posted Mar 29, 2013

Now entering its second year with quarterback Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos offense expects to play even faster this season.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Last season, the Broncos offense ran 1,090 plays – the highest number since 2000.

Next season, that number could go even higher.

When Adam Gase was promoted to offensive coordinator, he said that his offense would play even faster than last year’s.

"We're looking to go pedal to the metal, play as fast as possible, be aggressive and score as many points as possible every game," he said. "Put (quarterback) Peyton Manning in a position to play as fast as he can play.”

Manning and the rest of the offense will be in a better position to play at a higher tempo having one year in the system under their belts.

Last year, everyone on offense was learning on the go with an offensive playbook that was overhauled when Manning joined the team as a free agent.

Heading into 2013, Manning is another year removed from his neck surgeries that forced him to miss the 2011 season, and he has 16 regular-season games plus one postseason contest worth of experience with his teammates.

“I think he’ll be better,” Head Coach John Fox said about Manning. “I think we’ll be better as a football team. What people don’t realize is last year really was our first year in an offense.”

With an entire offseason to build around Manning at quarterback, Gase and the rest of the offensive staff will continue expanding on the playbook that led Denver to rank second in the league in scoring.

“You can do more,” Fox said. “You don’t put it all in at once, because guys can’t learn it. You have to pick and choose things you have a comfort level with and then execute those things. Part of that is just knowing your players and the players knowing your coaches. It takes time. So I think year two will be a lot better than year one.”

The team added wide receiver Wes Welker, who was a key cog in New England’s first-ranked scoring offense, to the receiving corps during free agency. The five-time Pro Bowler played in a New England offense that led the league with 1,191 plays from scrimmage in 2012, so he is comfortable with playing at a fast tempo.

“I’m looking forward to being a Denver Bronco and really trying to help this team win,” Welker said at his introductory press conference. “Getting to play with Peyton and a good group of receivers and a good offense, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Welker and guard Louis Vasquez, who the Broncos also added as a free agent, both played college football at Texas Tech, which is known for its up-tempo offense.

That experience has already helped Welker in his NFL career, and Vasquez said it will do the same as he joins the Broncos system.

“It’s in my roots,” he said. “It’s like riding a bike—once you learn how to do it…”

When the Broncos play at home, they have the mile-high altitude as an advantage over the visiting team. When the offense is running an up-tempo, no-huddle attack, that limits the defense’s ability to substitute or even catch its collective breath between plays.

“You try to get into the perfect play all the time,” Fox said. “Sometimes you take longer. Sometimes you just need to run or pass, just run it quickly and that’s when defenses screw up.”