ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos look to improve their offensive production over the second half of the season, they've searched for any possible edge.
And as Denver prepares for a Week 10 road meeting with the Tennessee Titans, that means quarterback Russell Wilson will don a wristband for the second consecutive game.
"We've been looking at everything and thinking of anything we can do to help our process, help our offense, do whatever we have to do," Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said Thursday. "Whether that's going to be the reason why we win or lose the game, looking back at the Jacksonville game, I don't know. We just always want to evaluate everything and try to find a way to get better. If that's going to help us get better, then we want to do it."
Wilson's wristband usage has garnered significant attention this week, but the Broncos are focused on the possible advantage they can gain from having some of their play calls close at hand for Wilson and the offense.
"There's a couple of different things," Hackett said of the advantages. "As a play designer, sometimes you want to get a little creative and those things can get a little bit verbose. You want to have it so it's easier, instead of having to call it and then communicate it. There's a whole process from when I give it to him, to when he has to process it, to when he has to go in there. Sometimes we get a little elaborate on those things because we're sometimes trying to get a little crazy. So, it allows you to do that."
Ahead of a road game, it can also reduce the possibility of a misunderstanding in a loud stadium.
"I think it also helps with crowd noise," Hackett said. "If you have crowd noise going, from him listening to me, he just has to hear one wristband number, and then he can go in there and communicate to the guys properly. There's a lot of different things that it's good for."
Hackett and Offensive Coordinator Justin Outten said there was never any resistance from Wilson toward wearing a wristband, and the team simply arrived at the decision to incorporate one after evaluating other offenses across the league.
"It's a relationship thing as far as how we function as an offense," Outten said. "You look around the league and you're sitting there going, 'Well, how are we behind in play clocks? How are we doing certain things early on in the season? How can we help this?' We're always digging and trying to find things that help us out. This is just something that we can get in his hands. All the players can look at it, as well. They're going see what's on the wristband, and they can expect what's on the wristband to be called. That way, it's not just taken away from Russ. It's everybody being on the same page [when there are] long play calls throughout the entire game."
The Broncos will not include all of their offensive plays on Wilson's wristband. Instead, they'll limit the play card to the most verbose plays.
"We want to take advantage of getting in and out of the huddle as well, so it could get [more verbose] in special situations," Outten said of the play calls. "That's across the board around the league. You get a little bit more creative in those aspects. Just getting certain plays on that thing so he can get it out a little bit quicker, everyone hears it a little bit better instead of just being in a no-huddle situation where someone can't hear you. It's really just locking in to certain plays on that call sheet that we can take advantage of on that."
As Wilson pointed out on Wednesday, he has won plenty of games — a record 113 in his first 10 seasons — regardless of whether he has worn a wristband. But as the Broncos move forward in their season, they'll aim to garner whatever advantage they can.
"I think for us, if it helps, then why not use it?" Hackett said. "Right now, we're 1-0 with it. I mean, hey, let's move forward. Again, a lot of quarterbacks use it across the league. It's one of those things, if it gives you some kind of advantage or helps you, then we want to do everything we can."
While correlation does not imply causation, the Broncos did tie a season best with three touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 8.
Against a talented Titans defense, the Broncos hope to find similar success in Nashville.