ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos prepare to face the Washington Football Team and attempt to snap their four-game skid, Head Coach Vic Fangio said the team will aim to improve “from A to Z” on both sides of the football.
“We’ve got to get over [the losses] and put these games behind us,” Fangio told KOA NewsRadio on Monday. “We’ve got to get focused on Washington. We’ve got to do a better job with our fundamentals. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching these guys to execute better. I don’t say that just to say it. We have to do a much better job of getting these guys ready to play physically and from a basics and fundamentals standpoint.”
On the defensive side, particularly as it relates to stopping the run, Fangio said the team must improve its ability to execute “with the right technique.” The Broncos allowed a season-high 182 rushing yards in Week 7.
“If we’re not doing that, that means we’re not coaching it good enough,” Fangio said. “We’ve got to get better at it as a team.”
Fangio said one of the keys to improve will be playing unselfish football along the line and filling gaps quickly.
“That’s part of the technique that I’m talking about,” Fangio said. “We’ll address everything from A to Z as far as our run defense goes.”
The Broncos must also increase their number of takeaways, as Denver has forced just one turnover in its last four games.
“No doubt about it,” Fangio said in regards to turnovers. “That’s an area that we were doing good in early. Not so good lately. We’ve got to do a better job of helping our offense and getting the ball turned over. And part of that is if you’re not playing the run good enough, that doesn’t help you get takeaways either, because the bulk of the takeaways do happen on passing plays. We’ve got to do a better job of stopping the run, and then hopefully the takeaways can come after that.”
Newly acquired inside linebacker Kenny Young could be a helpful addition as the Broncos aim to improve against the run. Fangio said there’s a chance Young could play as early as this week, but he noted the team would monitor the chances as the week progressed.
“He does have one little advantage in that he’s coming from the Rams, where he played for [former Broncos outside linebackers coach/Rams defensive coordinator and current Chargers head coach] Brandon Staley last year,” Fangio said. “So the system is similar to what he’s been in. So hopefully that will jump start him a little quicker than most do in these type of situations.”
The Broncos must also take steps forward on offense, where they’ve struggled in the first half during the team’s recent stretch of games.
“We just have to do everything from A to Z better,” Fangio said of the offense. “That starts with the coaches and teaching the fundamentals, that starts with play calling, that starts with having some different runs, different passes. Anything that can jump-start us to get going. It’s an all-on-board operation between the players and the coaches. We’ll take a look at everything to get that done and we already have.”
Denver is expected to regain 2020 first-round pick Jerry Jeudy for their Week 8 game, as Fangio said Jeudy is “ready to go.” The only restriction on Jeudy’s participation may be his conditioning level.
“Although he’s worked hard in his rehab, it’s not the same as playing football,” Fangio said. “We’ll have to be cognizant of his conditioning. He probably can’t go out there and play the normal 50, 60 plays that he had been accustomed to playing. We’ll just have to keep our eye on that.”
The Broncos’ attempt to improve — across the board — will begin Tuesday, as the team will hold an additional practice on Tuesday.
“Hopefully that will help get us jump-started,” Fangio said.