ALAMEDA – The Denver Broncos shook up their coaching staff prior to Sunday’s game with the Raiders, firing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and promoting quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to that spot.
The name should sound familiar to anyone who doesn’t suffer Dory-style short-term memory loss. Musgrave was the Raiders offensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016 and introduced a system still used in these parts, to far greater effect.
Musgrave orchestrated the No. 6-ranked offense last year, with 120 rushing yards and 253 passing yards per game. They were seventh with 26 points per game.
Head coach Jack Del Rio still decided to let Musgrave’s contract expire. The two didn’t always agree, and the Raiders chose to keep the coveted Downing in house with a promotion.
The offense has not maintained previous course.
All those numbers are down under new coordinator Todd Downing, largely operating with the same talent base plus receiving tight end Jared Cook.
They’re averaging 50 less yards and 5.5 fewer points, thus far.
Del Rio was asked on his 95.7-FM radio show whether he regretting making the switch. His answer was swift and direct.
“No, I do not,” Del Rio said. “And I wish (Musgrave) the best this week. Really, I do.”
Del Rio doesn’t wish him too well heading into an important matchup at Oakland Coliseum. The Broncos offense has struggled mightily this season, and will go with 2016 first-round pick Paton Lynch for the first time this season.
Del Rio insists the Raiders are going up against the system, not the new (yet familiar) play caller.
“You can’t change dramatically what you’ve done with your system in Week 12 or Week 13,” Del Rio said. “We’ll prepare ourselves and be ready to go against the system. Understand that there may be some things that Bill likes a little more than what Mike might do.”
The Raiders know Musgrave well and vice versa, which should make for an intriguing chess match at Oakland Coliseum.