The Denver Broncos’ offense has gotten off to a slower-than-expected start with quarterback Russell Wilson taking over under center -- good news for the 49ers, who travel to Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday for a Week 3 matchup against their one-time NFC West foe and his new team.
But coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t expect Wilson to be subdued for long, and it isn’t because the former Seahawks signal-caller brought much of Seattle’s methods with him to Denver’s offense.
“I see a little more Green Bay than Seattle, you know, a mixture,” Shanahan told longtime 49ers play-by-play announcer Greg Papa on Friday’s episode of “49ers Game Plan.”
With yet another branch of the Shanahan-Sean McVay offense taking root in Denver, it’s no surprise the 49ers coach has noticed some familiar plays.
“They do a lot of similar stuff that we do,” Shanahan told Papa. “Their O-line scheme and everything. Having Butch [Barry], who was our No. 2 O-line coach here last year as their coach. So there are some similarities with that, but I do see more Green Bay than Seattle.
“They’re spreading a lot around more. Russ has made some big plays already.”
It’s clear Denver has a game plan with Wilson’s athleticism in mind, with a system featuring a wide range of concepts based on foundations of the West Coast offense.
But with a 1-1 record so far, Wilson and the Broncos are averaging 16 points per game as they prepare to go up against a sturdy 49ers defense. Wilson has thrown just two touchdown passes compared to one interception, and his team has yet to score a touchdown in the red zone.
And Shanahan wouldn’t like to see that happen anytime soon.
“[Wilson] hasn’t done much with his legs yet, but he’s done it with his arm, and it’s a matter of time,” Shanahan said. “I’ve seen that way too many times in the last decade, so I want to make sure we don’t see it this Sunday.”