Jussel: Script won’t go Broncos’ way against rival Chargers
Cast of “As the World Turns, Denver Broncos Style”
John Elway: Executive Vice President of Football Operations
Brian Xanders: General Manager
John Fox: Head Coach
Mike McCoy: Offensive Coordinator
Dennis Allen: Defensive Coordinator
Tim Tebow: A Quarterback of Questionable Talent, but Impeccable Character
Narrator: Mysterious Voice from the Background
Scene 1, Act 1 (characters are scattered around a large oak table, seated in comfortable padded leather chairs; there is a murmur from several side conversations):
Fox. I know you are all wondering why I called this meeting. We had a short break, are on a winning streak of some consequence, and have to get back to business. We’ve got to game plan for the San Diego game. Let’s get right down to it.
Elway. Good idea, John. I like the way you think.
Fox. Thanks, John.
Xanders. Good idea, Johns.
Fox. Here’s what I’ve come up with: I know we haven’t been a real offensive juggernaut of late, but we have been winning. But this Charger game is going to be a bit more challenging. I think we are going to have to score 30 points to win this one.
Allen. Hey Coach, my defense has been playing great lately. Give us a little credit.
Fox. I realize that, Dennis. But that (Philip) Rivers is not exactly chopped liver— and not Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel or Matt Moore, either. He’s better than that. I know the Chargers have lost five in a row …
Xanders (interrupting). They have?
Fox. That’s why I want to script the first bunch of plays; call the plays in advance we know will work. I know that one guy who coached here a few years back liked to do that. What was his name, John?
Elway. It was Shanahan. Ray ... no, Mike. I wonder what happened to him.
Fox. I think he’s still in the business somewhere; but I know that scripting plays worked for him. Let’s try it. What do you think, Mike? You’re offensive coordinator. What do you think will work best?
McCoy. What I would like to do on the first play is try a handoff to the left side to Willis (McGahee). They’ll never expect that and I think it’s a cinch 5 or 6 yards.
Fox. Great idea. Let’s try that one first. What do you think, Tim?
Tebow. It’s a great idea. I love handing the ball off.
McCoy. Then on our second play, I’d like to call another play that’s worked really well for us. Let’s hand the ball off to Willis going off the right guard.
Xanders. Does anybody know if Willis is going to be able to play this week?
Elway. That’s a great question. Has anybody …
Fox (taking control). Hey, let’s not worry about that. It’s next man up. If he can’t play, we’ll find someone who can. No big deal. Now, let’s get back to this script. I have one question. What if we come up like third-and-8, say the two runs don’t work. What do we have that can get it done?
Tebow. Coach, I know we haven’t tried this much, but I have been working on it in practice a bit, putting in a little overtime with some of the receivers on the team. There’s a big, really fast kid named Decker who is pretty good. I think I can drop back three or four steps and fire a hard, fast one right into …
Elway. Tim, are you saying you want to try to pass? From what I’ve seen so far, I’m just not that impressed with the way you are throwing the ball.
Tebow. But I think I can …
Fox. Hold on a minute, guys. I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Now Timmy, you know I love you. I think you are a wonderful human being. But, a pass? That could be intercepted? I don’t think we’re quite ready for that yet. Maybe next week. Now, let’s get back to business. Mike, we’ve got our first two plays for our script. We should be close to a first down. What’s next?
McCoy. I have a great suggestion: I know San Diego will have spent all week working on Tim running the option. Instead, let’s try this: Tim, you get the snap in shotgun formation and fake a pass, then hand the ball off to Willis. Willis barrels right into the center of the line and, just like that, first down.
Tebow. I’m OK with it, as long as it gets us a first down — and we go on and win the game. After all, that’s what is important, winning. I don’t care how we do it. Now, can we all kneel and …
Narrator (rudely breaking in). Jussel is 6-4 picking with or against Denver. Unfortunately for this week’s script, things don’t go Denver’s way.
The Chargers win 28-17. But McGahee does rush for 100 yards (on 49 carries) and Tebow does get to throw a couple of more passes in his continuing effort to improve.