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Broncos hire ex-Giants coach Pat Shurmur as play-caller

Tue Jan 14 10:08pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Patrick Mahomes, Daniel Jones, Drew Lock, Noah Fant

File- This Jan. 26, 2018, file photo shows Pat Shurmur speaking after being introduced as head coach of the New York Giants during an NFL football news conference, in East Rutherford , N.J. The Giants fired Shurmur on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, just two years into a five-year contract, the Daily News has confirmed. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio hired former New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur as his offensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Shurmur becomes the Broncos' fifth offensive play-caller in five seasons and inherits an attack that features youngsters Drew Lock, Dalton Risner, Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton and Phillip Lindsay but also needs a major makeover to challenge Kansas City's supremacy in the AFC West.

Shurmur replaces Rich Scangarello, who struggled in his first season as an NFL play-caller in 2019 although the Broncos (7-9) won games behind three different starting quarterbacks, including the rookie Lock, who went 4-1 down the stretch.

Shurmur drew interest from several teams, including the Chicago Bears, after his firing two weeks ago by the Giants following a 4-12 finish in his second year.

In a statement, Fangio called Shurmur ''an established play-caller with significant experience leading an offense as both a coordinator and head coach.''

''Having coached against Pat for a number of years, he's always impressed me. His track record of developing younger players is outstanding,'' Fangio said. ''Pat brings a collaborative approach to working with the staff as well as a flexibility to adjust the offense to our players and opponents. We're excited to add someone of his caliber to our coaching staff.''

Shurmur is the second member of Fangio's staff with NFL head coaching experience, joining offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

A 32-year coaching veteran, Shurmur has 21 seasons of NFL experience, including the last 11 years as a head coach or offensive coordinator. He was head coach in Cleveland from 2011-12 and New York from 2018-19, where he fast-tracked the development of rookie QB Daniel Jones last season. He also served as interim coach for the Eagles at the end of 2015.

Shurmur also served as offensive coordinator with the Vikings (2016-17), Eagles (2013-15) and Rams (2009-10).

Fangio originally said he didn't plan to change any of his coordinators but changed his mind two weeks later after reviewing the Broncos' offense that managed fewer than 18 points a game and regressed in most categories under Scangarello's watch.

Denver was the only team in 2019 to finish the season in the bottom five in points scored, total offense, third-down success rate and red zone success.

The Broncos scored 16 or fewer points in half of their games and veteran QB Joe Flacco criticized the team's play-calling as too conservative following a 15-13 loss at Indianapolis that dropped the team to 2-6. Flacco went on injured reserve with a neck injury later that week and Brandon Allen went 1-2 before Lock took over for the final five games.

The Broncos were outscored 53-9 by the Chiefs in their two losses to Kansas City last season and knew they had to make great strides on offense to try to end a four-year playoff drought and reel in the Chiefs, who have won the AFC West all four of those seasons.

Fangio now has a more experienced coordinator who can add more downfield passing as well as the jet motion and modernized formations that Patrick Mahomes is operating so deftly in Kansas City, where the AFC championship will be played Sunday between the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans.

The Broncos' OC job has been as much of a turnstile of late as head coach and quarterback with Rick Dennison (2016), Mike McCoy (2017), Bill Musgrave (2018) and Scangarello all flailing in the years since the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 in Peyton Manning's final season.

Player Notes
Keenan Allen Oct 20 7:30pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (back) was last seen dealing with back spasms when he took the field versus the Saints last Monday. Despite that, head coach Anthony Lynn has reiterated that Allen will not be hampered come Sunday versus Jacksonville, a matchup that is set to work in Allens favor due to the 270.7 passing yards per game that the Jaguars Defense is allowing. With the emergence of Justin Herbert as both a downfield threat and consistent pocket passer, Allens season-long fantasy outlook is only on the rise after having averaged 12 targets through his first four games. His recent injury should give DFS fantasy managers pause, but so long as he is given the green light to suit up, season-long managers should consider starting him in most formats where he is rostered.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Oct 20 7:20pm ET

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson should continue to see an unimpeded path to RB1 duties this Sunday against the Cardinals with both Carlos Hyde (shoulder) and Rashaad Penny (knee) unlikely to suit up. Carson was limited to just eight carries in his most recent outing, but that was primarily due to the nature of the game flow; fantasy managers can expect to see him rack up his usual workload and then some against Arizona. Having amassed three rushing and three receiving scores so far this season, Carson has retained a considerable role in the Seattle offense, with Travis Homer a distant second to cutting into his workload. Carson is a must-start in season-long formats and should have some considerable DFS appeal.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Oct 20 7:10pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is likely fresh after having his week off, but that wont change the fact that hell be squaring off with the NFLs premier run-stuffing unit Sunday in the form of the Buccaneers Defense. Tampa Bay has yielded an average of just 64.3 rushing yards per contest to begin the year, while Jacobs has amassed an average of 75.4 all by himself. Having carried the ball an average of 21.2 times per game, season-long fantasy managers needn't shy away from Jacobs, but those eyeing him on the DFS market may want to tread lightly. Despite his five rushing scores, Jacobs has yet to compile a 100-yard game on the ground this season after having racked up five such performances as a rookie in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Oct 20 7:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara costs a pretty penny in DFS for those fantasy managers who are attempting to slot him into lineups, and with good reason. Kamara is facing off against a Panthers Defense that ranks dead last in the NFL in DraftKings points per game allowed, making him arguably the top running back to target on the slate. Even with Michael Thomas (ankle) scheduled to return to the offense, Kamara should continue to see a sizable role as New Orleans makes the run game a primary focus. Looking ahead, hell face stouter competition in the form of Chicago and Tampa Bay over the following two weeks, yet he still remains one of the premier season-long fantasy assets due to his consistent pass-catching role.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Oct 20 6:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is set to make his NFL return Sunday against Washington after he was removed from the commissioners exempt list Tuesday. Dallas immediately added the pass-rusher to its active roster, hoping to reclaim some of the six-sack production that he delivered for the team back in 2018. Gregory had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL in February 19 due to repeated violations of the leagues substance abuse policy, but is now cleared to return to action. Even with the pass-rushing stylings of Gregory in the mix, the Cowboys Defense cannot be counted upon as a fantasy asset after having allowed at least 34 points in each of their last six games. In the best-case scenario, the unit can be used as a contrarian DFS play in hopes of honing in on their sack upside.

From RotoBaller

Carolina Panthers Oct 20 6:30pm ET

Carolina Panthers safety Juston Burris (ribs) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, but is expected to return at some point during the 2020 year. Burris has become an integral part of the Carolina secondary in his first season with the team, playing 100 percent of defensive snaps in four of his first five games. Without Burris in the mix, Jeremy Chinn should see a step up in usage, while Kenny Robinson was signed off of the practice squad and Sean Chandler was brought in from the Giants. With matchups versus the Saints, Falcons, and Chiefs, over the next three weeks, the Panthers Defense provided little fantasy intrigue regardless. The next chance that Burris could rejoin the mix comes Week 10 versus Tampa Bay.

From RotoBaller

Tae Crowder Oct 20 6:10pm ET

New York Giants linebacker Tae Crowder (hamstring) has been ruled out for at least the next three contests after he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday due to a hamstring injury. Crowder delivered the game-winning touchdown during Sundays win over Washington on a 42-yard fumble recovery, and he has compiled 18 tackles over his first five career games. His absence will give the Giants Defense a hole in its depth at the linebacker position, but irrespective of Crowders presence, the unit does not likely merit much fantasy consideration at this stage. The next chance that Crowder has to suit up will be Week 10 against Philadelphia.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Oct 20 5:10pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders designated quarterback Marcus Mariota (pectoral) to return from Injured Reserve and also signed former Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving to the practice squad on Tuesday. Mariota was brought in during the offseason to push Derek Carr for the starting gig, but the former Tennessee Titan got hurt before the start of the regular season. The 26-year-old former Oregon Duck should return to being a high-priced backup to Carr when he's healthy enough to return, pushing Nathan Peterman down to No. 3 on the depth chart. Carr has been solid for the Raiders, completing a career-high 73.1 percent of his passes for 1,442 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception through five games in 2020, so it'll likely take an injury for Mariota to see the field before the season ends.

From RotoBaller

Timmy Jernigan Oct 20 4:33pm ET

Denver Broncos DT Timmy Jernigan was released Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Kentrell Brice Oct 20 4:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB D.J. Foster (quad) and TE Justin Johnson (ankle) were activated from the practice squad Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20. OL Rick Leonard was also re-signed to the practice squad. To make room, Arizona released S T.J. Ward, S Kentrell Brice and CB Jalen Davis from the practice squad.

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MyCole Pruitt Oct 20 4:23pm ET

Tennessee Titans TE MyCole Pruitt was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Oct. 20.

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Christian McCaffrey Oct 20 4:13pm ET

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to play in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, but he 'has a shot' to play in Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons, according to NFL Network's Mike Garofolo.

Fantasy Spin: Garofolo is speculating the Panthers don't want to bring back McCaffrey from a month-long absence to have him play twice in five days and it makes sense. Of course, it would also make sense for Carolina to not put McCaffrey back on the field on a short week (Week 8) and give him even more time to recover from his high-ankle sprain. Fantasy owners should view Week 7 as the last time they'll get to use Mike Davis - presumably for the remainder of the season - barring an in-game aggravation of the injury down the road. McCaffrey will obviously return to the RB1 ranks as soon as he returns to the field.

From TheHuddle

DeSean Jackson Oct 20 4:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles OT Jack Driscoll (ankle), TE Zach Ertz (ankle), DT Malik Jackson (quad), RB Miles Sanders (knee) and S K'Von Wallace (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 20. S Marcus Epps (rib), WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (foot), OT Lane Johnson (ankle), CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) and LB Duke Riley (rib) were limited. The Eagles held a walkthrough Tuesday, so the report is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

MyCole Pruitt Oct 20 4:10pm ET

The Tennessee Titans activated tight end MyCole Pruitt and defensive back Breon Borders from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Pruitt will rejoin the 53-man roster and is eligible to play in Week 7 against the Steelers. In his three games with Tennessee in 2020, Pruitt has caught all three of his targets for 17 yards and a touchdown. The team's tight end depth could be tested this Sunday with Jonnu Smith (ankle) questionable due to a mild ankle injury, but even if Smith doesn't play, Pruitt will be a desperation tight end streamer with Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim also fighting for playing time against the undefeated Steelers.

From RotoBaller

Dion Lewis Oct 20 3:53pm ET

New York Giants WR C.J. Board (concussion), DB Adrian Colbert (shoulder) and LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 20. DB Darnay Holmes (neck) and WR Darius Slayton (foot) were limited. RB Dion Lewis (hand) practiced in full. The Giants held a walkthrough Tuesday, so the report is an estimation.

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Christian McCaffrey Oct 20 3:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to play in Week 7 against the Saints, which will be the fifth game he's missed since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2, according to sources. The Panthers are being cautious with their star running back, but McCaffrey is getting closer to a return and he could be back next Thursday against the Falcons. Carolina still needs to activate McCaffrey from Injured Reserve, and from there fantasy managers can monitor his practice status. Continue to be patient with the All-Pro running back, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the majority of fantasy leagues. Mike Davis continues to see a heavy workload in the absence of McCaffrey, and he'll remain in RB1 territory this Sunday against the Saints.

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Juston Burris Oct 20 3:23pm ET

Carolina Panthers S Juston Burris (ribs) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20.

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Dak Prescott Oct 20 3:10pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys sit at 2-4 after a Monday night drubbing at the hands of the Cardinals, and the players are starting to voice their discontent with head coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff. An anonymous player said, "Totally unprepared. They dont teach. They dont have any sense of adjusting on the fly." Another anonymous player said that "they just arent good at their jobs." Losing quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) for the season was a big blow, but Dallas' defense ranks 26th in yardage allowed per game and are dead last in points allowed after six weeks. They have a chance to take control of the weakest division in football the next two weeks with games against Washington and Philadelphia, but this is a situation to watch if things continue to go downhill in Dallas.

From RotoBaller

David Irving Oct 20 2:53pm ET

Free-agent DE David Irving (Cowboys) signed an undisclosed contract with the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

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Manti Te'o Oct 20 2:33pm ET

Chicago Bears LB Manti Te'o was signed to the practice squad of the Chicago Bears on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

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