Let’s continue our coverage of each team’s coaching scheme.

If you didn’t catch the divisions already covered, just click the links below:

AFC East (this page also includes a glossary of offensive and defensive schemes)

AFC North

AFC South

Moving on…

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Head CoachVic Fangio2nd year
Offensive CoordinatorPat Shurmur1st year
Defensive CoordinatorEd Donatell2nd year
Offensive SystemWest Coast Offense 
Blocking SchemeZone 
Vic Fangio -- HC    Pat Shurmur -- OC   
Category2017 (CHI)2018 (CHI)2019 Category2017 (MIN OC)2018 (NYG HC)2019 (NYG HC)
PointsDCDC28 Points101619
PaceDCDC25 Pace251010
Pass AttemptsDCDC27 Pass Attempts2199
Passing YardsDCDC29 Passing Yards111119
Rushing AttemptsDCDC14 Rushing Attempts22930
Rushing YardsDCDC20 Rushing Yards72419

Offensive Breakdown: After a two-year stint with the Giants which ended on a down note due to a rash of injuries throughout the season, Pat Shurmur is bringing his west coast scheme to Denver and will remain focused on the offensive side of things. He doesn’t use a run-heavy style, but he does put an emphasis on making sure the run-game is working to set up play-action downfield. When he was the OC in Minnesota in 2017, he ran the ball 47-percent of the time which was fifth-highest that season. You’ll see a mix of 11 and 12-personnel formations and lots of outside zone runs to feature the speed of both Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay .

Through the air, you can expect a lot of three and four-receiver sets with overlapping routes and quick-cuts – high-percentage pass-plays – to help move the chains. That traditional west coast feel plus the strong ground-game will open things up for more play-action downfield. Given the depth and speed at wide receiver and tight end, Shurmur is going to be able to give a lot of different looks to the defense and potentially confuse defensive backs in coverage.

Players Who Fit the System Best: Melvin Gordon , Phillip Lindsay , Courtland Sutton , Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant

Defensive System: 3-4 base with multi-front looks and zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: While Ed Donatell may be the DC, this is Vic Fangio’s defense and it has one proven to be very effective – so long as everyone stays healthy. With players like Bradley Chubb and Von Miller , he likes them to move his players between the line and linebacker while confusing offenses with a variety of looks. You didn’t know if he was coming at you with an all-out blitz or if he was dropping seven into coverage.

Coverage-wise, he’ll float between different schemes with the Cover-2 likely being the one we should see most often. Chris Harris is gone but A.J. Bouye and Isac Yiadom can handle the primary coverage responsibilities and both can handle press-man coverage if asked. Justin Simmons has blossomed into a fantastic safety who can help take the pressure off the corners against top-flight receivers.

Players Who Fit the System Best: Bradley Chubb , Von Miller , Bryce Callahan , Justin Simmons

Kansas City Chiefs

Head CoachAndy Reid8th year
Offensive CoordinatorEric Bieniemy3rd year
Defensive CoordinatorSteve Spagnuolo2nd year
Offensive SystemWest Coast Offense 
Blocking SchemeZone 
Andy Reid -- HC    Eric Bieniemy -- OC   
Category201720182019 Category201720182019
Points615 PointsRB COACH15
Pace301418 PaceRB COACH1418
Pass Attempts17915 Pass AttemptsRB COACH915
Passing Yards736 Passing YardsRB COACH36
Rushing Attempts232327 Rushing AttemptsRB COACH2327
Rushing Yards91623 Rushing YardsRB COACH1623

Offensive Breakdown: The base of Andy Reid’s offense is actually quite simple. He likes a high-volume ground game with your typical West Coast-style passing (short, quick routes) that set up play-action and larger plays downfield. Where it gets confusing for the opposition is in all the pre-snap motion they like to use to keep the defense on its heels and looking in multiple directions.

From a fantasy perspective, this is exactly the type of offense you want to buy into. Over the years, we’ve watched him develop some amazing fantasy players from Jamaal Charles and Priest Holmes to Kareem Hunt and Damien Williams . Even Spencer Ware flashed some talent inside this system. Reid’s offensive line is versatile and can open up plenty of running lanes as well as pull to the outside and block downfield. While there have been times when he has rotated running backs, he tends to prefer to stick with one primary runner. This year doesn’t seem like one of those times, though. Having both Williams and Clyde Edwards-Helaire gives him two strong pass-catching backs which, in-turn, will open more options for the offense.

With defensive fronts struggling to contain the run, the short, quick passes end up yielding bigger gains as guys like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce gain separation and pick up extra yardage after the catch. There’s so much to monitor for a defensive unit, the bigger plays downfield are tougher to defend and you see greater success for the Chiefs offense.

Players Who Fit the System Best: Patrick Mahomes , Damien Williams , Tyreek Hill , Travis Kelce

Defensive System: 4-3 with zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Last offseason, the Chiefs made a bold move changing defensive coordinators, going from long-time NFL coaching veteran Bob Sutton to a well-travelled Steve Spagnuolo. Spags found tremendous success during his tenure as the Giants DC and is often credited with being the guy behind that huge Super Bowl upset of the Patriots that cost Bill Belichick and Tom Brady their perfect season.

The Chiefs moved to a four-man front with a Cover-4 base as Spags likes to put a ton of pressure on the opposing quarterback. The blitzing was aggressive and, in the end, the Chiefs seemed to solve their issues in pass coverage. In fact, they finished sixth overall in pass-coverage last season. Unfortunately, it was a detriment to their run-stopping abilities, as evidenced by their ranking of 29th in the league on the ground.  

Players Who Fit the System Best: Frank Clark , Alex Okafor , Anthony Hitchens , Baushad Breeland, Tyrann Matthieu

Las Vegas Raiders

Head CoachJon Gruden3rd year
Offensive CoordinatorGreg Olson3rd year
Defensive CoordinatorPaul Guenther3rd year
Offensive SystemWest Coast Offense 
Blocking SchemeFlex 
Jon Gruden -- HC    Greg Olson -- OC   
Category201720182019 Category2017 (LAR)20182019
PointsN/A2824 PointsQB COACH2824
PaceN/A2530 PaceQB COACH2530
Pass AttemptsN/A1621 Pass AttemptsQB COACH1621
Passing YardsN/A1810 Passing YardsQB COACH1810
Rushing AttemptsN/A2311 Rushing AttemptsQB COACH2311
Rushing YardsN/A2513 Rushing YardsQB COACH2513

Offensive Breakdown: Jon Gruden likes using the traditional west coast offense with a heavy lean on the run and it’s worked for the most part, given the personnel he’s had on the roster. The running game saw significant improvement with the addition of Josh Jacobs and should continue its upward trajectory, but last year’s aerial attack left little to be desired, save for tight end Darren Waller . Gruden went out and drafted himself some serious weapons in Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards as well as the versatile Lynn Bowden, so the hope is to see some stark improvements in both the short, quick routes as well as downfield.

Obviously, this scheme requires improved play on the offensive line’s part. They weren’t awful last year as they ranked inside the top-20 for pass-blocking, but it is yet to be seen if all that was really lacking from this offense was the speed in the receiving corps.

Players Who Fit the System Best: Derek Carr , Josh Jacobs , Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller

Defensive System: 4-3 with zone coverage

Defensive Breakdown: Paul Guenther’s scheme will remain the same as it has been since he and Gruden arrived. He likes to bring the pressure and will have a variety of different blitz packages, though he does love his double-A-gap blitz which helps put his edge rushers into more one-on-one situations. What is changing is the personnel with which he uses to attack. The Raiders had trouble stopping both the run and the pass and while Gruden spent his draft capital on offense, he jumped into free agency to fill the gaps on defense.

Before Gruden started making moves, he did make on strong coaching change in bringing in Rod Marinelli to handle the defensive line. Marinelli then had Gruden bring in Maliek Collins from Dallas in an effort to shore up the interior to plug the run. They also brought in Cory Littleton who should provide an additional boost up the middle. In the secondary, they added Damarious Randall who should make things easier for second-year corner Trayvon Mullen. Overall, this secondary should do a much better job this season.

Players Who Fit the System Best: Clelin Ferrell, Maliek Collins , Cory Littleton , Damarious Randall , Jonathan Abram

Los Angeles Chargers

Head CoachAnthony Lynn4th year
Offensive CoordinatorShane Steichen1st year
Defensive CoordinatorGus Bradley4th year
Offensive SystemRPO-Infused West Coast/Pistol Hybrid 
Blocking SchemeZone 
Anthony Lynn -- HC    Shane Steichen -- OC   
Category201720182019 Category201720182019
Pass Attempts82411 Pass AttemptsQB COACHQB COACHQB COACH
Passing Yards1107 Passing YardsQB COACHQB COACHQB COACH
Rushing Attempts191928 Rushing AttemptsQB COACHQB COACHQB COACH
Rushing Yards241528 Rushing YardsQB COACHQB COACHQB COACH

Offensive Breakdown: Perhaps Anthony Lynn is feeling the burn of the coaching hot seat, because this offense has had a major overhaul. True, much of it has come from the transition of Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor /Justin Herbert, but we also had some coaching adjustments made as well. Steve Steichen took over for Ken Whisenhunt mid-season last year, but following the Chargers dismal 2019 season, Lynn brought in James Campen to take over the offensive line. In addition to the coaching change, the team went out and added Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga to man the right side of the line and with a healthy Mike Pouncey at center, things should be looking up.

Steichen is playing copy-cat with the Ravens’ offensive scheme which better suits his personnel. They will use the same RPO-infused West Coast/Pistol hybrid Greg Roman installed as both Taylor and Herbert are significantly more mobile than Rivers ever was. Taylor is already familiar with the scheme as it is similar to what Roman ran when the two were in Buffalo together. Using the pistol will afford the quarterback some additional time to see what the defense is actually doing and we’ll see plenty of running from both QBs, along with Austin Ekeler and his backfield mate, whoever wins out between Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley.

The passing attack with feature short, quick high-percentage passes to help move the chains and that, plus the ground attack, should open things up for deeper plays downfield. Similar to the ravens last year, there are limited passing targets for the Chargers so you should see tight end Hunter Henry get worked in just like Mark Andrews was in Baltimore. Teams struggled to contain the Ravens, but the Chargers are still transitioning personnel, so it may take some time to fully develop.

Players Who Fit the System Best: Tyrod Taylor, Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen , Hunter Henry

Defensive System: 4-3 with a Cover-3 zone

Defensive Breakdown: While Gus Bradley won’t be changing up his defensive scheme, he did work with Lynn on getting in the right personnel. Veteran lineman Linval Joseph will be a major boost to the interior and stifle the run, linebacker Kenneth Murray was a nice pick-up in the draft and can be a tackling machine, while Chris Harris joins the secondary. A healthy Nasir Adderly will also help cover the middle of the field. With improvements all around, you can expect Bradley to be very aggressive with edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram .

Players Who Fit the System Best: Joey Bosa , Melvin Ingram , Chris Harris , Derwin James