Offensive Line – Get to know who you are and be solid on being yourself.


Offensive Line – Get to know who you are and be solid on being yourself.

Here we go with several analysts that are already claiming that for the first time on Elway tenure, the Broncos will address the Oline with a first round pick.

First of all I personally think that the Broncos could actually look early on for offensive linemen, men, not only one man. A lot is depending and will depend on how healthy and good to go Ryan Clady and Ty Sambrailo will be, coming draft time. This because many people forget that the Broncos have both of them on IR and they could come back and be both starters, moving Schofield to a backup role or having him battling with Sambrailo for the RT spot.

But apart how it will shape the line and who the Broncos will acquire and how many new faces, apart this conversation I would like to underline one unspoken thing: the Denver Broncos just won the Superbowl with a non-stellar Oline.

The Superbowl champion Oline was made of 6, at best 7, players: 1 C, 3 G and 3 T. Ryan Harris never played LT before and was a almost retired player before the Broncos called him during 2015 training camp. Schofield at times played so poorly that several past Broncos players were pointing at him as a wasted pick in the 3rd round of 2014 draft. Tyler Polumbus was cut that the Falcons after training camp and before that years ago was cut by the Broncos too. None of the T is or was a Pro-Bowl caliber player.

As far as Gs, Evan Mathis had a kind of rollercoaster season, some great things and some poor performance too. At one point there were analysts commenting that the Eagles did right cutting him…..just for the next week see Mathis leading Broncos RBs with open field blocks for great gaining of yards. Louis Vasquez was All-Pro two years ago and is actually a much better fit as power blocking and less suited to be a zone blocking G, still he was adequate through a season full of injuries. Luckily the Broncos drafted Max Garcia with a 4th rounder compensatory pick in the 2015 draft. I was not high on him at all but he had the zone blocking scheme written all around him and interview several times with the Broncos before the draft. For a rookie he came and played greatly down the stretch before getting hurt himself too.

Matt Paradis at C started every game of the season after being a practice squad member as a rookie and has been good enough in the running game but had quite few blackout moments in pass protection.

In total the Oline was thought to be one of the worse fielded by the Broncos since the Shanahan era. Moreover the Broncos are known to give an high importance to the Oline since the Shanahan era, since undersized Olines won back to back championships.

This year looked like the Broncos were not at the level and that this unit was the worse unit fielded by the team.

Instead we’re forgetting that they have been good enough to win it all. Yep, win it all.

What strike me is that watching them playing it looked like they knew that they were not dominant, that they were able to made some strides but they would not be able to hold on one entire game, that the opponent defense would give them fits.

Somehow they were living with it and getting stronger by that knowledge. They gel between themselves knowing their shortcomings and just looking after producing enough to get in place to win games, each and every week.

To me it teaches that, maybe, if you have a defense that it’s really good and the right team mindset, what the Broncos called “grinder” mindset: not giving anything for granted and never giving it up, then having a Oline where Pro-Bowler are starring on Sundays is really an overestimated factor: a team need a Oline that knows its limits and lives with them, being them not big enough to prevent the team to be able to play for the win.

In 2013 and during those playoffs games, the Broncos were able to field an Oline that were performing as a dominant unit, until getting to New York and being dismantled by the Seahawks defense and having one of the worse performance in Superbowl history.

This year Oline was really pedestrian compared to that one, but won the Superbowl, they won it in a ugly way but they were good enough to allow the team to win.

It takes knowing who you are as a unit, living with it and not faking to be better than yourself and devote a lot of time to work trying to be ready, on Sundays to get that extra yard that enables the offense to succeed.

Thanks 2015 Oline!!!!

Go Broncos!!!!

Advertisements

About this entry