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Broncos' line nothing short of offensive at times

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  • Broncos' line nothing short of offensive at times

    On the NFL injury front, referee Brad Allenis expected to be out four to six weeks because of a rotator cuff injury. Allen suffered the injury Sunday, throwing an in- ordinate amount of flags after Denver penalties.

    I think Orlando Franklin was called for a penalty while you just read that silly paragraph.

    At times this season, the Broncos' offensive line has been just that, and against the New York Jets, man, there were more yellow flags than at an LSU tailgate.

    "Some of them are presnap — it could be with the snap count, false start, not being set," Broncos coach John Fox said Monday. "It is professional football. Those are ones we need to be better at."

    Something's up. It's not like it's one weak link making mistakes — four of the five offensive linemen drew penalties in the victory at New York, including two by Ryan Clady.

    Oh, and there was that botched snap by Manny Ramirez.

    Oh, and the one guy who didn't commit a penalty, Chris Clark, dubiously leads Denver with five penalties this season.

    Oh, and there were a couple of plays when Peyton Manning was running for his life as if he was Archie Manning with the New Orleans Saints.

    "We're 4-1," Fox asserted. "(But) it's all cause for concern. There are areas you always want to improve at. I don't think it's anything as deficient as some people on the outside talk about and write about."

    Sure, having a shaky offensive line while still having Manning & Co. could be the equivalent to what the kids call "first-world problems," such as "My Instagram app won't load, so just where am I going to post my selfie?" But let's remember that Denver led the Jets by only seven points late in the fourth quarter. The Jets. The next three opponents are the San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots.

    I'm not calling for the benching of Clark, not yet. And I don't expect the Broncos to make any face-lifts on the offensive line, since they're still adjusting to the changes they made in the offseason. It's worrisome, though, that such stalwarts now have warts, be it the penalties or occasionally shaky blocking of former all-pros Louis Vasquez and Clady. It was basically assumed that 40 percent of the line would be impeccable and immovable.

    Are the Broncos playing down to their competition?

    Are the offensive linemen lacking the hunger and discipline they showed a season ago?

    And, of course, we haven't even gotten to run blocking yet.

    Yes, Ronnie Hillman ran for a sterling 100 yards Sunday and was bailed out by receiver Andre "Bubba" Caldwell, who recovered the running back's fumble. That should earn Bubba a round with Bubba Watson at an all-you-can-eat dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., while watching "Police Academy" and the hilarious antics of Bubba Smith.

    But according to Pro Football Focus, the middle of the line graded out horribly against the Jets — Franklin (minus 1.4), Ramirez (minus 5.9) and Vasquez (minus 1.4).

    And we remember September, and the Montee Ball days. And we know that developing the run game is a vital task for the Broncos. And we heard what Manning told The Post's Mark Kiszla about how the Jets' scheme (putting linebackers in pass coverage) was "basically kind of laughing at your running game." And we know that at times, tight end Julius Thomas has struggled as a run blocker, though you can't keep that guy off the field.

    "He doesn't even give the appearance that it means anything to him, and that's what blocking is — wanting to," Broncos Ring of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe recently said in a phone interview. "You don't have to be the greatest technician, but you've got to care, just a little. He couldn't block the sun out of his eyes."

    Again, if these are problems, most teams would like to have them.

    Then again, Denver isn't just "most teams."


    http://www.denverpost.com/hochman/ci...nsive-at-times

  • #2
    When Beadles left, the Broncos announced they would move Franklin to LG and Clark to RT. They had about sixteen or seventeen O-Linemen in TC, but they stuck with Clady-Franklin-Ramirez-Vasquez-Clark as the starters. Based on preseason games, it seemed clear to me that Denver would keep the nine O-Linemen who ended up on the roster.

    They signed Montgomery and drafted Paradis in the sixth round. Montgomery made the team and Paradis went to the PS. I thought they could have signed him as an UDFA, but they had him in a for a couple of visits and liked him. Another guy they could have signed as an UDFA was Dillon Farrell who was picked up by the Niners and made their roster. We may see him Sunday night.

    Vinston Painter has impressive measurables, but those haven't translated into effective play on the O-Line yet. He was initially added to the PS, but was signed to Cleveland's roster.

    Those who watched the O-Line during preseason should not have been surprised when Paul Cornick made the roster. So far, he is the only backup O-Lineman to see the field on game day as a TE reminiscent of Chris Clark in 2011 on the unbalanced line. Cornick has played RT, LT and TE.

    Guard Ben Garland has been inactive as has Michael Schofield. I think all of Garland's game snaps in preseason were at LG. Schofield has experience at LG and RT at Michigan. He has good technique, but seems to lack the necessary strength at this point.

    Orlando Franklin was a very good run blocking RT who must now learn to pull opposite from the LG position on angle blocked run plays. Chris Clark was a very good backup LT who must now learn to down block from the RT position on angle blocked plays. The current O-Line seems to be more of a pass blocking rather than a run blocking line.

    Clady and Ramirez are learning to play next to Franklin, and Vasquez is learning to play next to Clark. They are building chemistry and it is a work in progress.
    Last edited by samparnell; 10-18-2014, 08:22 AM. Reason: spelling
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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    • #3
      Originally posted by samparnell View Post
      When Beadles left, the Broncos announced they would move Franklin to LG and Clark to RT. They had about sixteen or seventeen O-Linemen in TC, but they stuck with Clady-Franklin-Ramirez-Vasquez-Clark as the starters. Based on preseason games, it seemed clear to me that Denver would keep the nine O-Linemen who ended up on the roster.

      They signed Montgomery and drafted Paradis in the sixth round. Montgomery made the team and Paradis went to the PS. I thought they could have signed him as an UDFA, but they had him in a for a couple of visits and liked him. Another guy they could have signed as an UDFA was Dillon Farrell who was picked up by the Niners and made their roster. We may see him Sunday night.

      Vinston Painter has impressive measurables, but those haven't translated into effective play on the O-Line yet. He was initially added to the PS, but was signed to Cleveland's roster.

      Those who watched the O-Line during preseason should not have been surprised when Paul Cornick made the roster. So far, he is the only backup O-Lineman to see the field on game day as a TE reminiscent of Chris Clark in 2011 on the unbalanced line. Cornick has played RT, LT and TE.

      Guard Ben Garland has been inactive as has Michael Schofield. I think all of Garland's game snaps in preseason were at LG. Schofield has experience at LG and RT at Michigan. He has good technique, but seems to lack the necessary strength at this point.

      Orlando Franklin was a very good run blocking RT who must now learn to pull opposite from the LG position on angle blocked run plays. Chris Clark was a very good backup LT who must now learn to down block from the RT position on angle blocked plays. The current O-Line seems to be more of a pass blocking rather than a run blocking line.

      Clady and Ramirez are learning to play next to Franklin, and Vasquez is learning to play next to Clark. They are building chemistry and it is a work in progress.
      Always good to hear your insight, Coach Parnell.

      There are times I worry about the O-line holding up, possibly being the reason we don't make it back to the super bowl. We didn't spend any money in free agency help the O-line, which was a major reason we had no success in the super bowl. When both of your tackles are literally being pushed back and into Manning, you're going to have a looong, loong day. Of course, Ryan Clady back is huge, but the only FA they brought in was Montgomery. I thought at the very least they might bring in some battle tested guys, or at least a solid RT tackle. Orlando Franklin did a good at RT, but I guess they lost confidence in because of his super bowl performance? Just seems like the biggest problem we had in the super bowl was the O-line and protecting Manning, and we did very little to address the problem, just hope it doesn't come back to bite us in the rear.

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      • #4
        There are some basic things about the OL I do not like

        On one sack against the Jets we had our #40 running out on a pass play just outside the tackle. The tackle was playing the defender to the outside. The defender made a quick inside move and sacked our QB. What annoys me about this is when we were winning Super Bowls the back would have chipped that rusher 100% of the time allowing the tackle to play more to the inside which imo would have stopped that sack. I remember Moreno chipping allot after he was inactive for allot of the season but besides that I personally do not see any Bronco RB chip that much since Shanahan+Dennison left. Shoot when Gibbs was here I remember backs running between the tackle an guard to get a chip on a real nasty to handle DT/NT. I really do not get why Rb chips on rushers do not happen more often.

        On another sack I saw the LT and the LG double team one Jet rusher. This left the Center one on one vs another rusher and the RG doing nothing. The Center was beat cleanly for a sack. I am not sure if anything is wrong with this scheme but the Center is hiking the ball and considering how good our LT is supposed to be you would think the Center would be getting help before the LT.

        I am not a coach, I do not know what the call was or how we were suppose to adjust to the defense...but it does seem our problems are more then just the talent and execution of the OL.
        Time to build on the win and grow the team from some solid play higher level of play

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