ENGLEWOOD, Colorado. News today broke that RG Michael Schofield has been replaced by Max Garcia. At this point, it appears the starting line-up will be LT, Garrett Bolles, LG, Ron Leary, C, Matt Paradis (fingers crossed), RG, Max Garcia and RT, Menelik Watson. The transition and this line is about power gap and who has the best size for it.
It also says that protecting the QB is equal to run blocking since Bolles and Garcia are better at it then pass protect. With the top edge rushers being in our division and lining up on the right, it’ll be up to Watson to keep Lynch upright. With that said, Bosa, Huston and Mack do move around and if Bolles is the weak link, they will target him.
Based on him saying he’ll protect the QB like his wife, good luck with that. I do think Bolles could consume Mack in a weekly feast with some chianti and some fava beans, so he appears to be up to the job.
With Max’s new roll, he seemed stoked about this new offensive mindset when he said, “Pretty much not taking crap from anyone. Whether it be going against our defense or just going against anybody that lines up next to us, really just not taking any crap. Just going in there, playing our game and running things. I’m going to be able to prosper a little bit more and just be able to use my physicality a little bit more.[We’ll] be able to play a more vertical game instead of playing horizontally.”
That last comment gives the clue on why him and not Schofield. Garcia may be able to do better in pass protection because this gap scheme isn’t as dependant on ‘sliding’ the feet. He also has a hands on coach in technician guru, Jeff Davidson. That may be the difference.
He didn’t sound thrilled in the transition, but hey, it’s better than sitting the bench, Max. “Right now, it’s tricky. I wanted to get into my left stance when I’m working in drills, but just have to remember to work out of that right stance. It’s not a huge difference, but it is a difference. I feel like I did better on the right side my rookie year and then last year, I played all left. Obviously I feel a lot more comfortable playing that left just after last season. Nothing is set in stone. I’m always willing to make a change and do whatever I have to do to make the team prosper.”
However, he then added this, which is good to hear.
“I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it at all. Really, I’m a team player. That’s really what it boils down to. I just see it as a part of the game. It doesn’t matter to me.”
On the importance of knowing the starting five on the offensive line before training camp. “Even when we made our Super Bowl run, we didn’t have a starting left guard and then they brought in [former Broncos G] Evan [Mathis] five days before the first regular season game. It’s good to know who you’re going to be playing with to build that chemistry. At the end of the day, you learn the system and just go.”
He gave big kudos to Strength and Conditioning Coach Luke Richesson. “He’s the man. I don’t see why other people go other places to go train when you don’t train in the altitude, but you play in the altitude. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I just stayed here, worked out here and was around. I was just trying to show my face and get familiar with the staff.”
“It’s been one of those undertones that we really didn’t address but now it’s been brought to the forefront. We have to do our job. We have to carry our own weight and pretty much make a name for ourselves. When the game is on the line, we want to control that. We don’t want to just give it up to the defense. It’s been like that in the past, but we definitely want to change that mentality and that attitude.”
As an aside, Ron Leary is a BIG MAN. A wall of beef. I was inches from Max Garcia once and he’s a big guy, but Leary looks like his big brother. Bet the former Memphis Tiger never thought someday he’d be protecting an alumnus. Not like there’s a history of Tiger QB’s in the pros.
Both Garcia and Leary talked about the importance of having a set offensive line and building the chemistry so they’re on the same page and think alike every play. It takes time to build that, so the sooner one starting line-up is in place, the better. However, while Leary stressed how important it was, he glossed over not knowing who the QB would be. (good PC answer, Ron).
He remarked that the mentality of the OL,”it’s always as a group on everything with the o-line. We’re just going to try to get that mentality that we’re physical, that we don’t take anything from anybody. I think once we develop that in the offseason, it will carry over to the season.”
As a BIG man he had this to say about the city of Denver
“I’m loving it. I looked at the weather in Dallas and it was like 107. I’m loving this weather. The altitude is a work in progress, but I’ve gotten a lot better with it working up here for the last couple months. I love Denver. I couldn’t ask to be in a better place.”
Full presser below.