The Broncos drafted Tackle Garett Bolles in the first round (20th overall) in the 2017 NFL draft. The 25-year-old out of Utah was listed as the team’s starting Left Tackle, when the first official depth chart was released Monday. Bolles knows that, just because he is listed as a starter, doesn’t mean he will keep his job.
“I have four preseason games to earn my spot, so I’m just going to continue to work hard every single day,” said the rookie. “I have Ty Sambrailo and Don pushing me every single day. Until it’s official on Week 1, then that doesn’t faze me.”
Bolles goes up against OLB Von Miller in practice, and views the experience as great learning opportunities, saying he “learns every single day,” and that Miller is “the best player in the world for a reason.” Bolles continued to compliment Miller.
“Above all he does, he teaches me every single day. I go and watch film and I learn. Even from the plays that he beats me or other things like keeping my shoulders square or keeping my toes pointing forward, or the things I do right, we battle.” He called the competition a “win-win for the both of us,” and “every day, we go in the locker room and we talk about how practice went to the day. We’re good friends for a reason. It just makes me a better player.”
Bolles wants to focus on being consistent. He is “not really worried,” and stresses that “It’s just another game.” Focus is going to be a key factor for Bolles: “You’re just going into battle with your brothers. This is my first NFL game. I’m definitely going to have the hype behind me, but I just have to continue to keep my poise and know my guys are going to be to the left and right of me. I just have to continue to work hard and take every snap as if it is my last play.”
Thursday, August 10, will give Bolles his first opportunity to hit someone other than his teammates, when they play the Bears. He knows that the team can’t lose focus, and stresses that “camp isn’t over” even though they’re going to be preparing and focusing on the upcoming game.
“Camp is over next week. We have one game during camp. We just have to continue to work hard every single day. There are things I have to work on. There are things that everyone has to work on. I feel like we’re heading in the right direction. As the boys up front, we’re going to continue to work hard so that when Week 1 comes, we’re ready to roll.”
Bolles says that being at the top of the Broncos depth chart is “something that the coaches can worry about.” It’s important for Bolles that he is “playing and competing for my position every single day.”
“The good Lord puts me in the right places at the right time. I know that my friends, all those guys around me, are going to push me … I have Ty Sambrailo and Don. Those guys are great tackles. They’re here for a reason. They’re going to compete every single day and earn their starting job. They’re going to push me to earn my starting job. I’m just going to continue to push forward, work together, look at the things on film that I need to fix and fix them the next day.”
Asked about the differences of training camp between college and NFL level, Bolles responded to the question with a laugh. “It’s long days (laughing). You’re always in meetings,” he said. “It’s good. I feel like from college compared to the NFL, you learn a lot. In college, you don’t have that much time on the film. You practice more and you play more. You play so quick during the week. .. You have film you have to study. You have to watch your opponent. You have to go back and see the things you have to do.”
There are quite a few differences between college and the NFL, and a lot of the difference is the workload and the need to study every little detail. Bolles feels like he has “learned every single day” and has “gotten better, and better, and better. He likes where he is at and where he “needs to be on Week 1.”
The Broncos will need Bolles to bring out the best he can while on the field. After a poor year of offensive line play, there’s not really anywhere to go but up. The additions the team made on the offensive line were brought in to dominate the line of scrimmage. It’s up to Bolles and the rest of the line to show they are capable of being the best they can be.