© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
The major question when it comes to the Denver Broncos remains the offensive line.
With the first day of training camp in the books, the success of this football team starts and ends with the offensive line; especially when you consider four new starters are in place.
Two of those potential starters are rookies, in left tackle Ty Sambrailo and left guard Max Garcia. Sambrailo, who was drafted in the second round out of Colorado State, is in the spot he’s in because of the season-ending injury to Ryan Clady. Talk about learning on the job.
Garcia, drafted out of Florida, will get the chance to earn the starting job at left guard in a competition against veteran Shelley Smith.
The benefit for Sambrailo and Garcia is the organized team activities and mini camp that allowed them to get their feet wet prior to jumping in head first at training camp. Of course, when the horn goes off for that first practice, it’s unlike anything either have experienced in football.
“It’s a great opportunity for them,” Peyton Manning told the media after the first training camp practice at the UC Health Training Center. “They’re going to get a lot of opportunities to play this year. I think the good thing for both of those guys is they have had a lot of repetitions going back to OTAs due to the injuries that were unfortunate, but it did allow them to get in there early in April and May as opposed to getting a lot of reps in, say, September.”
What will aid in the growth of both Sambrailo and Garcia is practicing against some of the best defensive linemen and linebackers in the NFL, against a defense and scheme that will test veteran offensive linemen let alone rookies.
“I think that’s his strength,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said of Sambrailo. “He’s very bright. I think football scheme, all of those things … I made a comment, he’ll be a quick study as a pro and he is. He’s going to be fine there. I think it’s going to be about technique. Playing with an anchor, doing those type of things, he’s got to get better at. But he’ll go against two of the best every day in practice, so that gives him a chance to get there real fast.”
And that’s exactly what John Elway and Kubiak want at this point from this team.
“It was one day of practice,” Manning said. “But I know those guys are working hard. They stayed here during their break, between OTAs and here. Both of those guys have worked hard in the weight room. I always like being around young football players.”
While the first day of training camp didn’t answer the major question facing this team, the Broncos are confident Sambrailo and Garcia will rise to the occasion.
“Both of them are very composed guys for young players,” Manning said. “I’ve never seen a wide-eyed or puzzled look on their face. They have a calmness about them and that’s a good quality for a young offensive lineman.”