FanPost

Offensive Line Changes, Depth - Questions and Answers

I have decided to write this short little piece because of the recent notes at practice of different alignments by our starting O Linemen. I feel pretty confident that we will be retaining two tackles and one guard as backups. My reasoning is based on the talent we have in camp, who has shown up so far - and also our Starters versatitly. If we were to start the regular season right now and make roster cuts down to 8 Offensive Linemen, these are the linemen I foresee making the team:

Ryan Clady
Zane Beadles
J.D. Walton
Chris Kuper
Orlando Franklin

Chris Clark
Ryan Harris
Manny Ramirez

(Phillip Blake) - In the event we actually keep 9. I think Blake slips to the PS though, and I doubt he will be grabbed by another team.

A little reasoning for these selections:

Q: Why two tackles and one guard?

A: Orlando Franklin.

When we drafted Orlando Franklin, and I went and watched as much college highlights on him as I could find on YouTube. I was absolutely certain that Beadles hand't quite survived the new Regime and was destined to be a backup at best.

I was wrong.

Whether it was because Harris was in a contract year and the Broncos weren't going to overpay, or perhaps that Fox and Company actually liked Beadles inside, I am not sure. But for whatever reason, we ended up letting Harris walk away and put Franklin at Tackle as opposed to Guard. This wasn't the way I envisioned it after last years draft, but I stayed optimistic, hoping big Franklin could quickly learn the nuances of pass protection on the perimeter.
I still think his natural strength is on the interior. That's the biggest reason we keep two tackles and only one interior lineman.

And let's be honest, most of the bodies we have in camp playing in the interior are pretty lack-luster.

An In-depth Breakdown of Scenarious after the Jump:

So here are a plethora of different scenarios, and the way I think we would handle them given the above 8 (or 9) OL. All of these scenarious assume injuries to starters. Injuries to a combination of starters and backups, i'm not really going to go over those, because just the starters is complicated enough. This is also assuming we make NO roster moves. (I do have a couple scenarios where I mention activating Blake, which obviously at that point we could activate another Guard from the PS as well - but since I have no clue who that guard might be, I left that option out.)

Q: Clady goes down with an injury?
A: Chris Clark steps in. (I tend to think Clark has the edge on Harris when it comes to the left side, and possibly even the right side as well, which you will notice as I leave him as an option for RT subs with Harris)

Q: Beadles goes down with an injury?
A: Alignment shift, Harris or Clark comes in:
LT: Clady
LG: Kuper
C: Walton
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Q: Walton goes down to Injury?
A: I see two possible scenarios, depending on if Blake makes the team, and also depending on how confident Fox is with Beadles experience at Center, which he has some.

Option #1:
LT: Clady
LG: Kuper
C: Beadles
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Option #2:
LT: Clady
LG: Beadles
C: Blake
RG: Kuper
RT: Franklin

Q: Kuper goes down?
A: While it is entirely possible this could just be an easy sub of calling Ramirez number, there is the chance that we could see:
LT: Clady
LG: Beadles
C: Walton
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Q: Franklin goes down?
A: Harris or Clark steps in.

Now... here is where it really starts to get hairy. Let's say we lose two linemen to long-term injuries...

Q: Two Tackles?
A: We have a couple of options:

Option #1 - Less likely
LT: Clark
LG: Kuper
C: Walton
RG: Ramirez
RT: Beadles

Option #2 - More likely
LT: Clark
LG: Beadles
C: Walton
RG: Kuper
RT: Harris

Q: Two Guards?
A: I only really see one option here...
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez*
C: Walton
RG: Franklin*
RT: Harris/Clark
*I think its possible we could see Ramirez and Franklin at either LG or RG in this event, but I chose RG, to keep continuity with other possible injury scenarios... which might help explain why we see Franklin practicing at RG as opposed to what he played in college: LG

Q: A Guard and a Tackle?
A: Obviously just this scenario alone must have multiple options depending on who gets injured.

Option #1 - Clady is the tackle injured.
LT: Clark
LG: Kuper or Beadles
C: Walton
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris

Option #2 - Franklin is the tackle injured
LT: Clady
LG: Beadles or Kuper/Ramirez
C: Walton
RG: Kuper or Ramirez
RT: Harris
(The reason this looks confusing is because if Kuper goes down, Ramirez comes in. But if it is Beadles that goes down, we may see Kuper go to the left side if Ramirez is better at RG - since Kuper is getting practice at LG in the event of other injury scenarios).

Q: A Guard and Center?
A: Couple options here. An important note here is that Beadles has experience playing Center. Now whether or not Fox and Company trust him to play Center for us, is entirely different. If we don't retain Blake at least on the PS, then I assume that Fox and Company trust either Beadles or Kuper/Ramirez playing center.

Option #1 - If the Gaurd is Kuper
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Beadles
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Option #2 - If the Guard is Beadles...
LT: Clady
LG: Kuper/Ramirez
C: Ramirez/Kuper - or a straight sub for Blake, if we have him.
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Q: A Tackle and a Center?
A: Options again.

Option #1 - The tackle is Clady
LT: Clark
LG: Kuper/Ramirez
C: Beadles
RG: Kuper/Ramirez
RT: Franklin

OR....

LT: Clark
LG: Kuper
C: Beadles
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris

Option #2 - The Tackle is Franklin
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Beadles
RG: Kuper
RT: Harris/Clark

Option #3 - if Blake somehow makes the final 53 and they prefer him over Beadles
LT: Clady/Clark
LG: Beadles
C: Blake
RG: Kuper
RT: Franklin/Harris/Clark
Depends on which tackle goes, down, but should be straight subs like in our one-man-injured scenarios.

Q: Two Tackles and a Guard?
A: If Beadles is the guard, Kuper can shift, If not it's a straight subs across the board.

LT: Clark
LG: Beadles/Kuper/Ramirez
C: Walton
RG: Kuper/Ramirez
RT: Harris
This would be ideal if we were to get three injuries on the offensive line, as you are about to see in the next couple scenarios...

Q: Two Guards and a Tackle?
A: Multiple options here... you might want a strong stomach from here on out...

Option #1 - Clady is the Tackle
LT: Clark
LG: Ramirez
C: Walton
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris
This goes back to my reasoning that Franklin's versatility is key for our OL depth and substitutions. This is a relatively simple fix, even if painful to see.

Option #2 - Franklin is the Tackle... dun dun dun... Roster adjustments might begin here.
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Walton
RG: Clark/Harris?? Blake, if he's on the roster???
RT: Harris/Clark

Q: Two Tackles and a Center?
A: Yikes... only two options:

Option #1 - If Beadles can play center.
LT: Clark
LG: Ramirez/Kuper
C: Beadles
RG: Kuper/Ramirez
RT: Harris

Option #2 - If Blake makes the roster or if Beadles can't play center - which I think he can in an emergency.
LT: Clark
LG: Beadles
C: Blake
RG: Kuper
RT: Harris
Ugly, but at least it's simple straight subs...

Q: Two Guards and a Center?
A: This is pretty nightmarish...

Option #1? - At this point we would all be thinking "THANK GOD WE HAVE BLAKE" - we hope.
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Blake
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris

Option #2? - Blake didn't make the team, or got swiped from the PS by another team... a.k.a.: ****!
LT: Clady
LG: Clark/Harris??
C: Ramirez???
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Option #3?? - If Blake isn't possible for above mention reasons AND Ramirez can't play center...
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Clark/Harris ??? - Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Q: A Guard, a Tackle, and a Center?
A: I feel like I'm playing the game of risk...

Option #1 - The Tackle is Clady, the Guard is Kuper.
LT: Clark
LG: Ramirez** Beadles
C: Beadles** Blake
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris
**This depends on if Beadles can play center or not. If he can't then I see Blake coming in, if we don't have Blake then again... CRAP.

Option #2 - The Tackle is Clady, the Guard is Beadles.
LT: Clark
LG: Kuper/Ramirez
C: Blake/Ramirez
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris

Option #3 - I am starting to think we might need to hang on to Blake... because if not, same as above without Blake:
LT: Clark
LG: Ramirez/Kuper??
C: Kuper/Ramirez??
RG: Franklin
RT: Harris/Clark

Now remember... I did say STRONG STOMACH...

Option #4 - The Tackle is Franklin, Gaurd is Kuper, no Blake.
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Beadles
RG: Clark?
RT: Harris?

Option #5 - Tackle is Franklin, Guard is Kuper, we have Blake.
LT: Clady
LG: Beadles
C: Blake
RG: Ramirez
RT: Harris/Clark

Option #6 - Tackle is Franklin, Guard is Beadles, no Blake - God I hope not!
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez
C: Kuper
RG: Clark/Harris?
RT: Harris/Clark

Option #7 - Tackle Franklin, Guard Beadles, we have Blake!
LT: Clady
LG: Ramirez/Kuper
C: Blake
RG: Kuper/Ramirez
RT: Harris/Clark

Q: Injuries to a combination of starters and backups (anything involving either 3 Tackles, 3 Guards, or 2 Centers)?
A: Your guess is as good as mine, and there are WAY too many scenarios to go over!

Q: More than 3 OL injuries?
A: If we have Blake, we might be able to swing something crazy, if not PS activations, FA acquisitions - plain and simple.

As you can see, most of these scenarios hinge upon two important factors: Franklin's versatility to play both inside and outside. Beadles ability to play Center. If Beadles can't play center, then we are going to rely heavily on the fact that Blake makes the final roster or is safe on the Practice Squad. Because I don't think we want to see Ramirez or Kuper at center. At that point, we might as well play one of our talented tackles at Center - since we have Clark and Harris to sub for them on the outside. I don't even want to imagine that...

I hope you all enjoyed Lemony Snicket's serious of unfortunate events. Let's pray that none of these scenarios ever need to come up, especially not multiple linemen... and definitely not multiple interior linemen! Feel free to discuss and debate amongst each other!

As always, GO BRONCOS!!!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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