Among the best story lines in the offseason was the return of Ryan Clady, something Manning himself has lauded as outstanding news. But just where the rest of the offensive linemen will play is a bit of a mystery, but one that should be decided by the end of training camp.
InRodWeTrust joins again to talk about this ongoing question and ever-present dilemma - who plays where?
There's been a lot of discussion about who will play where on the O-Line. Who do you see starting?
I think you only have two positions in lockdown this year - Clady(LT) and Vasquez(RG) - which makes for some exciting competition in this year's training camp.
I believe Orlando will be starting somewhere but if he can't make the switch to left guard, Chris Clark has every opportunity to beat him out. Personally I see Orlando killing it at left guard as he has played guard in college and can hammer opposing defensive linemen into road kill specials.
Orlando's biggest proof, to me, will come in his ability to pull and get to the second level, because as much light as people make about the run game in today's NFL, we will not be able to get to or win another Super Bowl without it. I say that because no matter how freaking amazing Manning is, he will have bad days. He will have the best minds in the NFL game-planning against him, so we must give him balanced support!
That leaves right tackle and center. Chris Clark most likely will win the right tackle position as he showed some skill at left tackle. I think Manny did a great job at center given his experience at the position, but he or someone else will need to be better. We need a consistent anchor on our line (without help) before we set sail and a humanity plow to win us close games in fourth quarter. I get the feeling Matt Paradis has all the tools to beat out Ramirez either this year or next.
Which lineman are you most excited to hear about during camp? Why this one more than the others?
Ryan Clady is without a doubt the name on my mind when thinking of NFL training camp. Though Chris Clark did a great job trying to fill his shoes, there is only one sweet feet. Our line without Clady looked passable right up until it really counted, and then we missed Clady so bad it hurt...literally, in PFM's case. I won't feel right about this year until I see our only blue chip O-lineman back in full brick wall mode.
What is your take on whether rookies Michael Schofield and Matt Paradis can make this team? And what would you want to see from them in Camp to know they're going to be potential roster-makers?
Elway likes his picks, and though he has cut a few, I doubt he will even try to sneak any one of his 2014 picks onto the practice squad after the Travaris King debacle.
I do think Paradis has a real shot to be starter on this team at some point, and Schofield should end up as some much-needed depth despite his rather lofty 3rd-round status.
I want to see these kids show some quick feet and quick minds. We need to upgrade the talent on this line because the Super Bowl exposed some serious Swiss in our cheese.
Manning is very happy to have Ryan Clady back. How big of a difference do you think it makes on our O-line to have him there? Why/why not?
I would say a huge difference. We can't give double-team help to everyone on our line; we need players who can shutdown the best pass rushers in the game by themselves every week. Clady has proved he can do that!
Who is your "player to watch" among all the linemen? Why?
Since I already said Clady's return was creating the excitement, my curiosity leads me back to the switch from tackle to guard for Orlando.
Potential is a word used commonly in the NFL when talking about unknowns. Unless you tap that potential, it's just a discarded battery - if you hook it up wrong, it might work OK but it may never show its full capabilities.
I thought Orlando did OK at right tackle, but he might just find the perfect fit at guard and zap our team's run game right into the winning side of Super Bowl history!