It is no secret that the Denver Broncos offensive line struggled mightily in 2015 and John Elway has done quite a bit to shake things up along the line this offseason. The one position he didn't shake up was where Matt Paradis played every single snap last season.
Paradis is now the veteran Bronco on the line and he believes this line will get much better in 2016.
"I’m very excited about this group we’ve got," Paradis said. "We’ve got a lot of smart guys, athletic guys and guys that are going to work hard. It’s hard to give you an exact [example] of how better we’re going to be, but I think we will be better."
Having played every snap in 2015, sort of puts the three-year player into a leadership role. He is also the only true starter to still be the starter on the offensive line heading into this season.
"I think there are a couple of us that shoulder that," Paradis said of his leadership role. "Trying to get the O-Line together and do some stuff as a unit and build that cohesion because like you said, we’ve got a lot of new guys. Just looking that from my rookie year, it’s myself and Schofield. The only guys back from that year and that have been there for that long. Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of turnover. We’ve got to build that cohesion and unity."
Paradis will likely be sandwiched between two second-year players in Max Garcia and Ty Sambrailo, so much of those leadership responsibilities will be directed towards those two players.
"That will be huge," Paradis said of having Garcia and Sambrailo back. "Those guys—Max, they’re not calling him a starter, but that’s how we viewed him last year. He was a starter in our eyes. He played a bunch. Ty, before his injury, was a starter. Those guys got a lot of snaps under their belt and have a head start on that cohesion."
The Broncos also signed two veterans to take on the outside, which is where the line struggled the most last season. Paradis felt those veterans would pick up the offense just fine.
"I think we’re ahead of where you would think we would be," said Paradis. "We’ve got a lot of guys that—especially on the O-Line—have been in this type of scheme before with Okung. We have a lot of guys that are back from last year. The quarterbacks will be fine. They just have to get use to the terminology."
Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro from The Afternoon Drive were also on hand to ask Paradis a few questions. Their focus was clearly on the running game as it is no secret that Gary Kubiak wants to run the football next season.
"That’s something that will work itself out," Paradis said of the running game. "I don’t know the exact percentages. We’re going to run the ball. That’s our focus. As far as drafting a running back high, that’s just something we’re not too worried about. We’re just playing."
The Broncos should run the ball a lot more in 2016 and Paradis already understands that.
"I don’t know what our percentages were last year," said Paradis. "We’re going to run the ball. That’s going to be our focus. Whatever that percentages turns out to be, if that turns out be more than last year, then probably."
Eric and Les discussed the running game in greater detail in this next segment, discussing the percentages the Broncos ran the ball last season.