The Afternoon Drive talked with Broncos Guard Max Garcia recently about how he's feeling this offseason compared to last year. Many Broncos fans, including several MHR writers, see the offensive line as the Broncos weakest link again this year. You can argue that the Bronocs O-line has nowhere to go but up from last year, but there is still a lot of unknowns about this group. Only Center Matt Paradis will (most likely) be returning from last season at the same position, and several key players such as Russell Okung and Ty Sambrailo are coming off of injuries.
Garcia is looking forward to a bit of consistency this year that he hasn't experienced in years.
Last year was a lot of trying to, you know, grasp the ropes and kind of like catch my breath with everything. I felt like everything was happening so quickly. Now I feel more confident. And it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to stay in the same offensive system, being taught by the same offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. I’ve had a lot of change throughout my college career so that’s what I’m actually most enjoying about this offseason is I get to stay with the same offense, use the same terminology, and really just work on improving and not learning a new system.
Garcia certainly had a rollercoaster of a rookie season in 2015 playing with two very different quarterbacks on a line that struggled the entire season. Garcia played both left guard and right guard in a rotation with veterans Louis Vasquez and Evan Mathis (both of whom are not on the team this year). If all goes well Garcia will not have to switch back and forth from left guard to right guard this season - a potential change Garcia described as "beautiful".
Just from a preparing standpoint I know where I’m going to be. I’m going to set at left guard and so I just work on my technique from there. I don’t have to make up hypothetical situations.
Garcia was in a position last year to learn from Vasquez and Mathis. Hopefully he will be able to take a big leap forward this year and bring some stability to the left guard position. The Broncos are currently trying to see if Ty Sambrailo can transition from tackle to guard and Connor McGovern is also in the mix for a starting guard position. If Garcia, Sambrailo, or McGovern aren't working out the Broncos may need to turn to Michael Schofield. I actually love the idea of Schofield having a breakout season after such a rough go of it last year, but I'd much prefer to see Garcia, Sambrailo or McGovern excel in training camp and stay injury-free.
The Afternoon Drive also took a look at Broncos Wide Receiver Cody Latimer's unfortunate recent un-paid traffic ticket incident.