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Tale of the Tape: Ronald Leary

Breaking down some film of the Broncos recently acquired guard

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We’ve analyzed the contract situation of the Denver Broncos first free agent signing of 2017, but what about what he brings on the field? I’m glad you asked!

Today we’ll take a look at some tape of Ronald Leary and see just what he brings to the Broncos.

The two words I would use to describe Leary, after looking at his film, are power and savvy. He definitely packs a punch in the run game, but is also a savvy veteran in his technique.

Let’s dive in.

Run Blocking

You can see from the clips above his quickness and ability to get up into the second level in the run game.

The clip below demonstrates the savvy that I was talking about.

Dallas will run a stretch zone to the right. Tyron Smith the LT has a very difficult block. He has to cross the 3-tech DT and cut him off from pursuing the backside of the play.

Leary is uncovered so he will help Tyron with a double team, then peel off to the second level to catch the linebacker.

I absolutely love this. Look at Leary’s technique. He can’t turn and put his play-side shoulder into the block on the 3-tech because he has to stay in position to chase the linebacker. So he stays square with his eventual target, while giving a stiff arm to the 3-tech so that the LT can cut him off.

Also notice how well the line works together. Tyron Smith knows to wait until Leary has given help and peeled off before cut blocking so as not to get a chop block call. The timing and execution is flawless between the two and it’s a savvy move by both players.

This play absolutely shatters the myth that Leary was only good because he played between All-Pros. This play, he made the All-Pro LT look good and did his job perfectly.

This next one demonstrates Leary’s power in the run game.

Here Dallas will run a split zone to the right and Leary is responsible for clearing out the NT.

Here is the point of impact when Leary first engages the NT. Take note of where they are on the field relative to the hash-mark.

Now look where the 300 lb NT ended up after Leary threw him across the field.

Look at that enormous hole that Ezekiel Elliot has to run through. Trent Richardson couldn’t miss that hole.

The last run play was brought to my attention by Oline scout, Brandon Thorn.

Dallas is running a stretch zone to the left, and Leary is going to work to the second level to take out MLB, Ryan Shazier (#50). He destroys Shazier in the hole, and Zeke runs right through for a touchdown.

Zeke will get the fantasy points and stats for that play, but that touchdown was all Ronald Leary.

Open Space

I wanted to show this play just to highlight Leary’s movement ability in open space. For a big guy, he is very nimble down the field.

Once again, he springs a key block for a touchdown.

Pass Protection

While Leary is more well known for his run blocking prowess, he holds up fairly well in pass protection too.

In the play below Leary takes on Shazier on a blitz. Shazier is an explosive player and initially gets Leary to give some ground, but you can see once Leary gets locked in and rolls his hips forward to stand him up, it’s over.

The next play, is one that will make fans that have been cringing over Max Garcia’s ability to pick up a blitz happy.

This is great recognition and recovery to catch the twisting blitz coming from all the way across the formation. He gets just enough of the blitzing linebacker to take him out of the QB’s throwing lane, allowing him to deliver the throw, and also avoid a hit.

The last play, below, is one that might perhaps go unnoticed. Nothing of note really happens on this play with Leary. However, I love his technique and his awareness through this pass protection rep.

Watch how his head is constantly on a swivel. O-line people call that “looking for work”. No one is directly in his area, so he is bouncing back and forth looking for work and not letting anyone slip by to get to his QB, who threw a 50 yard TD on this play, by the way.

Leary immediately carries the DT over to the LT and once he is secure, he snaps right back to the right to look for a blitzer, or a stunt, or to see if the center needs help.

This is the kind of technique and veteran savvy we were missing at guard last year.

So there you have it. I hope this gives you a better idea of what Ronald Leary can bring to the Broncos this year; and hopefully, you like what you see. I sure do.