In the off-season, players are looking for every opportunity to better themselves and better prepare themselves for the upcoming season. Menelik Watson and Ronald Leary did a little extra this past week, attending an exclusive event hosted by offensive line guru, Duke Manyweather.
This year more than 25 O-linemen gathered in Frisco for what can only be described as the antidote to Von Miller's annual pass-rushing summit. The three-day seminar was developed by Duke Manyweather and among the attendees were Broncos Ron Leary and Menelik Watson.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) July 23, 2018
The event, a three-day summit in Dallas was actually modeled after what Von Miller has started for pass rushers. Manyweather, who has an offensive line training facility in which he trains NFL linemen in the off-season, and Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson originally came up with the idea for the summit.
Met and learned from some of the best in the biz. @thebigduke50 Preciate the work this offseason #broncoscountry get ready... #65 #OLMasterminds pic.twitter.com/hLdzgexsI5— Ronald Leary (@BigLeary65) July 21, 2018
The event attracted attention from several prominent NFL linemen, and some former linemen as well. Geoff Schwartz, former Giants guard and now broadcaster/writer covered the event on the ground - check out his recap here.
I'm so pumped to share #OLMasterminds with y'all... 719 combined starts in the trenches together in a class room and on the field discussing everything offensive line— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) July 23, 2018
I have the details on the event right here! ⬇️⬇️https://t.co/ysJaaW1HXV
The host, Duke Manyweather was also the off-season trainer who worked with Ronald Leary last year during the transition from left guard to right guard when Denver bewilderingly asked the long-time left guard to make the switch.
Leary was one of the veterans at the summit which had a mix of both young and more seasoned players. From the video recaps, Leary added a lot of his knowledge and technique to the conversation.
Ron Leary @BigLeary65 and DJ Fluker @DJTheWarrior76 walk & talk setting against a wide/tilt shade in a 4-pt!— Duke Manyweather (@BigDuke50) July 9, 2018
This is what #OLMasterminds is all about, we are just few days away!#StrikeLeverageDriveFinish#EyesOnOLine
Full video ⬇️https://t.co/I1Q2oTb6HA pic.twitter.com/6CYSscISIZ
Ron Leary @BigLeary65 (Denver Broncos) talks importance of inside hand and foot in pass protection versus defenders who are exceptional with their hands!— Duke Manyweather (@BigDuke50) July 7, 2018
This is what #OLMasterminds is all about, few days away!
Full clip ⬇️https://t.co/ww6d8KNJzh#StrikeLeverageDriveFinish pic.twitter.com/4HyfxgEJqc
That’s all well and good, you might say, but what about the other Broncos lineman who attended?
Fortunately, Manyweather was on Orange and Blue 760 yesterday talking offensive line, and was asked specifically about how Menelik Watson looked.
The host who setup the question did so by prefacing that he had heard from folks in Denver that Watson was one of the worst linemen they had seen in years come through their facility.
Here’s what Duke had to say:
I tell you what, he came out here and he was a professional, in terms of his approach to understanding how to play guard (Denver has said they will likely move Watson inside this year). He understood where he had issues at in terms of making the transition, and he was all ears, asking questions, picking the brains of some of the older guys that have played guard.
Here’s something to realize about Watson, is he’s a guy who has battled a lot of injuries throughout his career. There’s a difference between training and getting better at a position, and rehabbing to get back. You spend so much time rehabbing just to get back that it takes away from your development, doesn’t matter what position that you play.
Manyweather also mentioned that Watson has been training with him down at his facility for about four to five weeks and that his work ethic has been exceptional.
The whole conversation with “Big Duke” was great. Check it out.
We all know about Watson’s struggles so far in his career, but it’s a good sign that he’s taking advantage of a healthy off-season by committing to work on his shortcomings and improve as a player. Having Ronald Leary as a mentor certainly will help as well.
Denver is going to need improvement from the entire offensive line as a unit this year. It’s good to see guys putting in the work this off-season that will hopefully pay off when the pads come on.