Jared Veldheer believes his play at right tackle can step up another level this year with the Broncos - thanks in part to a particular edge rusher.
You probably already know who I’m talking about.
“It definitely helps when you have the best pass rusher in the NFL to face off against every day in practice,” the former Arizona lineman said on Orange and Blue Radio. “I’ve got to go to the line of scrimmage, be sound technically, and then I’ve just got to battle too...because you can go through your technique and a guy like that can just get into a second or third move - or have a nasty first move. So far it’s been a challenge, and it’s been good.”
And Veldheer has a good idea just what it is that makes Von Miller so elite.
“I think the explosiveness is what makes an elite rusher - someone who can close space fast,” Veldheer said.
But closing the space so fast requires another dimension that goes beyond athleticism; it goes to instinct - and mentally processing the play extremely fast.
“He is just naturally really explosive and very good at processing things quick. He knows exactly what to get into at the right time,” Veldheer said. “There’s no thought, it’s just natural, it’s just ‘boom.’”
Weekly reminder of how huge Jared Veldheer is. pic.twitter.com/FGFMCH8IWq— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) June 4, 2018
And while Miller is helping Veldheer hone his craft on the right side (after switching from years playing left tackle), the Broncos’ new gigantic right tackle is helping the young linemen next to him hone theirs - and he feels really good about the potential and progress.
Connor McGovern has proved to be a great communicator - and Veldheer admits it’s rare they aren’t on the same page during a play.
“I feel like we’ve been able to move some guys on double teams and stay in front of guys on twists, and that’s what you want to be able to do with the guy playing next to you,” Veldheer said.
He added that he’s also enjoying helping Garett Bolles find his way in the NFL because he believes the left tackle is going to be really good.
“It’s been awesome. Garett’s future is going to be great. He has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl left tackle for a lot of years,” Veldheer said. “He moves extremely well, has good hips, has a good knack for protecting the QB. His future is going to be very bright.”
The best part of all these good vibes on the O-line, however, is the result on the field. After a week of camp, including a mini scrimmage on Sunday, the offense has already shown huge improvements over recent seasons and has even been challenging the Broncos’ defense.
Veldheer gives his quarterback a lot of credit for keeping the defense on its toes with an up-tempo pace during the “move-the-ball” drills.
“Case is back there, he’s a brilliant guy, and he’s able to see what the defense is in and get us into a good play and just keep doing that over and over,” Veldheer said, adding that continuing that tempo forces the defense to “not relax” and have “to be into it” the entire series. “I think that will be very beneficial for us this season.”
It also gets the offense into a positive rhythm that is (thankfully) hard to contain.
“It’s awesome once you get that momentum,” the right tackle added. “It’s like you can’t be stopped - like a snowball rolling down the hill - until you get into the end zone.”
More snowballs into that end zone, please!