This season, Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles has been flagged 11 times for penalties. 10 out of the 11 penalties have been for holding, while 1 penalty was for a false start. Following a loss to the Bears in week 2, Bolles was flagged 4 times for holding.
Adding to Broncos Country’s frustration, Bolles stated in a post game interview, “I’ve built a reputation for myself in this league for holding. I disagree with it to be honest. It’s unfortunate that they keep coming after me. But, it is what it is. I disagree with some of them, and I’ve got to get back to work.”
Not much has changed for Bolles who has accrued 6 penalties in the last 3 games for the Broncos. He continues to struggle in pass protection sets against mediocre to elite pass rushers.
Tennessee Titans left tackle Tyler Lewan has also drawn attention from referees and defenders for the wrong reasons. He’s been flagged for a team high 9 penalties in 6 games this season.
Last Sunday against the Chiefs, Lewan was flagged 3 more times, once for unnecessary roughness, and twice for holding. Despite upsetting the Chiefs 35-32, Lewan was very frustrated and immediately addressed the media following the game.
"My penalties are a f---ing problem. ... I am completely screwing the team ..."— ESPN (@espn) November 11, 2019
—Titans OL Taylor Lewan went off on himself. pic.twitter.com/6hpFrs4jw3
“Before we even start this whole thing, my penalties are a (expletive) problem. And it’s killing the team. I know that. You guys know that. No one needs to call me out on anything, because I got it. I am completely screwing the team with the amount of penalties I’ve had. It’s crazy. It’s horrible. I cannot get penalties. I’m sorry, there’s no need to ask about it because I know I’m an absolute liability when it comes to penalties.”
While it was refreshing to see Lewan embrace his mistakes and take accountability for his poor performance, Broncos Country remains frustrated with Bolles.
Each game, Bolles gives the perception that there is nothing wrong with his style of play, or performance. After receiving a penalty, Bolles can usually be seen with his hands in the air, or waiving off the referees.
It seems that the 2017 1st round draft pick, can’t recognize that his current path is leading towards career self destruction.
While Hall of Fame Guard and Broncos Offensive Line Coach Mike Munchak was hired to teach Bolles technique and fundamentals, he can’t coach players that aren’t willing to learn from past mistakes.
Now that Lewan’s interview has gone viral, Broncos Country is left wondering...
What if Bolles threw himself at the mercy of his team and Broncos Country with an honest assessment of his performance and approach?
Would such actions ensure more snaps, and begin to build accountability with teammates?
Both questions are hard to answer, as the Broncos will play 7 more games in the 2019 season. While Garett Bolles is athletic and full of potential, he must embrace accountability to coaches and teammates.