On Sunday, fans at Mile High booed.
They could have been booing at the lack of pass rush, the referees, or even the low intensity level of play that persisted late into the 4th quarter. Heck, fans could have booed the new stadium sponsor... but everyone knows why the fans were booing.
Broncos Country has seen enough of Garett Bolles-brand football. Hold, grabs, tackles, and otherwise sloppy play have resulted in drive-killing penalties that have cost the Broncos dearly. Unfortunately, a simple benching is unlikely because depth on the offensive line took a hit when Ja’Wuan James went down last week in Oakland. What can you do?
Fangio on Bolles: “He’s our left tackle and he’s going to be our left tackle.”— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) September 15, 2019
Bold strategy, Cotton.
So, if you can’t bench the guy, what can a coach do to hold him responsible for his sub-par play? When the offseason began, I, like many fans, was energized by idea of Vic Fangio re-instituting a culture of old-school accountability. Already, here at the conclusion of week 2, that culture is under considerable stress. Fangio is doing the right thing in publicly supporting Bolles, but you have to wonder what both are really thinking away from the cameras.
Garett Bolles: “I’ve built a reputation in this league of holding. I don’t agree with it.”— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) September 16, 2019
...and this is that Bolles says in front of the cameras.
Contrary to what he may or may not believe, he is not a victim. The league isn’t out to get him. His reputation is earned and every ounce of criticism he receives is deserved. In fact, he likely deserves more than he gets, because how many penalties that should have been attributed to Bolles have been erroneously awarded to other Broncos linemen?
Ron Leary deserves an apology.
What’s truly frustrating about Garett’s comments is that they aren’t the remarks of someone who understands that improvement is needed and expected. If you’re looking for a mea culpa, look elsewhere. These are the comments of someone who doesn’t get it.
Unfortunately for Vic Fangio, the Garett Bolles saga is one to which there is no easy solution. How do you motivate a player who doesn’t see apparent flaws within his game? Can you motivate that player? I have a lot of questions.
It’s either going to be an interesting next couple of weeks or it could be a very long season... probably both.
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