The topic this week will likely involve a lot of Garett Bolles. In easily his worst game of his three-year career, Bolles was called for at least four holding penalties, but got away with far more than that if you watch the film. It was an embarrassing performance for him.
With little recourse in the depth department, the Denver Broncos have little choice but to continue trying to get him to improve his pass blocking technique. As we broke down in a post last week, his tendency to turn perpendicular to the line at the snap is how he puts himself in bad position time after time in pass protection.
Since the team has so few options on their roster to play tackle, they have no choice but to continue supporting him and will continue to try to help him use better technique.
- Head coach Vic Fangio voiced his support in offensive line coach Mike Munchak in figuring out how to get Bolles to learn from his mistakes and improve his overall game. Although, I’d argue that this kind of learning should have happened all offseason and it is a little late to figure out how to pass block now two games into the regular season.
“We have the best offensive line coach in the business here (Mike Munchak), and Garett’s going to learn from this game. They have some good players and he’s going to learn from it. He’ll move on, but he’s our left tackle and he’s going to be our left tackle and he needs to play without holding. Again, I haven’t seen the plays that he was called for, so my comments are a little bit of the ignorant nature right now.”
- While many fans, us included, eviscerated Bolles for the egregious penalties, he did come out and take some responsibility for them. I say some, because he also said he didn’t think all of the calls were legitimate. In watching the game, I would have to disagree with him on that and also point out that the refs let him get away with the holding far more than they actually called it.
“It was frustrating. I’ve built a reputation for myself in this league of holding. I disagree with it, to be honest. There are some calls I disagree with, and there are some things that I understand. I have to go back and watch the film and see what I can do. But I have the best O-line coach in the National Football League with Coach [Mike] Munchak. I’m grateful for him. I know he’s going to get me on the right path and just believe in me. I know my teammates believe in me, I know my coaches believe in me, I know the front office believes in me. I’m going to turn this around. I promise you all that. I promise Broncos Country that. I promise my teammates that. That was just unfortunate that they keep coming after me, but it is what it is. Like I said, I disagree with some of them. I’ve got to move forward and get back to work on Monday.”
- I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt on that first response above, but then when he was asked about what his process is mentally when moving on from penalties I about lost my mind. Part of me just thinks he doesn’t get it and never will. His technique is consistent. Consistently bad. For him to think he has done a phenomenal job proves he has no idea what he is looking at when he watches himself on film. 2019 is going to be tough to watch on the left side for us fans. But, I guess, it is what it is. Just focus harder on that next play, Garett.
“To believe. I think I’ve done a phenomenal job this year from last year of just being consistent. I think that was the thing last year, I would go one play and then there would be another flag the next play. I just feel like bad plays are going to happen. It is what it is. It’s football. Not every play can be perfect, but I feel like if you just continue to move forward and continue to put your head first and know that the next play is all that matters. If one play is a bad play, you can always just get back to the next play and do the job that you’re supposed to do.”
- For 2019, Garett Bolles is an issue the team will just have to overcome. Realistically, the issues he has run far deeper than just improving technique and the offense is just going to have to overcome. Joe Flacco noted that when the team is on the field for a big drive, you just cannot make those mistakes. He hopes they’ll learn from this and improve, but hey, that’s just football. It is what it is, Joe.
“There are just things you have to overcome. When you’re going against a tough defense and you’re not having four-play touchdown drives, you’re going to have these long drive if you want to score the ball. You have to make sure that you can stay within yourself and not make mistakes if you’re having a 12-play drive, and we’re just not there yet. That’s part of it. The beautiful thing about football is it is a team sport. It’s the ultimate team sport. There’s no blame on one guy and there’s no credit on one guy. We are in this together. We’re going to pick him up and support him. I think he fought hard that entire game and went against some pretty good pass-rushers and did a pretty good job. You have to think about it in that way. If it’s your family, your son or your brother or your sister or your daughter, your wife. You make mistakes. You help them, you don’t push them to the side and leave them out to dry, so that’s all part of it.”
Bolles is now entering year three and it does seem like his technique has gotten worse and he remains flippant about why it continues to plague him. I just don’t see how even Munchak can fix these issues.
My solution would be to just keep trying to overcome Bolles’ play until Ja’Wuan James is healthy again. He has played left tackle before, so slide him over to the left side and let Elijah Wilkinson play on the right side. Bolles can then sit on the bench and work on that next play.
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Will Garett Bolles ever figure this out?
This poll is closed
Yes, just give him more time.
Not a freaking chance.