The winless (0-2) Denver Broncos have traveled to Wisconsin to face the undefeated Green Bay Packers (2-0) this Sunday. In today’s Broncos on the Rox episode, I discuss the biggest issue on offense: Garett Bolles.
Following back to back losses from the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears, the Broncos have a glaring weakness at the left tackle position on the offensive line. Garett Bolles drew 4 holding penalties (most in a single game since 2004) in last week’s loss to the Bears. After reviewing game film, it can be argued that Bolles could have received many more holding penalties throughout the course of the game.
The holding penalties stem from bad habits. Too many times, Bolles wrapped his arm around the neck of Khalil Mack while getting beat one on one. He has also gained the reputation for illegal play, by tackling and throwing defenders to the ground. His pass sets are the exact same on every play, allowing any defender an advantage. Bolles opens the gate with his hips, allowing for a rusher to maximize leverage and work up-field. In the running game, Bolles fails to execute proper hand placement and gets caught with his hands outside of the defender’s shoulder pads.
“With our depth the way it is at this point, that’s probably not an option,” Head Coach Vic Fangio said about replacing Bolles. “That could be a possible move, but it’s one of the reasons we brought Rodgers up was to not have to do that move. “I think he suffers from him thinking he’s in good position sometimes and dumps the guy at the end where he thinks it’s a legal block. We have to do a better job of explaining that to him. He’s got to do a better job of listening to the explaining, but I think he can.”
One theory suggests that when Ja’Wuan James returns from injury, (knee) that he can be moved to left tackle. Bolles would be benched, and Elijah Wilkinson would remain at right tackle (where he is currently playing) next to Ron Leary.
But, the Broncos cannot wait several weeks for Ja’Wuan James to be healthy. Whether that be shuffling players around, playing Jake Rodgers, or acquiring another player, something needs to happen. Insert “player x,” in the starting lineup at left tackle and imagine if that player could play any worse than Bolles.
If changes aren’t made, is it realistic to expect winning results?
NFL Analyst and former Bronco Mark Schlereth said that Broncos Country needs to, “stop holding (number) 72 accountable and hold the front office accountable. They drafted him and are continuing to play him.”
While Bolles may have the support of his coaches now, the potential for toxicity to creep into the locker room is there. All players and coaches must be held accountable, in the organization. When that doesn’t happen, coaches loose their teams.
The fact is, one player is consistently under performing at the detriment of the entire team.
The Packers lead the NFL in quarterback pressures (44) after 2 games. This Sunday, Green Bay defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will unleash a fierce defensive attack on Garett Bolles.
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