With free agency pretty much behind the Denver Broncos, they have had to introduce a few new faces to the media and fans. Graham Glasgow was the first major true free agent signing by Denver and he definitely fills a big need.
“Graham is a big, powerful and tough ascending player who was one of the top interior offensive linemen on the market,” Elway said. “Over the course of his pro and college career, he’s shown incredible durability and been very productive. Graham’s best football is ahead of him and he fills a big need for us.”
In years’ past, this would have occurred in person, but due to coronavirus these are necessarily via conference call. Glasgow played mostly center, but it quickly came out that Denver hopes to play him at guard this season. The switch is more difficult than one would expect as he explained why on Thursday.
“Contrary to what a lot of people would say, I think that it’s actually a bigger switch than people would like to let on—primarily the biggest difference being the differences in blocking a three technique verses blocking a one shade is pretty sizable,” Glasgow said. “I think that you get a lot better pass rushers out of that. With the current way that teams are going, you see a lot of four d-ends walking around. When you’re a guard, there’s a lot less help. You’re not really getting helped as much. When you’re a center, you’re mainly just giving help. In the pass game, I would say that it’s definitely more challenging to play guard, but in the run game I would say playing center is a little bit harder. I think that establishing the—in a lot of ways center is a lot more mentally taxing than physically. You need to know what’s going on and you’re setting the scheme for everything. That’s something I have always enjoyed doing. I think that kind of describes the difference between the two. Technique-wise, there’s always technique differences between the two positions but interior is pretty similar other than those little differences I brought up.”
Coming to Denver, Glasgow will join an offense that is full of youth and potential. None more important than second-year quarterback Drew Lock. What Glasgow noticed most from Lock’s first five games was how important the run game is to opening things up.
“I thought that the way that they—first thing’s first—I thought that they ran the ball really well in the game,” he said. “I remember seeing quite a few big runs in big games by I think it was Phillip Lindsay. I thought that their offensive line played really well that game. I thought that he had some big throws particularly on third down I think it was that was pretty impressive for me. I’m usually looking at a lot of my own plays when you’re on the sidelines trying to talk about their defense, but I thought that they were putting up a lot of points and they were putting a lot of pressure on us, which is telling me that they were doing something right.”
In that late December game, Drew Lock didn’t have to do much. He threw for 192 yards and a touchdown, but it was Phillip Lindsay who had the big day with 5.7 yards on the ground as he racked up 109 on the day adding a touchdown for himself. The Broncos were down 17-13 in the fourth quarter, when Lock and Lindsay engineered a comeback to seal the win 27-17.
Maybe the most important part of this introductory conference call was Glasgow’s comments on how much different a guard can make for overall offensive line play.
“I feel like when you have good guard play, you’re running the ball well and you’re having particularly good double teams which helps make creases for the running back,” Glasgow said. “I think you don’t really contribute to the benefit of a lot of long yardage runs because you find that that’s more on the edges and blocking of the safeties. That’s how you get those 15, 20, 30-yard runs. The guards make it so that you—the guards and the centers in particular can make it so that you have less minus yard runs which helps the average. I think that there are a lot of very good pass rushers in this league at three-tech. When you’re not—I think that the guards in general can help. You can’t always get help on those guys so having particularly good guard play helps in the passing game a lot too because there are guys like Aaron Donald who had over 20 sacks two season ago and Chris Jones is in the division. He’s an extremely good player. Good guard play helps an offense out a lot.”
Nothing devastates an offense more than interior pass rush. With Glasgow on one side and upstart Dalton Risner on the other, the Broncos have the makings of a fairly impressive interior offensive line. If they can add a potential starter at center in the 2020 NFL Draft, then things could be looking good for a while there.