The Broncos have dealt with injuries virtually all season, and that didn’t change in their Week 12 outing against the Los Angeles Chargers. Dalton Risner, Calvin Anderson, Teddy Bridgewater, and Melvin Gordon all were banged up and had to be evaluated for injury in this game, with Anderson and Risner being downgraded to out later on.
Forced to step in after being elevated from the practice squad just before the game, Quinn Bailey replaced Anderson in the first quarter and filled in admirably. It was such a stellar performance that Bailey earned a game ball for his play, as he held his own in pass protection and helped open things up in the run game.
On my own charting, I counted 15 pass protection reps with Quinn Bailey in the game. He allowed just two pressures on those reps. Both came at the expense of Uchenna Nwosu-one on an inside move and got powered back into Drew Lock, and the other to Teddy Bridgewater on a speed rush around the edge. There were only two reps where Bosa was the first engaged rusher, but he did pick up Bosa on a stunt early on. He didn’t even really totally lose the second rep against the outside rush, so all told, a pretty good day at the office in pass pro.
They didn’t run left side often once he entered the lineup, just 3 total designed runs to the left, but they went for 14 yards and he did a good job of moving guys and didn’t often lose reps in the run game, especially as the game went on. For what it’s worth, PFF has him with a 66.2 grade.
Mike Munchak's believed in Quinn Bailey from the start of the tackle's career with the Broncos.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 29, 2021
The way he played was absolutely worth the game ball. Usually, your best hope when a fifth-string practice squad player has to come in is that he just doesn’t get beat too often or that you’re winning by so much it doesn’t matter. The way Quinn Bailey handled himself speaks volumes about Mike Munchak’s ability as an offensive line coach. I do find it somewhat interesting that the Chargers kept lining up Bosa over Fleming at right tackle, as usually teams will move their best pass rusher over the worst tackle.
“He did a nice job. You’re talking about a guy who’s on the practice squad and dressed basically as the eighth lineman. ..[Austin Schlottmann] can’t play tackle, so all of a sudden, [Bailey] in there for a good bit of the game.,” head coach Vic Fangio said. “He went to the right guys. I don’t think he made any mental mistakes. He did a good job blocking and I really feel happy for him. This is a guy who’s been here now for two years. [He’s] a real quiet guy but takes his job seriously. I think [Offensive Line Coach] Mike [Munchak] and ‘Kupe’ (Assistant Offensive Line Coach Chris Kuper) have done a good job developing him. Mike [has] liked him from the start [and] feels he has a future that he can develop.”
There have been plenty of questions about the starting offensive line in Denver. Believe me, I’ve been at the forefront of many of those particular questions. However, the fact that the backups have oftentimes come in and looked great has been a welcome sight. Look at how Quinn Meinerz has made such a big splash so quickly. Calvin Anderson filled in for Bolles and had an excellent outing against Dallas. Now, Quinn Bailey has come in and performed admirably as well. All of these guys have been coached by Munchak their entire NFL careers. It’s showing in how ready they are.
Props to you, Quinn Bailey, for going in and proving your growth and showing up in a huge game. Props to Mike Munchak as well, for continuing to remind us why he’s one of the best in the business.