Broncos News: Offensive Line Must Learn to Protect Manning

 @http://twitter.com/jtalty on June 13 2012 11:42 AM
Peyton Manning
Mar. 24, 2007 http://www.hulu.com/watch/1493/saturday-night-live-peyton-mannings-monologue Reuters

Peyton Manning might have the most difficult job this year -- gaining the trust and support of the Denver fans.

However, on the field, the Denver Broncos offensive line will also be facing the biggest obstacle of their careers.

They need to protect Manning.

Having gotten used to a run-driven quarterback like Tim Tebow, the youthful offensive line must now learn how to block for a pocket-passer, and enable him enough time to throw the deep ball.

Although many expect the transition to be entirely different, left tackle Ryan Clady believes that his adjustments and style of play will not change.

I'm just going to try to stay to the same spot, run the guy by the quarterback's zone, or keep the guy inside, Clady told the Denver Post. Not too much of a difference.

After giving up 49 sacks last season between original starter Kyle Orton, and comeback-kid Tebow, the Broncos need to make crucial adjustments to protect the still health-wary Manning.

There were a couple of things here and there that could have been better, but overall it was solid, Clady said. There's always room for improvement, and that's what I plan on doing this year.

During this year's draft the Broncos organization selected Philip Blake, a center from Baylor University, to compete with two-year starter, J.D. Walton.

Walton was expected to have a big year last year, but was never able to meet expectations.

When asked about his future starting role in Denver, newly acquired Blake shrugged off the competition, and ensured that he will do whatever needs to be done for his team.

I don't really think about it too much, I just try to do my job here, Blake said to reporters.

Canadian-born , and already 27 years old, Blake is expected to win the job over Walton, after having snapped the past couple of years to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.

Beyond the competition within the inside of the line, the ability to protect Manning is still at stake.

Quarterbacks like Manning require large chunks of pocket time to get the play off, and with their newly-installed no-huddle offensive scheme, their conditioning and endurance will be put to the test.

Besides various scrimmages throughout training camp, the Broncos offensive line will not face live action until their first preseason game against the Chicago Bears on August 7.

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