Front Page Forums General Discussion Revamping the offensive line has become an annual rite of spring i

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    This time Chuma Edoga Jersey , it appears to be paying off.Rediscovering a balance that was elusive almost all last season, the Broncos rushed for 146 yards — all but four of those from rookies Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman — and passed for 329 yards in their 27-24 win over Seattle . The Broncos’ 470 yards of offense were their most since Peyton Manning retired after the 2015 season.It all started up front, where all five O-linemen played all 74 snaps and drew zero penalty flags.“Offensive line was incredible,” said quarterback Case Keenum, who was sacked just once. “It was awesome to watch those guys. There were some plays where I had so much time in the pocket. I’m going to be so excited to watch the film and see those guys play.”The Broncos allowed a whopping 52 sacks last season, an average of more than three a game, prompting them to make several changes in the offseason.Coach Vance Joseph replaced O-line coach Jeff Davidson with two coaches, one (Chris Strausser) to focus on the tackles and another (Sean Kugler) to tutor the centers and guards.General manager John Elway jettisoned oft-injured Menelik Watson despite a nearly $7 million salary cap hit and traded for ninth-year right tackle Jared Veldheer.They moved guard Ron Leary back to his natural left side, making room for Connor McGovern, their strongest lineman, on the right side and giving a big assist to second-year left tackle Garett Bolles.And their anchor — center Matt Paradis — participated in the entire offseason program for the first time since college after undergoing double hip surgery two summers ago.The tackles didn’t commit a single penalty, something that was a common occurrence last season.“Jared played really well and Bolles did some good things. He blocked his guy. He’s got a couple of mental things he’s got to clean up, but as far as tackles, we played really well,” Joseph said. “We had one sack and the one sack was on the quick game and the ball should have probably been in the flat.“So, offensive line-wise, I’ve been really, really pleased from preseason until now how they’ve played in the run game and the pass game,” Joseph said. “And that’s the key. If we’re going to win games and keep Case clean and help Case play better and better each week we’ve got to run the football and protect Case.“So far, so good with those guys playing so well for us.”One thing the Broncos are doing to help Bolles Trevon Wesco Jersey , an athletic but raw tackle who only played one season of major college football at Utah, is not setting up so deep. That allows him to better use his athleticism to counter edge rushers, who don’t have as much of a running start, either.“He’s a long, athletic tackle, so we’re coaching him to set quicker and not give as much ground, to use his quickness on guys,” Joseph said. “If you’re facing a great rusher and you give him space, he can bull (rush you), he can get around you. So, we’re getting Garett on guys quicker, so he can use his feet and his great quickness to stay in front of guys and that’s preventing him from being so soft in the pocket like he was last year.“So, that’s more about Chris Strausser and Sean Kugler coaching him differently this year. And having Leary next to him, obviously the mental part of the game, it helps having a veteran next to you. So, I’ve been pleased with the entire offensive line. They’re playing good right now and hopefully we can continue to play good there.”Bolles said playing next to Leary is a godsend and getting instruction from the two-coach system has helped him take a big jump from his flag-filled rookie season.“I’m excited to see where this goes because we’re right on track and we’re headed in a good direction,” Bolles said.That said, he’s not about to start celebrating after just one game, no matter how clean.“I mean, it’s a clean game but it’s only Game 1. We’ve got 15 other games we’ve got to go through Shareef Miller Jersey ,” Bolles said. “There’s some things we have to fix, but a fast start in a season is always a good thing. We made a baseline where we’re at and we know where we need to go.“I have a great group of dudes. The O-line room is special. This team is special and we’re going to go in the right direction as long as we put in the work and the effort, which we are.”Notes: The Broncos waived WR/KR Isaiah McKenzie on Monday but didn’t make a corresponding move, leaving their active roster at 52 players. They did make room on their practice squad for WR Carlos Henderson by releasing WR River Cracraft. Henderson had been suspended for the first week of the season following a marijuana arrest over the winter. ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions ignored some forgettable draft history and took the plunge again to address perhaps their top need.Detroit selected Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson with the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday night, deciding he was too good to pass up after considering trading their first-round pick to acquire more selections. Tight ends are becoming a position where teams want difference-makers — and the Lions are hoping they’ve finally found one who will pan out for them.“The game is always moving toward the tight end position,” Detroit coach Matt Patricia said. “That’s the mismatch everybody is trying to figure out.”Detroit drafted Eric Ebron No. 10 overall in 2014 and Brandon Pettigrew a decade ago with the 20th pick overall and ended up releasing both. Ebron ended up flourishing last season with the Indianapolis Colts and seems to keep tabs on his old team via social media .Lions general manager Bob Quinn didn’t plan to spend much time, if any, sharing the team’s tight end history with Hockenson.“We’re not going to revisit a draft I wasn’t even a part of,” Quinn said after making his fourth first-round pick in charge of a front office.Since taking Pettigrew in 2009, the only other tight end selected among the top 20 picks in the NFL draft was O.J. Howard, who was taken No. 19 by Tampa Bay in 2017. The last time a team took a tight end No. 8 or higher was when San Francisco selected Vernon Davis sixth overall in 2006.Hockenson insisted he doesn’t feel a need to prove he was worth the investment.“I don’t put pressure on myself,” he said.Hockenson won the John Mackey Award last year, honoring the college football’s top tight end. He had 73 receptions for 1,080 yards and nine receiving touchdowns in his career with the Hawkeyes, who also counted on him being a key blocker.“He can do the dirty work in the run game, get open in the passing game,” Patricia said. “Really puts a lot of pressure on the defense. He’s a real, tough guy to tackle. He does a good job of turning small plays into big plays.”The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Hockenson Zach Brown Jersey , who is from Chariton, Iowa, was a second-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten player last season. He led Iowa with 760 yards receiving and was second on the team with 49 receptions and six touchdowns.“It’s become a valued position,” Hockenson said. “A three-down tight end who can run past defenders when needed and block when needed is special.”Detroit’s new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell , will have a chance to put two receivers on the field with James and Hockenson. In four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, James had 120 receptions for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns.The Lions needed to invest in pass-catching options for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Until taking Hockenson, the franchise had drafted only one receiver (Kenny Golladay) and one tight end (Michael Roberts) since the 2014 draft when it selected Ebron and that led to the offense struggling last season.Outside and inside the organization, drafting Hockenson seemed likely if he was available.“He’s a guy we targeted early in the process,” Quinn said. “He’s a three-down, four-down player that is going to be a big part of our offense.”During the draft Friday night and Saturday, Detroit may look to fill voids at wide receiver, offensive guard and safety.The Lions need all the help they can get after losing seven of their last 10 games under Patricia in his first year and finishing with double digits in losses for the first time since 2012. They went into the draft with fewer needs after making many moves in free agency.Detroit signed Trey Flowers and re-signed Romeo Okwara to turn defensive end into potential strength. James, wide receiver Danny Amendola, cornerbacks Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin, and running back C.J. Anderson were also added to make the depth chart look better for Patricia’s second season.

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