Broncos vs. Texans: Five Broncos To Watch For Saturday Night

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Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos punter Britton Colquitt (4) tackle Chris Clark (75) and Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater (5) celebrate after a field goal in the second half against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The unheralded hero from last year’s record-breaking offense, Chris Clark will be featured as a starter this season for the Broncos.

Clark was primarily utilized as a reserve offensive tackle during his first three years in Denver before getting his big chance last season when star left tackle Ryan Clady went down Week Two with a Lisfranc injury. He performed admirably in place of Clady, starting in 17 consecutive games, three of those coming in the playoffs.

Clark’s overall exceptional play at left tackle has now earned him a starting job. Former right tackle Orlando Franklin shifted to left guard in the offseason to replace Zane Beadles, who’s now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Clark was given every opportunity to win the vacancy at right tackle in training camp and he did just that.

He’s looked steady at right tackle during the preseason but his play isn’t all without fault. Clark did struggle against some of the more elite pass-rushers last season and those issues are popping up again in joint practices the Broncos are having this week with the Texans.

Now granted he is matched up with J.J. Watt, who’s probably the best defensive lineman in the league, but it’s not exactly good news being reported via Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.

"“Texans defensive end J.J. Watt squared off with Broncos right tackle Chris Clark. Clark pulled off Watt’s helmet, drawing a flag and Watt’s advice.” ‘Don’t get mad when you get beat!’ Watt said… .”"

Clark needs to do a better job of protecting Manning from players like Watt if the Broncos plan on making it back to the Super Bowl. Saturday we should see a clearer picture of how far along Clark has come with his pass protection skills.