Garett Bolles doesn’t blame Broncos fans for booing, vows improvement
Denver Broncos LT Garett Bolles doesn’t blame fans for booing, vows to be better in 2020.
Garett Bolles’ development over the first three years of his NFL career with the Denver Broncos have been frustrating, to say the least.
Bolles is entering his fourth NFL season with way more uncertainty than anyone would really otherwise like for a former first-round draft pick, especially considering Bolles came into the league at the age of 26.
Even though he was raw in some respects coming out of Utah, Bolles’ light feet, athleticism, and nasty streak projected well to the NFL level, but his inability to clean up penalties has been a thorn in his side from day one.
The Denver Broncos fan base is certainly not afraid to project their feelings toward players on the field, no matter their draft status, all-time status (even Peyton Manning heard the boo birds), or inexperience.
Bolles, in particular, has had to maintain focus on his task at hand with boos raining down on him from more than 76,000 fans expressing their displeasure with his latest holding penalty or string of holding penalties.
Even though as Bolles put it, “Nobody likes being booed,” he understands the fans’ displeasure with his play and he decided to take it upon himself to work harder to be better.
In what ways did he get better?
In addition to working on his hand placement, Bolles noted that he is substantially bigger and stronger after putting on 20 pounds of weight over the course of the offseason to get up around 305-310 pounds. That means he was playing left tackle in the NFL at roughly 285-290 pounds.
That in itself is a major development for Bolles, who definitely looks bigger and stronger this season compared to years past, but he also says he had to work on his mental strength as well.
Bolles finally has continuity with his offensive line coach for the first time in his playing career. He feels comfortable with Broncos offensive line coach Mike Munchak and said he felt he did a great job over the last five weeks of really pinpointing weak areas and taking a step forward.
Most who watched the games acknowledge that Bolles was better over the final five games of the season when Drew Lock came in and played quarterback. He wasn’t perfect, but he was certainly notably better.
Better is what Vic Fangio wants out of Bolles as well, even in practice.
Fangio said that Bolles has been ‘fine’ in practice, but the Broncos certainly don’t want Bolles maintaining any sort of status quo. He was supposed to be in competition for his job with Elijah Wilkinson, which I’m sure the team had hoped would push him to be even better.
Now, Bolles is competing against himself with Wilkinson replacing Ja’Wuan James at the right tackle position. The Broncos have to use whatever platform they can — even if it’s using the media — to push Bolles to be better every day.
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak said that Bolles has been, “So far, so good,” in camp at this point and that he’s hoping Bolles can pick up where he left off last season.
In addition to Munchak’s presence being beneficial to Bolles, Munchak noted that having Bolles in that spot is beneficial to him as well.
Vic Fangio noted before training camp that the Broncos were operating with cautious optimism regarding Bolles. Hopefully, each day at camp is one more step in the right direction for him.