Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles can relate to Drew Lock

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 14: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High on September 14, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 14: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High on September 14, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Garett Bolles delivered a powerful quote that should resonate with a lot of Denver Broncos fans. If there’s someone who can resonate with the criticism or in this case “hate” quarterback Drew Lock received in 2020 it is Denver Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles. Bolles struggled mightily in his first two seasons before turning the corner for the last year and a half under offensive line coach Mike Munchak. The point comes back to the disdain Bolles received during his first contract.

Bolles does play a premier position in football at left tackle; however, the lengths of criticism people went to demean Bolles is unfortunate. Fans would take shots at Bolles’ intelligence, even, when in reality he has the learning difference ADHD. Speaking from personal experience and as someone who has a learning difference, you receive considerable amounts of criticism and doubt because people think you are not good enough to belong.

Fast forward to where we are now with Bolles and it’s become an unbelievable story to how far he’s come in the time he’s been with the club. Also, it’s amazing how some fans do not change their perceptions of players.

The quote from Bolles on Monday at OTAs is one that should resonate with every fan who disrespected him and is currently doing the same to the quarterback of the club, Lock.

"“I know what it is when people don’t like you, hate you and don’t want you here in Denver. You just have to block out the noise and go out there and do everything you possibly can.”Garett Bolles via Denver Broncos PR"

Funny how things don’t change. Lock plays the most important position in sports and received hate for his work ethic, passion for the game, and ability to process. Like Bolles, Lock has taken longer to understand the ins and outs of everything to study. This emphatically does not mean Lock is not smart. Every single person is wired differently in how they process information. No person is the same.

However, as individuals, we can learn from one another and grow together. For both Lock and Bolles there are similarities.

As stated above, Bolles never had continuity with offensive line coaches until Munchak came along. Notably, Munchak is regarded as arguably the greatest offensive line coach in NFL history. Bolles has had Munchak as his coach for two straight seasons resulting in a first-time All-Pro nod.

This is some serious growth and sign of perseverance by Bolles to never give up despite multiple offensive line coaches in one season and another for a full season before Munchak. It does not matter what sport. For players, it is all about consistency year in and year out. If teams keep the same coaches, the greater chance there is at growth.

Lock understands this completely. The first time Lock ever received coaching continuity has been at the University of Missouri. When that happened he almost threw for 50 touchdowns. College is vastly different from the pros. Speed and talent are different; however, continuity still matters. Lock will get a second year in Pat Shurmur’s offense and Mike Shula as his quarterback coach. The entirety of the offensive staff remains intact. Now comes to putting the offseason work to the field.

This is Lock shot at proving to Paton he can take the next step in becoming the next great quarterback in Denver. It is up to him to prove it. As stated multiple times, he has the necessary talent to win games. His arm is a “Winter Soldier” arm or a golden arm if you will. He can sling it with the best of them.

Accuracy itself, decision making, and footwork are three of the biggest things Lock needs to do better to succeed. It’s all predicated on him taking that step. Shurmur cannot take that step for him. Vic Fangio cannot take that step for him. George Paton cannot take that step for him. It’s up to Lock himself to figure that out. The important thing Lock must glean is his new General Manager has not yet made a significant roster move to upgrade the position. This means Paton believes in Lock enough to take that step.

It is also important to not be snarky and understand these are human beings first and foremost. Criticism of their game is one thing, but to talk about personal life or how his mental makeup is translating to his “dumb” factor is wrong. Since stepping foot in the building, Lock has understood what is asked of him. Did we not forget when he was drafted that he wanted to win over the locker room first before stepping out onto the field? That is the first sign of impressing your teammates. The second is by what you possess as a player.

This is ultimately why Bolles’ quote must resonate with many Denver Broncos fans. Do not get so invested in something that your emotions get the best of you. Logic sometimes goes out the window when you are criticizing a player. To reiterate, criticism is fair game, but the problem remains the extent of how far it goes. Break down the player’s game, but do not destroy him as a person.