Team needs: Broncos stacked with interior linemen

Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports

Watching Super Bowl XLVIII, one might think the Denver Broncos need a complete reworking of their offensive line.

Not true.

While the Seattle Seahawks blew up would-be blocks, power-rushing through some and simply running around others, it was the poor play of the offensive tackles that spelled doom for Denver.

Orlando Franklin was repeatedly worked by Cliff Avril, while Chris Clark looked like he was playing in quick sand as he was too slow to react too often. Simply, Franklin has to play better or be replaced. For Clark, a move back to the bench is coming as soon as Ryan Clady is healthy enough to play again following that painful lis franc injury.

Inside, Denver’s line was destructive to opposing front sevens. Manny Ramirez must be given acclaim for playing so well at center all season long, moving over from right guard in training camp, and Louis Vasquez’s play was celebrated when he was named All-Pro. At left guard, Zane Beadles was again phenomenal, but his absence next season could leave a huge void in the line.

Beadles is an unrestricted free agent, losing him would be a big blow to the Broncos.

Yes, they still have Chris Kuper, who started for seven seasons at right guard before a very serious ankle injury in 2012 and its lingering in 2013, he’ll provide depth. But can he start at left guard? Second-year man Ben Garland, formerly of Air Force, is also on the roster, though he hasn’t had a chance to prove his worth, yet.

And, there’s still Dan Koppen, who’s a free agent the Broncos could possibly re-sign to a cheap deal.

The bottom line is, if Denver re-signs Beadles, they’ll be set on the offensive line. Especially in the interior.

Like this? Click here to read about the Broncos giving Lofa Tatupu a workout Tuesday.

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  • Jim

    You didn’t watch too many Broncos games if you thought Zane Beadles was phenomenal

    • Rich Kurtzman

      Jim, I’d love to hear some examples of the contrary. He’s very rarely called for penalties, is a phenomenal run blocker and a talented pass blocker.