After completing three weeks' worth of OTAs last week, the Denver Broncos kicked off their mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday. In the few days off between the end of OTAs and the beginning of mini-camp, the Broncos re-evaluated where they're at as a team and have decided to make a change on their offensive line.
Ronald Leary, whom the Broncos signed to a big-money deal in March, has been moved from left guard to the right side, while third-year Max Garcia has been moved from right guard to the left. Leary and Garcia have switched positions and Head Coach Vance Joseph explained why.
“We moved Max [Garcia] back to left guard and we’re trying Ronald Leary at right guard," Joseph said Tuesday following practice. "Hopefully that’s a better mesh for us. Leary played left the entire spring and Max played the right, but we think Max is more comfortable playing left and Ronald doesn’t care. That’s the best thing for us."
Garcia, who started all 16 games at left guard for the Broncos last year, is much more comfortable on the left side, due to his experience. He talked about the difficulty of switching from the left to the right side a couple weeks back.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1784455-limited-offer-get-3-month... "There are a few differences," Garcia said. "It’s just how you see things, how you see the defenses and your stance. Right now, it’s tricky. I wanted to get into my left stance when I’m working in drills, but just have to remember to work out of that right stance. It’s not a huge difference, but it is a difference.”
The catch is that most of Leary's pro production has come at left guard as well, so although he's the more experienced and accomplished player, the switch to the right side is something new to him as well.
“I’ve been more comfortable on the left side because that’s where I’ve been pretty much my entire career in Dallas," Leary said back in May.
It's important to remember that the Broncos O-line is in a state of flux right now. The coaches are still trying to figure out the best combinations, while allowing the process of competition to unfold. Rookie first-rounder Garett Bolles, for example, is the second-team left tackle now, but could very well end up winning the starting job.
Starting center Matt Paradis has been unable to participate due to his recovery from double-hip surgery. Right now, second-year Connor McGovern is taking the first-team snaps, but that will change when Paradis returns.
There's still a long row to hoe until the Broncos have to play a game that counts. Meanwhile, we'll continue to assemble as much evidence as we can to better understand how Denver's revamped O-line is shaping up in 2017.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.