In one of the biggest position battles on the table as the Denver Broncos entered training camp, Head Coach Vance Joseph and company are making some progress when it comes to determining who will start at left tackle come Week 1.
While the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers is still over a month away, Joseph has named Garett Bolles, the Broncos’ first-round draft pick in 2017, the starter for Thursday’s preseason opener against the Chicago Bears over veterans Ty Sambrailo and Donald Stephenson.
“We’ve watched the spring,” Joseph said after Monday’s training camp practice. “We watched the first two weeks of training camp and he’s played well.”
Bolles’ hard work through 10 days of training camp has caught Joseph’s eye, but he was quick to say that just because Bolles will start Thursday doesn’t mean that the battle for the left tackle position is finished.
“In my opinion, he’s earned the right to start the game,” Joseph said. “With that being said, we’re still competing there with Donald [Stephenson] and [T] Ty [Sambrailo]. He’s played well enough to start the game on Thursday.”
Even after being named the starter for Thursday’s game against the Bears and his first taste of NFL action, Bolles didn’t blink on Monday. He knows that hard work earned him the opportunity and that continuing to work hard could be the difference between locking up the position or not.
“I have four preseason games to earn my spot, so I’m just going to continue to work hard every single day,” Bolles said on Monday. “I have Ty Sambrailo and Don (Donald Stephenson) pushing me every single day. Until it’s official on Week 1, then that doesn’t faze me. I continue to work every single day.”
For some players, competing for a position after they’ve been named the starter can be frustrating. That’s not the case for Bolles, though. He knows that as long as he continues to work hard, the coaches can decide what the best move for the team’s success is. In fact, he looks at the battle for the spot as a good thing because it only elevates his game.
“That’s something that the coaches can worry about,” Bolles said. “But me, I’m out here playing and competing for my position every single day. The good Lord puts me in the right places at the right time. I know that my friends, all those guys around me, are going to push me every single day. I have Ty Sambrailo and Don. Those guys are great tackles. They’re here for a reason. They’re going to compete every single day and earn their starting job. They’re going to push me to earn my starting job. I’m just going to continue to push forward, work together, look at the things on film that I need to fix and fix them the next day.”
Featured Image Credit: Ryan Greene, 5280 Sports Network