On Monday, Ryan O’Halloran from the Denver Post reported via Twitter that the Denver Broncos had signed free agent offensive lineman Chaz Green. It’s a move done by the Broncos to add veteran depth to the offensive line.
Depth up front was a concern for the Broncos during recent offseason training activities. Whether it was right guard Ron Leary (Achilles’) or right tackle Ja’Wuan James (hip) missing time, the Broncos have not had their full complement of starting offensive linemen together for more than a week this offseason.
Leary is actually ahead of schedule as he recovers from the Achilles’ injury that cut short his 2018 season after just six games. He was at left guard in 2018, but the team has moved him back to right guard – a position he played for the Broncos in 2017. Leary was held out of team drills in the second week of OTAs, but he did return last week for the third week of workouts and should be out there when mandatory minicamp kicks off on Tuesday. Leary has not played a full 16-game season since 2013 when he was with the Cowboys and the Broncos need to be prepared in case he misses more time.
James has a hip injury the team insists is not a big deal – at least that’s what head coach Vic Fangio told us last week when James was present for warmups but missing when team drills began. The Broncos have long had a problem at right tackle with multiple free-agent signings (Donald Stephenson, Menelik Watson) to fill the position to no avail. Hopefully, the hip injury for James is not a big deal. The Broncos have a revamped offensive line this year and need James out there as much as possible.
Green should not be counted on as anything more than veteran depth – if he even makes the 53-man roster. He’s started seven games during his pro career, with some disastrous outings (allowed four sacks against the Falcons in 2017) along the way. Green’s pro career has never really amounted to much, as injuries and poor play have kept him primarily as a reserve player.
A third-round pick for the Cowboys in the 2015 NFL Draft, Green started at both left tackle and right tackle for the Florida Gators in college. He’s known as a smart player who plays with outstanding footwork, making him a good fit for the Broncos zone-blocking scheme. Green has position versatility and can play all five positions on the offensive line but he doesn’t stand out in any one spot.
Think of Green as a new version of Max Garcia, a former Florida offensive lineman who spent four seasons in both a starting and reserve role for the Broncos. New offensive line coach Mike Munchak has another piece to work with, a player with athletic traits but a history that needs to be forgotten about. Green is a project for Munchak and it will be interesting to see if he’s able to impress enough, take to coaching and make the final roster for the Broncos in 2019.
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