BRON­COS’ SHANE RAY OUT SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS

Re­built of­fen­sive line in spot­light at Bron­cos train­ing camp

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Nick Kos­mider

Com­pe­ti­tion, chem­istry vi­tal to Den­ver hav­ing bet­ter at­tack this year

Mene­lik Wat­son whipped his mas­sive right arm to­ward the left shoul­der of Garett Bolles and quickly gauged the tech­nique and in­stincts of the Bron­cos’ first-round draft pick.

The of­fen­sive tack­les, both in their first train­ing camp with the Bron­cos, re­peated the makeshift drill for sev­eral min­utes dur­ing a break in prac­tice Fri­day, a les­son on the fly be­tween two of what could be as many as four new starters on the team’s of­fen­sive line.

Later, af­ter the dou­ble blast of an air horn sig­naled the end of the morn­ing prac­tice, vet­eran guards Ron Leary and Allen Bar­bre walked off the field in per­fect match­ing strides.

Whether the four new line­men can cre­ate sim­i­lar chem­istry when the sea­son be­gins is a ques­tion that may re­side at the cen­ter of the Bron­cos’ quest for of­fen­sive im­prove­ment.

“That’s the mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion,” said Bar­bre, 33, who was traded to Den­ver by the Philadel­phia Ea­gles on Wed­nes­day. “If we come out here ev­ery day and work hard, we’re one step closer ev­ery day.”

The Bron­cos were de­ter­mined to add tough­ness to their of­fen­sive line in March with the free-agent ac­qui­si­tions of Leary and Wat­son, who started Fri­day’s prac­tice on the right side of the first-team line, with cen­ter Matt Par­adis, guard Max Gar­cia and Bolles fill­ing out the line to Leary’s left. First­team rep­e­ti­tions, though, were ro­tated con­stantly through­out the prac­tice.

Leary joined the Bron­cos af­ter help­ing the Dal­las Cow­boys form one of the best of­fen­sive lines in the NFL last sea­son. Wat­son was signed a day later, bol­ster­ing the tackle po­si­tion af­ter

Andy Cross, The Den­ver Post

Of­fen­sive tackle Justin Mur­ray, left, and guard Allen Bar­bre do block­ing drills at Bron­cos train­ing camp Fri­day. Bar­bre was ac­quired Wed­nes­day.

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