Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was frank about the rash of holding penalties racked up by left tackle Garett Bolles.
“It’s gotta stop. Period,” Elway said on 850 KOA radio Wednesday. “There’s no more excuses for it. He’s had 26 holding penalties in the last two years and two games, so it’s gotta stop.”
Bolles had 10 holding penalties (three declined) as a rookie in 2017 and 11 (four declined) in 2018. He already has five through two games, including four (two declined) in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, two of which came on the same drive. There was also a play in the fourth quarter where teammate Ronald Leary was called for a hold when it appeared Bolles could have been called.
Elway suggested he wasn’t certain Bolles knows what is and isn’t allowed by the rules with regard to holding.
“He’s gotta understand what he’s doing and — that was my question yesterday: Does he know what holding is? Does he know what he can and can’t do?” Elway said. “If he thinks he’s getting targeted, he’s gotta realize he isn’t.”
Elway took Bolles 20th overall in the 2017 draft, plugging him in as the starter at left tackle immediately. Through 34 career games, Bolles has allowed 11.5 sacks, per STATS LLC, and committed seven false starts, in addition to the holding penalties.
“We’ll keep working for it, and he’s still a talented guy,” Elway added. .”.. Hopefully, with an explanation and a better understanding by him of what it is they are looking for ... he cannot do that because it’s beating us.”
The Broncos added highly regarded offensive line coach Mike Munchak this offseason with hopes of improving the line’s development, Bolles included. The group has allowed five sacks and 10 quarterback hits through two games.
“You have to learn from it, move forward and not let it be a detriment,” Munchak told reporters Wednesday of Bolles’ issues. “We can’t let it be a drag on what he’s trying to accomplish or what we’re trying to accomplish, or what the line is trying to do. You don’t want to hurt the team ever.”
“We talked to him extensively early in the week,” head coach Vic Fangio added. “Mike (Munchak) did the bulk of it. ... He knows what he’s up against and what he has to do.”
—Field Level Media