Aug/24/12 10:28 AM Filed in: Chris Myers
The battle between Rashad Butler and Derek Newton at right tackle is so close that coach Gary Kubiak is considering playing both during the regular season.
With chemistry so crucial on the offensive line, my big question was how rotating right tackles might impact both the in-season chemistry and how the line is gelling now. Who better to ask than center Chris Myers, who has seen this process a couple times?
“You get into a game, especially hard-fought games and loud games, knowing what the guy next to you is going to do without talking to him is a key component,” Myers said. “We’ve been spoiled over the last four years or so pretty much having the same starting line and this is going to be a new transition to have that new right side and they’re going to have to build their own chemistry at right guard/right tackle to the point of being able to know what each other are going to do without having to say it.”
So what if both Butler and Newton wind up playing in the regular season?
“You know, if that ends up being the case, it ends up being the case,” Myers said. “They’re both in there, they’re both very high quality right tackles. I remember back to when Duane Brown was a first-round draft pick in 2008, we had Ephraim Salaam who was a long-time vet. He kind of took Duane under his wing and the first two games of that year they were going back and forth. Every other series or two series one series so Duane could slowly get implemented into that starting role.”
Brown and I spoke about Salaam last week as part of this story about left tackles. I didn’t include much of it in the story, but Brown really stressed the impact Salaam had on him not just on the field but in developing good habits in the classroom as well.
Paramount for the line as they sort this out, though, is for the right guard and right tackle to know each other well, no matter who that is. Both positions are in flux right now with Antoine Caldwell and third-round draft pick Brandon Brooks competing at right guard.
“There’s little speed bumps here and there like when Brandon Brooks comes in, he’s learning the offense for the first time,” Myers said. “So you can’t expect him to know everything right off the bat. So he’s going to have his hiccups and stuff like that and Derek Newton is still kind of a first-time guy getting a lot of action with the starters. Last year he was running with the twos but that’s the speed of the game.
“That’s the natural process of the league is that when you get your opportunities if you take full advantage of them and impress the coaches, that’s where you make your niche.”