Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos: Why the Team Must Re-Shuffle Offensive Line to Protect Tim Tebow

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos rolls out against Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins to end the game to overtime at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Denver defeated Miami 18-15.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Aaron YoungCorrespondent IIIOctober 25, 2011

When your team’s starting quarterback is young and developing like Tim Tebow, there are certain aspects that have to work in order to win football games. Since Tebow will need more time to make the correct reads than a savvy veteran, pass protection becomes ever important.

Last Sunday, the Denver Broncos travelled to Miami, and was able to return to home with an overtime victory against the Dolphins. The Broncos pulled off the unlikely win despite the fact that Tim Tebow was sacked seven times.

Some of the sacks were Tebow’s fault, as he at times looked lost in the pocket, but far from all of the sacks were his fault.

Orlando Franklin was drafted this year by the Denver Broncos because of his excellence as a run-blocking right tackle. Unfortunately, Franklin does not possess great pass-blocking skills. Since Tim Tebow is left handed, it becomes the right tackle’s job to protect his blindside.

This is a job that Franklin did not do a good enough job at in last Sunday’s game. In my opinion, it is not fair to the rookie tackle to be asked to do that job either since that is not exactly playing to his strengths.

Franklin was clearly outmatched on Sunday by Cameron Wake for two sacks. Wake also hurried Tebow on quite a few occasions throughout the game, and Miami’s outside linebacker is not exactly the best pass rusher that Franklin is set to face this year.

This upcoming Sunday, the Lions will travel to Denver with a mean defensive line. Needless to say, the Broncos will have to control star defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, but Suh is not the only problem that Denver’s offensive line will be facing.

The Detroit Lions rotate their defensive front four a lot, so Orlando Franklin will be matched up against Suh some of the time. However, there is a lot of reason to be concerned about who he will face most of the time.

Cliff Avril is the primary left defensive end for the Lions, and the guy is a beast. He recorded 8.5 sacks last year and has added three more to his tally since then.

Last Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was a strong indication that Orlando Franklin will not be able to handle the kind of skills that he will see from the Lions’ No. 92

Fortunately, there is a solution to all of this. The Denver Broncos have one of the best pass-blocking tackles in the league, and his fierce skill set is now being misused at left tackle. It would make a lot of sense to make Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin switch positions in my opinion.

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