Ryan Clady of the Broncos was hailed as perhaps the top young left tackle in football four years ago, when he protected Jay Cutler’s blind side well enough to allow 0.5 sacks in 16 starts. Clady “earned” Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors the following season, largely because his name recognition grew based on rookie-year performance.
It’s been a bit downhill from there.
Bill Williamson of ESPN.com has passed along Clady’s sacks allowed numbers from Stats Inc. Since permitting just the half-sack of Cutler in 2008, Clady has served up 24.5 sacks over the past three seasons. Clady was penalized a dozen times and allowed a career-high nine sacks last season despite the fact that the Broncos ranked last in the league in pass attempts.
(Fewer pass attempts means fewer “opportunities” to give up sacks. Yet Clady still allowed the highest total of his career.)
A spike in pass attempts is expected in Denver this season with run-first quarterback Tim Tebow gone and Peyton Manning now under center. Clady is in the final year of his rookie deal. His improvement, or lack there of, may go a long way toward determining whether Clady gets a pricey long-term contract from the Broncos.