Ryan Clady appears to be regressing

Getty Images

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.

48 responses to “Ryan Clady appears to be regressing

  1. Clady will be under more pressure than most anyone else on that team as he is protecting the blind side. If he plays the way he has the last few years Manning will be knocked out after a few weeks

  2. He tore the meniscus playing basketball a couple years ago and hasn’t been the same.

  3. He’s fine. He just needs to play with a better QB than Orton or Tebow. Manning gets the ball out much quicker than those two bozos. Clady will have a solid year.

  4. It’s not that he regressed, it’s that Cutler’s mobility made him look better than he was. Look at the Bears sack numbers last year from when Cutler started and when Hanie/McCown started.

  5. Its not a regression…look at the wrap on his knee…remember after his rookie year he blew it out playing B-Ball and hasnt been the same since

    So its really that he isnt that player anymore

  6. Can you really hold it against him? He was protecting for Orton and Tebow for crying out loud! Now that he has a real QB, who doesn’t stand in the pocket with cement feet or run ten yards behind the line of scrimmage, there will be no problem.

  7. Melvin Ingram’s going to eat his lunch. Which will lead to Ingram subsequently eating mannings lunch. Which will end in another neck surgery. All cladys fault

  8. This couldn’t have anything to do with Tebow or Orton camping out in the pocket, would it? And if we’re going simply by numbers, what’s been lost in pass blocking has been gained in run blocking. Clady is still an outstanding tackle – to the extent that he was one of the first players Denver introduced to Manning when he visited. No one is denying that the pressure is on Clady to protect Manning. I just think saying he’s regressing is sloppy interpretation.

  9. Using the title “appears to be regressin” is misleading, he’s absolutely regressed! But as others have said he was protecting a statue who would stare down Brandon Lloyd then just fall down if he didn’t get open, to protecting a mobile “qb” who would stand back there for 8 seconds staring down Thomas or Decker (he couldn’t look at more than one target on any given play) and then would either run around, sometimes giving up 20-25 yards, before getting sacked…if you don’t believe that look at the fact that sacks actually went up when Tebow took over despite much fewer pass plays being called.

    Now he gets to protect a QB who’s known for his quick decisions and quick release, who has made a career of making lesser o-lines look better than they are. He also gets his first full offseason working with one of the best o-line coaches in the league.

    Look for a big bounce back year from Clady and the entire Broncos o-line when it comes to pass protection.

  10. Murtdurt: Melvin Ingram is the next Larry English. The Chargers window has closed, you had your run, now it’ll be just like its been for the majority of the last 25 years with the Chargers in the basement.

  11. His knee is a huge part of it. Also, he is a better fit in Shanny’s blocking scheme than either of the more recent 2. Maybe Shanny should trade for him.

  12. Well, when your “quarterback” is running around in the backfield like an idiot because he doesn’t know how to play in the NFL, you’re going to give up more sacks than you would with a good quarterback.

  13. He’s always been overrated. Tamba Hali owns him. Branden Albert is twice as good.

  14. You can’t blame any of the o line for all the sacks when tebow was in the back field. Hell there were a few times when tebow was sacked for 20+ yards loss cause he does his spinnaronis like, “which way did he go, which way do I go.” Manning is a three drop passer, gets rid of the ball quick. Clady will be fine as so is the other guys, they’ll do much better protecting a QB who can actually take the team far.

  15. It is my belief that Iron Clady lost his mojo when he shed his dreads…but that is just me.

    In all seriousness, it wasn’t after his rookie season that he tore his meniscus, it was last offseason during the lockout. Clady didn’t miss any game-time after the injury, but was clearly still affected by it throughout the season.
    Then you throw in the fact that he has had to block for two extremely different QBs; one who would sit there and not move whatsoever (Orton), and another who would pirouette and dance while looking at one WR, before running around with no real idea where to go (Tebow). Both extremes are very hard for any LT to block for, let alone both in one season.
    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed a bit of regression in my main man Clady. The penalties have got to go down, and it would be nice to see the footwork back to where it was during his first 2 seasons. But he is still a young guy, and I think the addition of PMFM will help his bad sack numbers go down.
    Look for Ryan Clady to return to form, and Iron Clady to make a comeback.

    Oh, and that SD fan who thinks Melvin Ingram is gonna make a difference…not one of your pass rushers from the right side have made a difference since Merriman got caught using the juice. The only pass rush worth a damn comes from Phillips on the left side. We’ll see what plays out this season, but I highly doubt Ingram will make an impact on the right side.
    Clady owns SD, don’t ever forget it.

  16. I think this is much ado about nothing. Manning is by far the best QB that Clady will have blocked for, meaning he makes decisions and gets rid of the ball much quicker than the average QB (Tebow, Orton). Also, to the person who said Russell Okung has been a terrible pro – wrong. He hasn’t been great, but saying he’s been terrible isn’t accurate. Okung’s dealt with a lot of injuries so far in his career.

  17. He had a good rookie season and then it just went down hill… He’s decent, No way will Denver re-up him.

    Clady was terrible in only his 2nd year in the NFL, long before Tebow ever came along and led him, and the rest of that awful team to the playoffs.

  18. Number of sacks surrendered usually says more about the QB than the offensive linemen. Pressures are a better indicator of how much a lineman gets beat. Should it reflect differently on the lineman if one time he lets a guy get by but the QB throws the ball away and another time the QB holds onto it for a sack? No. The lineman got beat both times just the same.

    In 2008 Clady allowed a combined 43 pressures, hits, and sacks. In 2009 he allowed a combined 34 pressures, hits, and sacks. In 2010 he allowed a combined 37 pressures, hits, and sacks. And finally in 2011 he allowed a combined 43 pressures, hits, and sacks. His 2011 season in which he supposedly regressed was very similar to his rookie season so many praised him for except Cutler knew how to get rid of the ball and Tebow didn’t.

  19. There has been a lot of instability at Qb since Cutler was traded. It must be difficult trying to adjust to all the different Qbs especially when you have two guys as different as Tebow and Orton. I think Clady will have a great year with a classic drop back passer like Manning. Clady knows that Manning will be back in the pocket and not running around 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage like Tebow. Clady will improve to his true form.

  20. Tebow: Runs around completely lost. Takes sacks because of it.

    Orton: Not so affectionately dubbed “Pocket Sloth” by the Bronco fanbase.

    It’s not hard to see why Clady is being credited with sacks.

    Manning will make a significant difference there.

    That being said, as a Raider fan, I hope Clady finds a way to get Manning beaten into the turf.

  21. You guys realize Manning made a Super Bowl with Charlie Johnson protecting his blindside, right?

  22. Wow how fast is the nfl I remember couple of years ago how every1 was saying that clady was better than jake long, yes he had the knee surgery, but long as been batered and bruise last couple of seasons but still better left tackle than cladys, n mind u also list of qb jake long has been protecting not good names btw.

  23. Did Peyton realize the schedule has him facing about 2 handfuls of QB’s who are better than him. Broncos should have never let go of the man who walks on water. Peyton will show the world that Indy wasn’t that bad without him and lead the Broncos to a 1-15 record.

  24. thetroofishere says: May 19, 2012 3:22 PM

    Wow. Mike Shanahan sure does know how to pick 1st round tackles. see Trent Williams
    Let’ s see, Shanahan drafts Clady in 2008, Clady makes Pro Bowl, Shanahan is fired after 2008 season, Clady goes into toilet, blame Shanahan. Sounds like you have hit on it.

  25. This is pretty simple. Clady was drafted by Shanahan as a perfect fit for his zone blocking scheme. After his rookie season, Josh McDaniels came in and installed a power scheme that Clady was not suited to. He hasn’t been as good ever since.

  26. “lolb23 says: Tackles from spread offenses always fail.”

    Boise State did not and does not run a true spread offense. When Clady was in Boise they ran plays under center (Pro formations) a large portion of the time. They went to the shotgun “spread” more often with Kellen Moore because of his mobility issues, but that was not the case when Clady was in Boise. In fact, Ian Johnson ran out of the I or conventional pro set a majority of the time when Zabranky was QB.

    However, Clady IS an undersize zone blocking OT. Since Shanny left he has been a bad system fit. Add the knee issues, and he’s a shadow of his rookie self.

  27. This entire article is prejudicial and unfair towards Ryan Clady. I am not a Broncos fan, but it’s clear that the intent of this article is to influence the reader into a viewpoint of Clady that is strongly biased and lacking in all the facts.

    Silva is hardly subtle in suggesting that Clady’s 2009 All Pro Honors were the result of simple name recognition and not on the field performance. While it is true that OL often win awards on name recognition, it takes a lot more than finishing 3rd in RoY voting & 2nd Team AP All Pro to achieve that level.

    Silva conveniently omits that Clady was named 1st team All Pro in 2009 by 3 different entities (AP, Pro Football Writers & Sporting News). His assessment on Clady regressing also conveniently does not mention:
    *Clady dealing with an injury (torn patella)
    *The complete disaster that Josh McDaniels was as Head Coach
    *The complete circus that was Tebow-Mania

    When you consider all of the facts- I am not a Broncos fan, but it doesn’t take much to see through this façade – it is a completely inaccurate and unnecessary article with no point except for the typical PFT brand of innuendo based articles written to influence readers. Clady was named a 2011 Pro Bowl Alternate, even with the nature of the Pro Bowl these days, if that is “regressing”, I will take that performance on my team all day long.

  28. slickster35 says: May 19, 2012 4:03 PM

    He’s always been overrated. Tamba Hali owns him. Branden Albert is twice as good.

    Oh yeah. Every Chief is an All Pro. It’s hard to believe they haven’t won a playoff game in 18 years with all that talent.

  29. The last 3 years Clady has been blocking for crap at QB first he had Mr. Concrete feet Orton, then Mr. Can’t stand still Tebow so yeah of course his sacks allowed is going to go up. You people need a lesson in how football works cause none of you seem to know very much about the Broncos or how sacks are recorded. Clady is and will be fine and he will show it this season blocking for a real QB period end of discussion you can all go home now

  30. He was coming off the knee injury last year, he be much better this year. If Ryan Clady is the Broncos biggest question mark or problem then we are in good shape. P.S. thank you to all the haters out their, you are going to make this season if more special for us real Broncos fans!

  31. lolb23 says: May 19, 2012 3:06 PM

    Tackles from spread offenses always fail. Also see Jason Smith, Baylor and Russel Okung, OK State. Terrible pros.

    sorry lolb23 but are u smkin crack?? okung is a beast dont believe me watch last yrs ravens vs seahawks game he consistently man handled suggs and any other blitzer . look at the bears vs seahawks game he took away peppers all game bro. you have your facts wrong check the tape okung is in the process of being one of the best LT ‘s in the game.

  32. If he’s good for a zone blocking system I’m hoping my Ravens sign him after this season. Let Clady and Oher duke it out for the LT spot. Harbaugh is a tough coach who seems to get a lot out of his players, I don’t think anyone ever said that about McDummy or John Fox. If they Ravens get him and Harbs can’t fix him he truely is broke.

  33. Clady is and will be fine and he will show it this season blocking for a real QB period end of discussion you can all go home now

    You heard it folks, this is the end of discussions, ya’ll can go home now. How arrogant? Get a life dude, your opinion is NOT the end all of any discussion. Like we don’t even respect you, and we’re supposed to obey you? Enough said…

  34. trubroncfan07 says: May 19, 2012 9:38 PM

    P.S. thank you to all the haters out their, you are going to make this season if more special for us real Broncos fans!

    Bronco fans like you are already pretty special. In a remedial sense.

  35. what a horrible article.. the fact that tebow was the qb and took numerous sacks due to his own deficiencies clearly never registered to the author. what an idiot.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!