Fox thinks Manning’s stronger, but Broncos line another issue


Broncos head coach John Fox talked about how eager he was to see a healthier Peyton Manning next season, but keeping his quarterback that way might be more difficult given the current state of his offensive line.

Four of the five projected starters on the Broncos line will spend the offseason rehabbing: Pending unrestricted free agent and possible franchise tag recipient left tackle Ryan Clady’s coming off shoulder surgery, joining center J.D. Walton (ankle), right guard Chris Kuper (ankle) and right tackle Orlando Franklin (toe). Of the starters, only left guard Zane Beadles emerged from 2012 unscathed.

It’s not that the Broncos don’t have time, but it will be harder for Manning to build continuity without those guys around through the preseason work.

Of course, the financial decision with Clady will be trickier, but Fox seemed confident his contract status wasn’t a problem.

“There are two parts of the NFL: there’s business and there’s football,” Fox said. “That’s the business side; I don’t really get too much involved with that. I know we want Ryan, and that Ryan wants to be a Denver Bronco. The business part will work itself out one way or another, and we’ll see where that goes moving forward.”

Fox said he was encouraged by Manning’s progress, and thinks his quarterback will be stronger this year, after spending so much time rehabbing after neck surgery.

“Even as far back as almost this time a year ago, his type of injury—a lot was made of the neck and the surgeries and all those things,” Fox said of Manning. “The reality is that it is kind of a nerve situation and it takes a while for nerves to grow. He’s getting better every day. I think he’ll be health-wise, even better this year.”

How long he can stay that way remains to be seen.

13 responses to “Fox thinks Manning’s stronger, but Broncos line another issue

  1. All Manning has to do is be in the mix as a Top QB in 2013 and he’s a shoe-in for MVP… All MVP voters will want to get Manning his record 5th MVP so he can be considered the G.O.A.T.

  2. J.D. Walton will not even be the starter at center if they resign Dan Koppen, which I almost guarantee they do. The rapport Manning and Koppen developed over the 11 game win streak was amazing. Koppen can handle the style of offense the Broncos run better and he isn’t that old right now anyway. Beadles is better than a lot of people give him credit for. Same goes with Orlando Franklin. I could see Denver trading back again and having two second round picks, possibly three and grab Larry Warford from Kentucky at the top of the second. He can replace a injury prone (just all of the sudden anyway) Chris Kuper. They also have Phillip Blake in the wings waiting. The offensive line only gave up 21 sacks last season. Not too bad. I think they will be fine again this year.

  3. snarcasms says:
    Feb 21, 2013 3:06 PM

    If that were the case he’d be looking at MVP #7 or 8 at this point.

    He deserved it last year and didn’t get it.
    Actually, that’s the only reason he has 4 already.. The last one he definitely did NOT deserve since Manning had more INTs and less TDs than Brees yet he still won MVP over Brees in ’09

  4. I’m not too worried bout the OLine its been obvious since they got pushed around vs Baltimore that it needed to be retooled. I say flop Zane Beadles and Orlando Franklin. Beadles can’t hold up against bigger DTs and Franklin’s too slow for speed rushers. Clady will get a long term deal done. Chris Kuper will be fine and if not Manny Ramirez did OK filling in but I do believe we should draft a C/G and sign a vet back up. Walton is a scrub and needs to go. So the o line looks like LT: Clady LG: Franklin C: rookie/ vet RG : Kuper RT: Beadles. we really only need 2 peices, a C and a back up gaurd incase Kup can’t hold up. From what I hear the staff thinks C Phillip Blake outta Baylor who they drafted last year showed promise before he landed on IR so if he can stay healthy he could compete at G and C. It’s really not that big of a problem. I think if they get more girth in the middle Peyton will win MVP specially if they get a speedy WR to blow the top off of the defense and open room for DT, Rammed, and Eric Decker as well the run game

  5. I think Fox is just talking about Clady here. He’s their best lineman and the one with the injury. Although the other guys are injured, besides Koppen, Clady is real important to have at the workouts.

  6. ctgiant says:
    Feb 21, 2013 5:35 PM
    Bree’s and Manning should no be in the same “conversation”, ya think?
    Yeah, Manning doesn’t deserve to be in same conversation as Brees as Brees won Head-to-Head Super Bowl 44 MVP over Manning – HA!

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