On Tuesday, a six-person committee of both USA Football and NFL Players Association members selected Ryan Clady to the inaugural USA Football/NFLPA “All-Fundamentals” Team. The second-year lineman was recognized as one of the league’s most fundamentally-sound players and a community service activist.
Clady and Head Coach Josh McDaniels reflected on that prestigious honor during a press conference at Dove Valley before the team’s Thursday practice session.
McDaniels called Clady “one of the most athletic left tackles” in the game today, praising the 6-foot-6, 325-pound left tackle’s ability to play with constant effort for 60 minutes.
“In order to be as successful and productive as he’s been at left tackle, you have to be good fundamentally,” McDaniels said. “You can’t guess. You have to use your hands and your feet equally effectively, and he does that. (He’s a) very smart player. He knows what he needs to do, not only in the pass-protection game but also in run blocking. He does a nice job working with the other interior linemen. (This is) a very well-deserved award for him.”
Honored at the left tackle position in part due to his quick hands in pass protection, Clady said fundamentals have been crucial to fulfilling his job description on a daily basis. He credited offensive line coach Rick Dennison for helping him excel at keeping defenders away from the quarterback.
As a part of the award, Clady will choose a youth or high school football program to receive a $1,500 equipment grant from USA Football. Clady said it was a special feeling to be a role model to kids of all ages.
“Kids, college players, they all can learn and get better,” he said.
While Clady said his teammates have already given him a bit of a hard time for winning the award, McDaniels believes the honor is one Clady can share with the entire offensive line.
“Certainly, I think he has one of the finest offensive line coaches in all of football here in Coach Dennison,” McDaniels said. “It says a lot for that whole group, and I’m sure that group will be happy for him and his success.”
There was only one change to the Broncos’ Injury Report on Thursday. After not participating in Wednesday’s practice, David Bruton (thigh) was a limited participant on Thursday.
There were eight changes to the Colt’s Injury Report on Thursday. After not practicing on Wednesday, DB Antoine Bethea (rested), DE Dwight Freeney (rested), T Charlie Johnson (foot), LB Clint Session (calf) and T Tony Ugoh (hip) were full participants on Thursday. After not being listed on Wednesday’s Injury Report, WR Hank Baskett (personal reason) and T Ryan Diem (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday and DT Daniel Muir (hamstring) was a limited participant.
Below are some pictures from the onset of practice.
– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com