Playing in their fifth game together as a unit, the Broncos’ offensive line turned in their finest performance of the season Week 5 vs. San Diego. Denver quarterbacks were not sacked, and the line led the way for Willis McGahee’s second consecutive 100-yard rushing game.
“I think at this point in time, we’ve done a pretty good job of improving every week,” Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu said. “I think we struggled early in grasping concepts and techniques that are new. I think that now we’re starting to understand all the concepts.”
Denver’s offensive line is the second-youngest in the NFL, averaging just 25.4 years of age. With three players in either their rookie or second season, the line continues to improve as a unit each week that they spend together.
Much of that improvement stems from the leadership of the unit’s veteran, Chris Kuper, who is in his sixth NFL season and was elected as a team captain in 2011.
“I think (Chris) does a great job. He’s a leader on the football field, in the locker room, in our meeting room,” Magazu said. “He’s been doing a great job of helping with the development of Orlando Franklin.”
With the front five showing improvement each week, so has the Broncos’ run game. McGahee has produced three 100-yard games, which is tied for the most among all NFL running backs in 2011.
Denver ranks 10th in the NFL, averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season, which is a 10.3 percent improvement over its 2010 rushing average. That improvement is ninth best among all NFL clubs.
Magazu credits Ryan Clady with sparking the production of the run game this season.
“Ryan’s obviously an outstanding football player,” Magazu said. “I thought he had his best game last week as far as a run blocker, so it is coming together for him.”