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20 days, 20 Broncos camp questions -- 16. What must Ty Sambrailo and Max Garcia show in Year Two?

Posted Jul 23, 2016

They're on the first team heading into training camp, and how they develop at the guard spots could determine the fate of the O-line.

Maturity, persistence and that most of their rookie mistakes are behind them.

You can't expect perfection from the Broncos' two projected starting guards this summer. Sambrailo is still recovering from the torn labrum that ended his rookie season, and his work during OTAs was limited, although his team-period repetitions increased over the course of the four weeks. Garcia is entering his first season as a full-time starter.

But both now have the benefit of a year of tutelage in a blocking scheme that historically has seen linemen make significant leaps in their second year in it.

Garcia had a trial by fire last year, working at both guard positions in place of Louis Vasquez and Evan Mathis.

"Being in one spot will help him," Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison said during OTAs. "That experience he got through the year in games really has helped him. I think he’s just settled in.

"He’s one of those guys that you don’t notice because he’s doing his job."

Sambrailo's biggest task will be to adjust to working at right guard, which requires a bit more quickness to handle an inside rush.

"It’s different. A little quicker," Sambrailo said in May. "Guys are a little bigger. Everything is kind of the same in the concept of you’ve got to get your feet in the ground and hands on somebody. It all just kind of changes slightly."

But it's a position at which he has potential, and some teams projected him at guard, and not tackle, when he was draft-eligible last year.

“Obviously he’s an athletic kid. He has great balance. That’s what we saw when we drafted him. He’s a smart kid. He comes from a stellar university (Colorado State) my alma mater," Dennison said in May with a smile.

And with Sambrailo on the inside, the Broncos have their top combination on the field.

"It’s a chance to get our best five guys out there," Dennison said.


1. How will they replace Malik Jackson?
2. What will Roby provide in his third year?
3. What's next at long snapper?
4. Will DT have a bounce-back season?
5. What must Heuerman show this summer?
6. Will Green show he can be the No. 1 option at TE?
7. Who could start a new undrafted streak?
8. How long will it take the new OTs to get up to speed?
9. Who could emerge to handle kickoff and punt returns?
10. Who will be the No. 3 safety?
11. Are Barrett and Ray ready for bigger roles?
12. Who emerges as the No. 3 WR behind Thomas and Sanders?
13. Who steps up at ILB alongside Marshall?
14. What must Sanchez show to be the starter?
15. Is Paradis ready to step forward as a leader on the O-line?

Max Garcia and Ty Sambrailo