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Broncos training camp burning question: Who lines up at guard?

After being limited to mental repetitions during OTAs, Ron Leary, the Broncos' guard for whom a starting spot is most assured, is set to go for training camp.

"I'm good now. I've been doing everything for the last couple of weeks," he told Orange and Blue 760 earlier this month. "I'll be there July 27 just like everybody else, ready to roll."

But then it becomes a question of where he lines up. In all likelihood, Leary will settle at the left guard spot he handled in Dallas. Head Coach Vance Joseph said earlier in the offseason this would "probably" be the case, and it would get Leary back to the position at which he displayed overpowering form in the 2016 season before jumping to the Broncos in free agency and moving to right guard.

"I feel good about it," he told Orange and Blue 760. "I'm not sure if it's 100 percent; you really don't know how those things go sometimes, but, man, I'm just eager to get back to playing some ball."

As was the case last year, Leary is willing to play wherever he's asked. But where he lines up could have an impact on the other guard spot, as well.

If Leary returns to right guard, which he played last year before being injured, that could open the door for Max Garcia, who played left guard last season and lined up at the spot during OTAs while Leary watched.

Garcia will be "cross-trained" at both guard spots, Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave said during minicamp. Others who will learn multiple positions include Billy Turner at right tackle and right guard and Connor McGovern at center and guard.

"You want guys to be cross-trained because on game day you’re dressing seven guys, so you have to have guys who can play multiple positions," Musgrave said. "That’s always the key for the offensive line, to have guys who can move around.”

The need for versatility also helped push Menelik Watson to right guard during OTAs, as he split time with McGovern. It was the first work for Watson on the inside after he spent his first five seasons at the tackle spots.

“OTAs, especially with the O-Line, are to allow guys to kind of play different positions," Head Coach Vance Joseph said in May. "We want guys to play left guard and right guard. We want guys to play tackle and guard ... It just makes us better and makes [Watson] a better player. It helps us win. We’ll see."

McGovern's five starts at right guard last year brought some promising moments that showed he could handle the rigors of a first-team gig. But training camp and the preseason will reveal whether he gets the chance to continue building on that work as a starter or remains a valuable swing backup behind Turner, Watson or Garcia.

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