ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Garett Bolles passed his first rookie test.
During a recent conversation, guard Ron Leary asked Bolles a question about the Broncos' playbook.
Yes, the same playbook that Bolles just recently received after being drafted 20th overall by the Broncos on April 27.
He wasn't fazed.
Not even two weeks later, and the rookie showed he already has a jump on Offensive Line Coach Jeff Davidson's scheme.
"He's already in the playbook," Leary said Tuesday. "He impressed me. I said a play and he knew what the play was right away, so I was impressed with that."
That mental learning curve will be the biggest obstacle during Bolles' transition to the NFL, Leary said. Though much of the scheme carries over from college to the NFL, the naming convention is entirely different.
Bolles will have to cope with that while adjusting to a league in which "everybody's big and strong," Leary said.
If there's one thing working in Bolles' favor, though, it's his relative maturity compared to others drafted in the first round. He'll be 25 years old by the time the Broncos kick off the season against the Los Angeles Chargers in September, and Leary thinks that's an advantage for the first-year player.
"He's 25, so he's a grown man," said Leary, who called Bolles to congratulate him in the days after the draft. "He talks like a grown man. He approaches the game like a grown man. And he wants to play ball."
That grown-man mentality meshes with the goal that Head Coach Vance Joseph and Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway have articulated throughout the offseason.
"He's real physical," Leary said. "I know that's what John and Vance were trying to do with the O-line, and I think he fits perfectly with that. I'm looking forward to getting him in here, having him mesh with the guys and just get to playing some ball."
Pretty soon, Bolles will get the chance to show that on the field.
And as he makes that transition, Leary, guard Max Garcia and the rest of the offensive-line room will have his back.
"He has us," Garcia said, "and we're going to do whatever we can. He's one of us now, so he's under our wing and under our supervision."
Bolles may be a grown man, but that should be welcome news as the rookie finds his footing in the NFL.