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Mason's Mailbag: The O-line, Jordan Taylor, expanded rosters and more

As always, you can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

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What's all the hype over the O-line? They haven't significantly improved, however C.J. is running with another gear this year. If you watch closely the guards aren't good still and had many missed assignments. Not to mention Max Garcia gave up a sack.**

-- Bonnie Yates

1) Completely disagree; I saw significant improvement Thursday night, and I saw a group that meshed far earlier than last year's line did. Watch their work on some of Anderson's longer runs, as well as on his 25-yard screen-pass touchdown reception, when you can see Max Garcia, Michael Schofield and Matt Paradis (who had perhaps his best game as a pro) as his escorts.

2) There isn't a game that goes by without some missed assignments.

3) That was perhaps the best front seven in the league that the Broncos faced -- and they did so with a first-time starter at quarterback. Emerging from the game with just two sacks allowed is a significant accomplishment.

4) Each of them is going to allow a sack at some point. If it becomes a pattern, that's when you worry. But Garcia won his share of battles Thursday. Don't forget that the game was just his sixth start. He is still learning.

No offense, Bonnie, but you seem to expect perfection, and that's not possible -- especially not when Matt Paradis was the only starter at the same position he played in Super Bowl 50. Lines take time to prepare; you can't put them in the microwave for three minutes and and have anything worth savoring.

I've covered this sport professionally for 42.5 percent of my life. Followed for a long time before that. I've never seen an offensive line with only one returning starter at his position come together in the first week.

For a first time out as a group against an outstanding defensive line, the line did well.

Any chance we see a reunion with Pot Roast after his release from the Pats?

-- Curtis Dickinson

Quite a few fans have asked about Terrance Knighton, who played for the Broncos in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. But I don't see it happening. Nose tackle is not a need position for the Broncos at this time, and Sylvester Williams and Darius Kilgo are better fits for the defense as it is currently constructed, with rookie Kyle Peko being developed for depth and potential contribution down the road.

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Hi. Why don't team owners not try to get, for instance, 60-man squads instead of 53? It seems that all teams always have to go thin on some positions. It will give more jobs as well.**

-- Thomas Lund-Hansen; Vejle, Denmark

I'm not sure that owners have a problem with it, per se, even though it would mean seven extra 53-man roster paychecks. However, the long-time objections to expanded rosters have largely come from the football side, because then you would have over-specialization for some players.

There are some who have been around the game for decades who would prefer to avoid this, because it would represent a further -- and unnecessary -- disconnection from the days of 40-man rosters. Larger rosters would also hurt struggling teams, who can use the waiver wire -- particularly at the 53-man deadline -- to bolster their rosters with players who would not be available if teams had 60 players on their active rosters.

I know the Broncos love Jeff Heuerman's potential, but isn't it time to put him on IR and get someone they can depend on? What is plan B if Virgil Green gets hurt?

-- Chad L

No, certainly not. Give Heuerman a chance. He was back on the practice field last week. If he can't recover, then you'd think about it, but at this point in the season, no. They got by reasonably well with Virgil Green and John Phillips last week.

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Is Sunshine big/strong enough to play some tight end?**

-- Charles Murphee

No. Jordan Taylor carries 210 pounds on a 6-foot-5 frame. Of the 142 tight ends on active rosters or practice squads, just two are within five pounds of that size, at 215 pounds. The average NFL tight end weighs 251 pounds; the average 6-foot-5 tight end weighs 247 pounds.

Further, consider the Broncos' needs at the position. Head Coach Gary Kubiak has said that practice-squad rookie Henry Krieger-Coble needs to add strength; he is listed at 248 pounds. The three tight ends on the 53-man roster are all above 250 pounds; Virgil Green and Jeff Heuerman weigh 255 pounds apiece and John Phillips is a 251-pounder. Realistically, you'd be asking Taylor to add a minimum of 35 pounds and perhaps 40, and that is not realistic and would compromise the athleticism and skill set that has given him an NFL shot.

@MaseDenver #AskMase Do u think the full back option will be something the Broncos keep in the fold? — Blake Marshall (@BAMM08301995) September 10, 2016

Why wouldn't it be? You saw the success that Andy Janovich had Thursday, and the production of C.J. Anderson reveals the impact of the sixth-round pick. Anderson had 10 carries with Janovich on the field and 10 with him on the sideline; he averaged 5.8 yards per rush with Janovich and 3.4 yards without him.

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Hey Mase, I really enjoy your updates and perspectives here on this site. When will we update the "tradition" and "moments in Broncos history" on this site? It is severely outdated.**

P.S. I wish you would continue the "Face the Mase."

-- Joe Anthony

First, thank you. As for the history section, a massive update and complete redesign of the history section is coming later this season, so hang in there.

As for "Face the Mase," we'll see. I think it's something we'll have to revisit in the offseason. During the season, I don't spend enough time with my four-year-old daughter as it is, let alone losing some nights to crank out some "Face the Mase" taping sessions, so I don't think I can sell that on the home front.


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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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