The offensive line is an unsettled unit as of yet, but tackle Calvin Anderson is always prepared to have a starting role.
The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider talked to Anderson about his mindset as the starting right tackle during training camp, despite having just one start at the position in his career.
"What I've learned being a swing (tackle) the last few years is that no matter what happens during the season, you always have to be ready to play," Anderson said.
Kosmider referenced Anderson's first career start in 2020, which he was informed about only 30 minutes before kickoff. Anderson, who only ever played snaps on special teams, suddenly had to fill in for left tackle Garett Bolles on the offensive line.
"The mentality has shifted as I've gotten older to where you always have to be thinking, 'I'm the starter,' at least from an offensive line perspective," Anderson said. "We always have to be thinking we're playing and practicing like a starter because we never know when our time will come."
This mentality has paid off, as Anderson has gotten a significant number of snaps at right tackle during training camp. Free agent signing Billy Turner will also compete for the job once he returns from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but Anderson will keep the same ready-to-play mindset regardless.
Anderson had the chance to work with six-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Staley in the offseason, which has helped him prepare to take on a bigger role in 2022. Staley, who played the wide-zone scheme for most of his 13-year career, was a valuable resource for Anderson as he learned Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett's offense.
"Now I have a bigger opportunity to be a consistent starter, but still my mentality is, 'Every single play, I've got to be ready,'" Anderson said. "You never know what might happen. People could get hurt. We might have to shift the line around. You never know. So I want to be that for this team, a guy who is always ready to play."
Below the Fold
Russell Wilson is one of the nine active NFL players who is a lock for the Hall of Fame, according to NFL.com’s Adam Schein. Wilson is one of three quarterbacks on the list, alongside Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
"Bottom line: Russ is a winner," Schein wrote. "He's a superstar. And his elusiveness and creativity when the play breaks down is worth the price of admission alone.
"This is about where the players stand today. And yes, I absolutely believe Russ has the Canton chops right now. That said, I think Wilson, who's still just 33, is going to enjoy a stellar second act with the Broncos. So eventually, all you haters out there will be forced to acknowledge he's a lock."