Editor's note: DenverBroncos.com sat down with the assistant coaches to talk about their position groups before the coaches left Dove Valley for vacations in mid-June.
Without pads on for this part of the offseason, what are you able to do with your guys?"I think we can get a lot done because a lot of things change on the line of scrimmage. The mental aspect of it and going through and talking technique and hat placement – you can get a lot done. You lose the physical aspect of the game but rom an assignment standpoint and adjusting to all the checks and audibles and the changing of the plays I think that's a great time to sharpen your skills mentally."
How does having Demaryius Thomas at quarterback affect the line's pre-snap adjustments?"It's like anything else, you have to be on your toes. Because anything that's in the playbook he has the ability to get to go and does that and change mike points and things of that nature. That's why in these OTAs, even though not being in pads, he'll challenge us up front – the mental aspect of it. And that gives you all the reps and we get a lot of work with that stuff, just working from the line of scrimmage and not calling things in the huddle."
Are younger guys getting more reps with Ryan Clady out and J.D. Walton recovering from injury?"Well I think it gives a bunch of guys more time. J.D.'s a proven player and has done a nice job when he's healthy. Clady's a pretty good player also. And those guys are on top of it mentally, they've been in the system that we use up front going on year three or four – year three really with me and it's been a positive. I just got off the phone talking to Clady and he's doing well and he's looking forward to getting back. J.D.'s been in every meeting. So they're staying on top of it mentally. We just have to get them physically ready to perform."
What does Louis Vasquez bring to the unit?"His best attributes we haven't even seen yet because he brings a physical presence to us up front. He's a big, strong, physical guy and with not having the pads on he hasn't really had a chance to really demonstrate his biggest attributes. That'll come in time and we have a long time before that first game. We just have to keep working hard and everyday try to get a little bit better."
What do you see in Vinston Painter?"I think it's going to take him some time to pick up the system. But he's a big, strong, athletic guy that has exceptional movement skills. It's hard playing with the first unit with some of the things we do at the line of scrimmage. In time, he's got some versatility, we just have to be patient with him."
How important is versatility at the different positions along the offensive line?"I think the more things you can do the more valuable you are. We have some guys that can play multiple positions. It's nice when you don't have to bounce guys around because they get to hone their skills in but right now with so many guys out we're a little short-handed so we'll bounce some guys around. We willl probably do that a little more in camp just to get the flexibility of guys' ability."
How has having Alex Gibbs back helped the younger guys?"He's put a lot of time and effort in working with some of the younger guys and that's going to help because that takes a ton of time away from me – coaching those young guys where they don't get as much attention as the guys you know are going to play on Sunday. So that's been a great help."