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Ryan Clady provides perspective on Garett Bolles' rookie season


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — **As former All-Pro tackle Ryan Clady returned to UCHealth Training Center on Saturday, he provided a glimpse at the kind of player the Broncos hope Garett Bolles can be.

And though Clady hasn't studied Bolles' tape, he sees the foundation for great things from the rookie.

"From what I've seen, I think he has a great foundation," Clady said. "I think he's going to be a good player in this league."

Two-time All-Pro Ryan Clady was welcomed back to UCHealth Training Center on Saturday to retire as a Bronco. (Photos by Ben Swanson)

Bolles has followed in Clady's footsteps as a first-round pick who has started every game of his rookie season at left tackle. As Clady can attest, being a first-round pick brings lofty expectations to play immediately and matching them can be a tough challenge.

"Immediately you're usually thrown in there to start," Clady said. "As a first rounder at pretty much any position, if you get picked in the first round, they want you to play and they want you to contribute. There's a lot of pressure on you, for sure."

And just as Bolles faced talented edge rushers like Melvin Ingram to start his career, Clady also faced tough edge rushers from the start.

"I remember my first preseason game was against Mario Williams, and I was like, 'Wow, this is the NFL. I might not be here too long,'" Clady said. "Him, and then I had a practice against DeMarcus Ware, so I was just like, 'This is crazy.' But those are the best rushers I'd seen that whole year. So they made the season a little easier, for sure."

If Bolles reacts similarly to facing top talent, he should be in a good position heading into his second season. The difference going into that year, Clady said, is understanding what playing in the NFL requires.

"You kind of take it as a job," said Clady said of how he went into his second season. "In college, it's kind of like it was just fun. You're hanging out with your boys, you're together the whole time. Then once you get to the league, you see it's a job. … You know it's a business, and to stay in this business, you've got to work."

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