One of the few bright spots for the Denver Broncos in their disappointing 2017 season has been the play of rookie tackle Garett Bolles. Bolles, a 2017 first-round draft pick out of Utah, has started every game for the Broncos at left tackle.

Bolles has shown promise in his rookie season, while also enduring typical growing pains that come with being a rookie in the NFL. There have been occasions where Bolles has, like most rookies, struggled in the midst of a game.

It appears one of the areas Bolles continues to struggle with has been committing holding penalties against pass rushers, setting the Broncos back ten yards as a result.

Head coach Vance Joseph addressed Bolles’ progression as a player as well as some of the holding calls against Bolles to the media: “I think he’s progressing fine. The holding penalties bother me. That’s more of technique and having a clock in your head, the same way a quarterback does. If you’re blocking a guy and your clock says it’s over, let him go.”

Joseph continued to discuss the matter, also noting that not all of the penalties called against Bolles are necessarily his fault: “If the QB’s holding the ball too long, that’s his issue. But he has to learn that he can’t block the guy past the quarterback and have holding calls. That’s the part he has to fix and it’s all about experience and having a clock in your head the same as a quarterback. When that clock expires, let that guy go.”

The ‘clock’ that Joseph is referring to knowing how long to block a defender before letting him go, limiting the possibility of being called for holding. Hypothetically, if the offensive lineman and quarterback are in sync on a particular passing play, the quarterback should get rid of the ball about the same time the offensive lineman’s ‘clock’ is set to expire.

Having that same ‘internal clock’ mentality is something that players learn over time. Bolles, still in his rookie year, still has time to develop his.

The Broncos’ quarterbacks have been holding onto the ball far longer than they should all season long, resulting in unnecessary sacks that often get pinned on the offensive line.

The Broncos are due for a massive overhaul in the offseason, one that may or may not include the coaching staff, but it’s reasonable to expect changes at the quarterback position as well as along the offensive line. Bolles won’t likely be part of any shuffle.

This Sunday, the Broncos travel to Miami to take on coach Joseph’s former team. Bolles and the rest of the offensive line will have their hands full, as the Dolphins possess a plethora of pass rushers, including All-Pro Ndamukong Suh and Pro Bowlers Cameron Wake and Lawrence Timmons.

Joseph’s confidence in Bolles is a promising sign that the Broncos might have found their left tackle of the future — a small, silver lining behind the dark cloud that’s swallowed Denver’s season.