Garett Bolles learning to block the best as he enters first training camp

Credit: Ryan Greene, 5280 Sports Network

Training camp starts on Thursday for the Denver Broncos, but the rookies have been around for a few days now. In a session with the gathered media, rookie tackle Garett Bolles spoke about everything he’s been able to learn so far and what he is still learning at the NFL level.

Bolles has the unique opportunity to go against the best of the best in pass rushers, facing the likes of Von Miller and Shane Ray on a daily basis. While this could have been a discouraging experience, Bolles relayed that he felt going against these players has actually helped him immensely.

“[Miller and Ray helped develop] consistency in my pass set and making sure my knee doesn’t go outside my ankle and making sure that my hands are up because those guys are there for a reason. They make their money for a reason. Von was a Super Bowl MVP. All those guys are so strong, and I’m grateful and blessed that I get to play with those guys and learn from them,” the rookie explained. “They’re my friends. Von texts me all the time and talks to me. He’s excited to be with me on this team. He knows what I can bring to this team, so I just have to trust in the process and respect everyone and get ready to play.”

Being forced to at least try to stop Denver’s elite pass rush has built major confidence, according to Bolles. The rookie gave a very positive outlook going into camp and the season when asked about his areas of confidence.

“After going over tapes and having my exit interview, I have to be consistent in my pass set. They’re not worried about my run game. I feel like that’s my strength to be honest with you. As you guys watched my film from college, that’s how I was. I’m just going to continue to take everything I learn and continue to get better in my run game,” Bolles said. “Just being consistent with my pass set and being consistent with my hands and my eyes; that’s what we have to learn. Guys are so fast in this league. Guys are moving around. Blitzes are coming and you have to be aware. Just being consistent with that is going to make me that much better of a player.”

Bolles does presume to say he has it all figured out, however. Though he wants to show confidence in himself and his game, he realizes that the NFL is a different beast to conquer.

“I think my mental game is there. I definitely have to work on that, but physical, I feel like I’m ready. They drafted me for a reason. I have the ability to play this position, but not only that, but the guys around me believe in me and they want me to play because they know I can make the team better,” Bolles told the gathered media. “As I talk to Ron [Leary], Menelik [Watson], Von, Shane Ray, Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, all those guys believe in me. When I got here, when I got drafted, they all reached out to me and contacted me. I’m very blessed. I’m in a great place. This is the best organization in the NFL. I’m beyond blessed, my family is grateful to be here and we’re seriously just ready to hit the ground running.”

With camp starting Thursday, the public will get their first live look at Bolles and the rest of the rookie class. Bolles has a tough battle to start over veterans Donald Stephenson and Ty Sambrailo at left tackle, but he is saying all of the right things to show he is ready and willing to do whatever it takes.