The Denver Broncos first-team offensive line proved on Friday night against Seattle that it is coming together as a unit in Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme, though it still has some room for improvement. On several plays, Brock Osweiler found himself under pressure due to missed assignments or simply getting beat. And considering that Seattle left several of their key starters on the defensive line on the bench for the preseason opener, the young and inexperienced line will need to mature quickly if it hopes to be prepared for Baltimore’s Week 1 starters including Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.

As of Monday, Kubiak had not made any changes to personnel on the first team, a sign that he feels at least mostly confident in the effort of the o-line against Seattle. But the guys on The Press Box Insider on Mile High Sports AM 1340 say there’s more work that needs to be done than Kubiak is letting on. In Josh Davis’ eyes, Ty Sambrailo, who was thrust into the starting left tackle job for Denver after Ryan Clady went down with a season-ending ACL injury, was “getting eaten for lunch” by fellow rookie Frank Clark of Seattle. A missed assignment by Sambrailo, the guys note, contributed greatly to the play that caused C.J. Anderson to limp off the field and be removed from the game.

The health of the first-string offensive line, Davis points out, is really the key issue, however. He saw very few positives from the second team during second half play, underscoring how important not only the development of the young line is, but also its health – especially early in the season.

Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison split the workload evenly between the first and second half, amassing 16 rush attempts in each half. The results, however, were staggeringly different. On 16 rushes in the first half, Denver’s first-team offense ran for 101 yards. The second unit added just 12 yards on the ground in the second half, a per-rush average of 0.75. That output simply won’t cut it in an offense that’s expected to use the run to set up the pass.

Listen to the full discussion on the o-line, as well as some talk about Osweiler’s performance, in the podcast below.

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