Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Sep 2013

Ryan Clady Placed on IR

"Now we'll really see what Peyton Manning is made of!" ... is what I'd say if we didn't already see that in his last few years in Indianapolis with a bad offensive line.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 18 Sep 2013

20 comments, Last at 26 Sep 2013, 5:02am by Mr Shush


by pm :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 2:35pm

If Peyton Manning could go 14-0 with Charlie Johnson at LT, he can do the same with Chris Clark.

by rageon :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:06pm

As a Broncos fan, this sucks.

As a football fan, I'm very interested to see what happens when you take away a star left tackle from a team that should have easily had one of the top two offenses in football.

- (1) - They continue to have an amazing offense, which means either: (a) it's a waste of money to pay $10M to a lineman, or (b) maybe Peyton really is just superhuman.

- (2) - The offense falls off drastically, and a great left tackle really is worth every penny they get.

- (3) - The offense falls off a little bit, which is basically the boring option that's most likely to happen.

by Briguy :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:42pm

Look at Manning with the Colts after Tarik Glenn retired. I think it's pretty clear that 1(b) is the correct answer here.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 6:52pm

Agreed. It is just about possible to surround Manning with talent so awful that the offense as a whole is merely very good, but the Broncos haven't done that yet. It's not that paying left tackles is a waste of money; it's that it's a waste of money when you have Peyton Manning.

by Scott C :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:01am

There is one other ingredient: he has to be able to run his plays, his style of offense. He can take quick drops with his favorite route combinations to compensate for OL and WR weaknesses ... if allowed to do so.

If Norv was the coordinator and calling the shots, Peyton might be asked to take 7 step drops half the day behind a line that can't hold defenders at bay for 3 seconds, and by the time the play call is in there is no time to audible to another.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:47pm

I think Peyton has enough Favre in him to completely ignore an OC who calls the wrong plays, and enough pull to terrify any other offensive player who might try to defy him.

In the words of Warren Moon -- or you'll never see the ball again.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 1:25pm

This is correct; Manning is special in his ability to get rid of the ball quickly. This does not mean extending Clady was a mistake. Having a great pass-blocking tight is never a bad thing and, someday, the Broncos won't have Peyton Manning.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 9:20am

Having a great pass blocking tackle is never a bad thing. Spending a ton of cap room on something you don't need when you could spend it on something you do is.

by tuluse :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:02pm

Maybe if the Colts had average pass blocking, Manning never hurts his neck. I have a feeling they would have liked to spend the money on a better left tackle.

by nat :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 3:24pm

That seems a weird comment. It's not like Manning took a lot more hits than other QBs; quite the reverse. So unless you're supposing he hurt his neck by making quick throws, what the heck are you talking about?

by tuluse :: Fri, 09/20/2013 - 4:18pm

It's not really based on anything, but he did get hurt. One would think with better protection his chance of getting hurt would be lower.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 09/21/2013 - 10:38am

The injury which ultimately lead to the requirement for surgery took place on a hit in 2006 against the Redskins - with Tarik Glenn (in a pro bowl season) at left tackle. I'm not sure there's much evidence that Peyton takes more hits playing behind a worse line - he just gets rid of the ball faster.

by stan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 1:35am

Tarik Glenn was pretty bad. He made the pro bowl because he was the left tackle for the Colts, 18 rarely got sacked, therefore -- Glenn must be good. But anyone who broke down film of him was never impressed.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 5:02am

Pretty bad is a massive overstatement. Glenn was a solid player, even if he was a bit over-rated. At the very least he was light years better than the various guys the Colts tried to replace him with. Until the end of 2006, the Colts offensive line was very respectable. After that it was increasingly terrible.

by nat :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 10:49am

I'd guess (1) or (3), not because of (1a) or (1b), but because Peyton has enough targets that are getting open consistently that he doesn't need extra time to find an open man.

A left tackle's pass protection value is proportional to the amount of time needed for the QB to identify a target and make a throw. Both QBs and receivers have a large impact on that.

Manning is great at identifying quickly those receivers who are open quickly. His receivers are good at getting open quickly - or more to the point - getting open in ways that Manning can identify quickly, perhaps even at the pre-snap read.

If Manning had a bad receiving corps that took a long time to get open and did so unpredictably, his left tackle would matter a ton. As it is, not so much.

by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:10pm

There's bad, and then there's Winston Justice. They appear to have opted for the latter.

by rageon :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:12pm

He's not really "that Giants game" bad, is he?

Is it too late for Chris Kuper's ankle to magically heal and for him to learn to play tackle?

by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:43pm

Chris Clark is replacing Clady in the starting lineup, not Justice. They signed Justice to be an additional backup since, well, the guy who was backing up is now starting. So if Justice actually gets into a game, they were pretty much in trouble to begin with.

Unless Clark & Co. are Levi-Brown-was-an-upgrade bad (...which Justice might well qualify for...), I doubt it'll have a substantial effect on Manning's passing, unless it's because a decline in the run game causes more long-yardage, lower-percentage situations. Domino effect and all that.

by Gorilla Graham (not verified) :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 4:36pm

It's a drag, but I think the Broncos will be okay. Just means we may see more two tight end formations ( as they did, effectively, against the Giants ), and probably more playing time for Knowshon Moreno, since he's the only back they have who seems capable of pass blocking.

by TomC :: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 2:00pm

This sucks. I'm not a Broncos fan, but I like watching quality OL play, and Clady is my personal favorite LT in the league.