Offensive Line’s Success Protecting Manning A Result Of ‘Brotherhood’
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DENVER (CBS4) – When your offensive and defensive lines are winning the majority of the battles during a football game your team usually wins, and that’s what’s happening for the Denver Broncos so far in the postseason.
Chris Clark and the other Broncos offensive linemen have done a fantastic job protecting quarterback Peyton Manning so far in the playoffs. In the wins over the Chargers and then the Patriots on Sunday Manning didn’t get sacked once.
“I am looking at some of these pockets. I could stand back there and read a couple books!” CBS4’s Vic Lombardi told Clark on Xfinity Monday Live.
Clark told Lombardi he and the other offensive lineman make a point of sticking together, and that unity helps in the trenches during games.
“There are times before the game when we get together and we go over tips and reminders, and we hold each other accountable,” Clark said. “It’s really a brotherhood with our O line, and we try and stay tight knitted.
“If no group will, we will, and we feel sometimes you have to take your team on your back and try and get things done.”
Clark is a University of Southern Mississippi grad who lost his family home during Hurricane Katrina. He’s in his fifth NFL season and earned a starting role on the line after the Broncos lost tackle Ryan Clady in their Week 2 win over the New York Giants.
Clark is one of many faces on the Broncos roster who have filled in admirably after starters went down with injuries this season. He says he’s believer in and a product of Coach John Fox’s “next man up” approach.
“I’m a guy in that situation as well. Just getting it done, whatever it takes, no matter what,” he said.
Clady, who is on injured reserve and recovering from a Lisfranc foot injury, has gone out of his way to help Clark improve since he took his spot on the line.
“(Clady) helps me out with different things,” Clark said. “In between games or at the game or before or after he asks me how I’m feeling. He watches me on certain sets and lets me know what he sees that I’m doing wrong.”
Like most of the players on the Broncos who are headed to the Super Bowl for the first time, Clark was feeling euphoric after the 26-16 win against the Patriots on Sunday in the AFC Championship.
He said when the party started on the field at Sports Authority Field at Mile High he was “by the fans, by my teammates. I was all over the place.”
“Sitting back after the game and seeing the confetti. It really does something to you,” Clark said, describing when it hit him that his team was headed to the Super Bowl. “You’re not used to that feeling. Being able to see that come down lets you know you did something right.”
Still, Clark knows the team has unfinished business.
“Asking the guys today, we all felt the same way — like we haven’t arrived yet. This is good, but it is not enough,” he said.
The Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Clark described Seattle as a “tough opponent” that wins a lot of games defensively.
Watch more of the video with Chris Clark in the Xfinity Monday Live section.