Everyone always talks about how important the offensive line is in football but the offensive lineman are always overlooked. There’s no doubt that Peyton Manning is the most important player on the Denver Broncos. If that’s the case, shouldn’t the second most important player be the guy who protects Manning’s blind side. As Sandra Bullock said in the movie The Blind Side, “First you buy the house, than you buy the insurance.”
Ryan Clady is the insurance to Manning and he is having his best season as a pro. Clady had a great rookie season in 2008 but has struggled in the past couple years. Because of those struggles there was some concern about Clady’s ability to protect Manning, especially with the injury concerns surrounding the Pro Bowl quarterback. Clady is a part of an offensive line that has only given up 16 sacks for the season, and a lot of those were early in the year.
Because Manning is a pocket passer and thrives on reading defenses, it is vital that his blind side be protected so he can focus down field. Clady’s play allows Manning to do just that. Think about it, there’s not one time this season when Manning has been blindsided. Clady has only given up one sack all season and has only been called for holding once. That’s extraordinary when you consider that he is facing the best pass rushers every week.
Manning will continue to get the headlines as he throws more touchdowns this season but maybe just once remember this. It’s quite possible that on one of those touchdown passes, Clady gave Manning just enough time to get the throw away. No one talks about insurance until they need it; we should be talking Clady more than that.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7