ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The left tackles who protected Peyton Manning’s blind side over his first 13 years in Indianapolis will not be confused with the greats of the game.
Unheralded Tarik Glenn did make three Pro Bowl appearances over his 10 seasons. The players who followed Glenn – Tony Ugoh and Charlie Johnson – were better known not so much for winning Glenn’s old job as for taking it by default.
So, when Manning was asked Thursday if he’s even the least bit nervous about the prospect of his blind side being covered for the rest of this season by fifth-year journeyman Chris Clark instead of Ryan Clady – one of only four offensive linemen in history to start every game and make three Pro Bowls over his first five seasons – the Broncos quarterback barely waited for the question to finish.
“No. No,” Manning said, the query seemingly barely worth answering. “Chris will do a good job.”
Clady had missed the offseason while completing a difficult rehabilitation from surgery to repair his right shoulder.
“The fact that he (Clady) was injured the entire offseason did allow for Chris Clark to get a great deal of repetition. That will pay dividends for Chris.”
Indeed, it was Clark lining up at left tackle for much of training camp, which means he won’t be coming in cold. Just like any cog in a Manning-led offense, Clark is expected to know his assignments and not miss a beat.