ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has promised that plenty of combinations will get a look in training camp to make decisions about the team’s still-under-construction offensive line, and in Thursday's practice the Broncos showed another one.
In one of the most youthful combinations in the first week of training camp, Matt Pradis and rookie Max Garcia got their most extensive work with the starters at center and left guard, respectively.
"Those two guys have been playing well, they deserve to work with the [starters]," Kubiak said.
That alignment also meant the Broncos had a rookie at left tackle in Ty Sambrailo, a rookie in Garcia at left guard and Paradis, a 2014 draft pick who spent his rookie season on the practice squad, at center in front of quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Broncos have already used several combinations in the offensive front in training camp, but until Thursday’s practice, most of the movement in the starting lineup had come at right tackle. Paradis replaced, at least for now, Gino Gradkowski and Garcia replaced Ben Garland.
Paradis and Garcia had both caught the coaches’ attention early in camp, especially in how they handled themselves in the team’s movement-friendly scheme and their work in 1-on-1 drills.
"Whatever young guys are in there have to be ready to go," said guard Louis Vasquez, an All-Pro guard in 2013 who is the only given in the offensive front at the moment. "We want to get everybody ready, if you’re in there, the expectation is you can get the job done."
"Just the O-line we have on the roster -- none of us are the huge maulers, power-scheme guys," Paradis said. "We’re more athletic. This is perfect for us."
Kubiak has said the team recognizes the value of putting together a line with players the team can keep together beyond this season. But he has also said they won’t simply play young players to make that happen, but rather they want to put the young players in the position to win the job and then see if they can make that happen.
And he said giving Paradis and Garcia the work with the starters is just part of that process.
"We’re going to be young, we know that," Kubiak said. "But we’re going to play our best five, and believe me, those two guys are in the mix to be our best five."