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Film Room: Graham Glasgow's Ironman Week 1 Performance Amid Heartbeat Issues

Graham Glasgow goes under the microscope after his Week 1 debut.

The Denver Broncos had their fair share of issues dealing with the New York Giants defensive line. Leonard Williams is one of the most underrated interior pass rushers in the NFL, and Dexter Lawrence is starting to come into his own as a great defensive lineman. 

But, despite their issues on the interior, the Broncos did manage to get enough wins, or even stalemates, to not let the defensive line totally wreck the game. Right guard Graham Glasgow was the best interior lineman for the Broncos, all while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. 

Glasgow did a great job to nullify the damage done, particularly by Lawrence, and managed to turn some early losses in the rep into stalemates. There was a lot of subtlety to his game, and he often managed to redirect the momentum from Lawrence. That said, it was still a rough showing overall by Glasgow, although he did adapt as the game went on. 

Again, as we study Glasgow's film, it's important to remember that he was dealing with a very scary situation. Sudden heart palpitations and irregular heartbeats in the heat of battle? That's no joke. 

Play 1: First Quarter | 5:39 

Situation: 2nd-&-3

Off the snap, Glasgow gets put on his heels but can hold his ground. This looks like a huge loss by the offensive lineman; however, that wasn't the case. Even with him on his heels, he redirects the momentum of the defensive lineman and clears out the hole for the running back. 

Seeing this play from the All-22 angle would really show how good of a job Glasgow did. While he isn't driving the defender five yards downfield, he does his job by opening the lane. The defense just did a great job crashing in on the play and taking advantage of a couple of bad blocks by others on the offense. 

Play 2: First Quarter | 5:13 

Situation: 2nd-&-11

This rep was solid from Glasgow to keep the hole clean. He keeps his hands active and gets his assignment turned away from the hole, though ever so slightly. That slight movement in positioning is enough to keep the defender from making a play on the ball-carrier. 

While one can nitpick about driving him downfield or making a second block, Glasgow does his job. The running back got to the second level, only to be brought down from behind from the weakside edge defender who went unblocked. The issue in this play was LG Dalton Risner, who got bullied and had his block shed, leading to him being completely turned around from the play. 

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Play 3: Second Quarter | 1:19 

Situation: 3rd-&-8

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Glasgow lost this rep by giving up the inside lane to the quarterback. It took everything he had to seal it from the defender and even some help from center Lloyd Cushenberry. This was a dangerous play for the quarterback, with a blitzer closing in. 

RB Javonte Williams did a good job picking up the blitz, but it made the pocket tight around Teddy Bridgewater. As a result, there wasn't much room to get rid of the ball, and plays like this led to multiple interceptions from Bridgewater last season. Thankfully, WR Jerry Jeudy had opened enough window for Bridgewater to hit in from a collapsed pocket. 

Play 4: Third Quarter | 14:20 

Situation: 3rd-&-5

Bridgewater does a great job on this play to cover for the terrible job by Glasgow. The defender gets under his pads and puts him on skates as he is driven into the lap of Bridgewater. Glasgow's last-second recovery to keep the defender from fully collapsing on Bridgewater buys enough time for the escape. 

The key for the defender was how low he stayed when firing off the snap and then driving his power upwards upon contact. It didn't help that Glasgow was flat-footed when contact was made, so there was no ability to absorb any of the power. As the rep continues, Glasgow keeps fighting to regain control and manages a brief victory to keep this play from being a sack. 

Play 5: Fourth Quarter | 4:48 

Situation: 1st-&10

This was the best play by the Broncos' offensive line, and it came on the game-sealing play. It wasn't just Glasgow who did a tremendous job, but RT Bobby Massie, TE Eric Saubert, and TE Albert Okwuegbunam as well. The Broncos open up a huge lane for Melvin Gordon to break off the 70-yard touchdown round. 

Glasgow gets put on his heels but again directs the defender's momentum away from the ball-carrier. This is what you want to see and really is a textbook block from Glasgow. Getting those second and third blocks is always a good thing, but you maintain your block when you are sealing the hole. 

Saubert does an excellent job of clearing out the hole while Okweugbunam and Massie seal the lane from the linebackers. This was a beautiful play by the blockers to set up Gordon. 

The Takeaway

Glasgow is still an underrated offensive lineman for the Broncos. While he isn't elite, he often does his job well and rarely falters. This game was rough for him, but he showed his veteran savviness to adapt to what he was dealing with and pull off more than enough wins for the offense to have a good day.


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