Fangio defends Garett Bolles' holding foul vs SF: 'It wasn't his fault'

Chad Jensen

When Emmanuel Sanders hauled in his big 45-yard reception in the first quarter of the Denver Broncos' Monday night preseason bout vs. San Francisco, fans held their collective breath. 

Sure enough, yellow laundry floated down onto the field. 

Holding. No. 72, offense. 10-yard penalty. 

Garett Bolles had been busted for a blatant hold yet again. Bolles was crucified by fans, and media (including yours truly) but apparently, there's more to the story. 

The 45-yard connection between Joe Flacco and Sanders would have set the Broncos up on the Niners' 3-yard line. But Denver ended up punting.  

On Wednesday, the Broncos convened at UC Health Training Center for practice ahead of the team's next preseason game vs. the L.A. Rams. Head coach Vic Fangio was asked about his thoughts on Bolles' holding penalty in the previous game, how it likely cost the Broncos points, etc. 

Fangio's response was surprising. 

“On the play you’re particularly talking about, it wasn’t his fault there on that," Fangio said on Wednesday. "He was supposed to get a chip from the tight end. He set accordingly to get that chip. The tight end didn’t chip him, which put Garett in a bad spot and caused that holding penalty. That wasn’t Garett at all.”

This article is not meant to deep-dive on Bolles' ability or discipline (lack thereof). It's simply a report. But if there is a takeaway here, it's that Fangio stood up for his starting left tackle publicly. 

The Broncos are holding out hope that their 2017 first-rounder can turn the ship around and play up to his lofty draft pedigree under new O-line Coach Mike Munchak. While the early returns on Bolles' play haven't been encouraging, we have to trust Fangio's evaluation, at least on this particular play. 

If Fangio says that the tight end should have chipped that rusher, and that Bolles had to essentially make lemonade out of lemons, I believe him. The hold also ensured, for what it's worth, that Flacco did not take a massive blindside shot on the play.

The last thing the Broncos need is Flacco to get dinged up. We'll see whether Bolles can put it all together in 2019. 

Meanwhile, stay tuned, as our Erick Trickel is working on a film article breaking down Bolles' play through three preseason games. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen. 

Comments (6)
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Carcinogenic coast
Carcinogenic coast

Bout time someone acknowledged this. Sooo tired of the witch-hunts without understanding scheme. A heads up play by Bolles keeping Flacco's jersey clean.


Here is the issue: a 3rd year LT should have the technique down to recover when he doesnt get the help he is supposed to without resulting in a hold. It wasnt a heads up play, it was Bolles panicking and grabbing. It kept Flacco clean, which I am thankful for, but he should be at a point he can do that without holding. Instead he is exactly where he is at with technique as he was his rookie year.