ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Yes, Broncos fans are loyal and passionate.
They also yell it like it is.
And when it came to Garett Bolles’ holding call penalties last year, the fans let him have it.
The Broncos’ fourth-year left tackle probably won’t have to hear boos in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, September 14 as it seems doubtful fans will be allowed games in the early part of the season.
But that’s not the point. The point is to give fans, whether they’re there or not, reason to cheer.
"Our fans are some of the best fans in the country," Bolles said in a Zoom interview with members of the Denver media Thursday. "They deserve the best football here in Denver. We have a tradition here of winning. It’s unacceptable for the way that I played and I take full responsibility of that. But what I do -- nobody likes to get booed -- I took that upon myself to get better.
"I worked out hard. I put on 20 extra pounds. I did whatever I can to make myself better, the best version of me moving forward because I know this is a very important season not just for me but for my family. This organization is counting on me to be the best version of myself. I know whatever I had to do this offseason, I did it."
The 20 added pounds may be slightly misleading because Bolles generally loses 10 to 15 pounds during the season. He said the 20 extra pounds put him up to 305, 310, which is where he should be, anyway.
No doubt, there is stress in having the responsibility of protecting the blind side for the Broncos’ quarterback.
For the first time since he was the Broncos’ first-round draft pick, No. 20 overall, in 2017, Bolles has the same offensive line coach as the previous year in Mike Munchak. He also has the same mobile quarterback he finished with last year in Drew Lock.
Broncos management sent Bolles mixed votes of confidence during the offseason. General manager John Elway showed faith in his left tackle by ignoring the public outcry to sign or draft a new offensive tackle this offseason.
Then again, Elway didn’t pick up the $11.064 salary option on Bolles for the 2021 seasons, a sign of no confidence.
Which could be beneficial for Bolles. By not having his fifth-year option picked up, Bolles can have a solid fourth year in 2020, then strike it big with a multiyear contract as an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
"That was out of my control," Bolles said. "I can’t dictate what Mr. Elway or those guys up front do. What I can dictate is how I play on the football field. That’s exactly what I can dictate. I focus on myself and I can focus on my teammates.
"I love my teammates. I can focus on Drew and I can focus on everything else. I can’t control that. My agent will take care of that when the time comes. I know that if I play good football and I play the best I can, then I know I can be here long-term. I know I can play at this level a long time."
Broncos podcast: Klis' Mike Drop
Denver Broncos headlines, game previews and interviews with our 9NEWS insider Mike Klis.
HOW TO LISTEN
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Sports