Analyzing Graham Glasgow’s Broncos career: what went right, wrong
We look back on the last three years of Graham Glasgow’s career with a chat from Broncos writer Joe Rowles.
When we last left Graham Glasgow, he was leaving the Detroit Lions in disappointing circumstances. His level of play was still high, but the Lions – under abrasive coach Matt Patricia – weren’t making Glasgow feel the way they wanted. Not only did the Lions employ an unorthodox guard rotation that saw Glasgow in and out of the lineup, but the Lions finished the year 3-12-1 and looked like they were going nowhere.
Despite losing little time, playing well and having a versatile position, the Lions did not show much interest in Glasgow. So he took the opportunity in 2020 to pay elsewhere. Glasgow won with a four-year, $44 million contract Denver Broncos.
We knew Glasgow as a reliable high character player in Detroit. But what do people in Denver think of him after three years with the Broncos? It’s easy to say that his time in Denver was a failure because he lost the title, but what really happened in those three years and why did the Broncos continue?
We had a short conversation Mile High Report from Joe Rowles Here’s his take on Glasgow’s time in Denver and if he’s the same Graham Glasgow we remember three years ago. Here is our interview.
Do you see Glasgow’s three years in Denver as a success, a failure, or something in between?
“Ultimately, it’s impossible to call Glasgow’s time in Denver a success because injuries were a significant factor. I would hesitate to consider it a failure, however.’
Why didn’t things work out in the end? Were the Broncos right to move on?
“A big reason Glasgow isn’t a Bronco anymore is because they signed (team president) John Elway and then (GM) George Paton investing significant draft capital in their interior offensive line. Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry, Netane Muti, Quinn Meinerz and Luke Wattenberg were all in the mix. though they are, they offer cheaper alternatives to a veteran in the middle of his second contract. That, along with the decision to move from a rookie QB to one of the league’s most expensive passers in Russell Wilson, put pressure on the team to find ways to cut costs where they can. Injuries during his time in Glasgow the way they made an impact made him a pretty obvious candidate for the hat tip.
“As for the Glasgow game, I would say it was what I thought the Broncos were getting when they signed him from the Lions in 2020. and I still think he was a better starting option than Lloyd Cushenberry at center when he was healthy.”
What happened in 2022? He had his lowest PFF grade since his rookie season; was there any problem since his injury (broken ankle in 2020)?
“I want to preface this by saying that I don’t put much stock in the PFF grades for the offensive line. That being said, Glasgow had a major ankle injury that derailed 2021, and Nathaniel Hackett, like other members of Denver, was negatively impacted. When Mike Muncha replaced OL coach last year with stalwart Butch Barry. For a significant portion of the season the Broncos’ coaches didn’t do well with the offensive line.”
Do you think Glasgow is still capable of being a full-time starter?
“I think he’s a strong candidate to compete for playing time at center or guard. Failing that, his ability to play all three interior spots makes him a very valuable depth piece in a league where teams depend on the flexibility of their backups. “
When the Broncos signed Glasgow, you initially gave the move (four years, $44 million) an A+. What grade would you give it now?
“I think now I would give the signing a B-. Glasgow lived up to my expectations in 2020, only to be derailed by injuries in 2021. Much of the line looked bad last year under Nathaniel Hackett and Butch Barry. I’m not one to bemoan injuries, but I think things would have looked different had he stayed healthy throughout his tenure. I remain hopeful that he can go forward and his ability to anchor, pass and read the field should be valuable to the Lions.”