John Elway has had enough of the excuses regarding Denver Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles, who he drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft. Elway has been one of Bolles' biggest supporters, but the kid gloves have come off regarding the struggling left tackle. Bolles has led the Broncos in holding penalties since entering the league in 2017, having 19 accepted holding calls from 2017 and 2018. He has five total this year, which isn't good for an offense that ranks No. 28 in points per game (15.0) and No. 18 in third-down conversion rate (33.3%).
"Well, it's got to stop. Period," Elway said, via Jeff Legwold of ESPN. "There are no more excuses for it. He's had 26 holding penalties in the last two years and two games, so it's got to stop. The bottom line is if he thinks he's getting singled out, he is. He's got to understand that. He's got to understand what he's doing. And that was my question [Sunday], 'Does he know what holding is?' Does he know what he can and can't do?' If he thinks he's getting targeted, he's got to realize he isn't. We'll keep working for it and he's still a talented guy. He cannot do that because it's beating us."
Bolles sees things a bit differently than Elway, believing the league is targeting him because he has a reputation of holding.
"It was frustrating," Bolles said. "I've built a reputation for myself in this league of holding. I disagree with it, to be honest. There are some calls I disagree with, and there are some things that I understand. ... But I have the best O-line coach in the National Football League with Coach (Mike) Munchak. ... I'm going to turn this around. I promise you all that. I promise Broncos Country that. I promise my teammates that. That was just unfortunate that they keep coming after me, but it is what it is."
Bolles' excuses didn't sit well with Elway, which prompted the ultimatum. The Broncos don't have any better options at left tackle, which makes benching Bolles difficult.
If the holding penalties continue, Elway might not have a choice.