Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos offensive line coach Clancy Barone gave the keynote speech during a two-day Linemen Win Games (LWG) coaches clinic at American River College on Saturday.
Barone showed some of the tactics run by the Broncos offense like the man reach and double bump, while stressing the importance of the line to the audience.
“It’s our job as o-line coaches to bring energy to the entire team,” Barone said. “Not just our group of guys.”
Barone was the offensive line coach for ARC from 1987 to 1990 and has coached in several different positions at six other colleges from 1991 to 2003 including Sacramento State, Texas A&M, Houston and Texas State.
Barone said that the experience of having different jobs at different schools helped him learn new tactics and strategies.
“Everytime I go someplace else, I learn something new. I see how this staff operates and how this guy runs things,” Barone said. “It’s contagious and I always try to take something with me from every job.”
In 2004, Barone moved up to the NFL, becoming the offensive line coach of the Atlanta Falcons, before switching to tight ends coach for 2005 and 2006.
After a two year stint with the San Diego Chargers, Barone joined the Broncos organization in 2009, first serving as tight ends coach in 2009 and 2011 to 2014 and offensive line in 2010 and 2015 onwards.
Barone said that he couldn’t resist coming back to the birthplace of his coaching career and helping out an old friend, current ARC head coach Jon Osterhout.
“Jon is a great friend and when he called, I couldn’t say no,” Barone said. “Also to come back to ARC where I got my coaching start 29 years ago, it was great to give back to other coaches and see some old friends.
“It’s one of the gems of the profession when you can build friendships like that and give back to others and learn something new,” Barone continued.
Osterhout was grateful to Barone for appearing at the clinic, even with Barone’s schedule with the Broncos.
“To be able to have a Super Bowl champ and be able to provide some expertise for the 700 youth coaches and 150 or so line coaches here is unbelieveable,” Osterhout said.
“For him to fly into Sacramento with the (Broncos) just coming off the draft and OTA’s just shows the relationship he has with American River College,” Osterhout continued. “And obviously he understands the importance of Linemen Win Games.”
Osterhout, the founder and president of LWG, said that the company was created in order to help bring exposure and training to linemen that was previously unavailable.
“I felt that there was a need in the region to help offensive and defensive linemen at all levels – youth through college – grow and develop and have an offseason technical program to compliment what they’re doing in their own organizations,” Osterhout said. “You see the quarterback camps, the wide receiver and defensive backs training, but nobody was doing anything with the offensive line.”
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LWG’s mission statement says that they will “instill and empower the linemen with the core fundamentals and advanced skill sets to guide them to excellence on and off the football field.”
The clinic, which was hosted over Friday and Saturday, featured speakers from several different schools like Oregon’s assistant head coach Steve Greatwood, UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure and Arizona State assistant head coach Chris Thomsen.
Barone said that being a lineman is not easy compared to other position and those who do wish to become great linemen must be willing to go all in.
“Part of it is that they have to be willing participants,” Barone said. “It’s not easy and it’s not for everybody. For me it’s easier for a guy to want to go out and catch or shoot baskets.
“It’s easier on your body and your brain than strapping on a helmet and hitting somebody as hard as you can over and over again for an hour,” Barone continued. “When you have somebody who is willing to go all in, you as a coach already have a good head start to get them molded the right way.”
Osterhout agreed and added that when you have big men who aren’t the most athletic, the challenge is greater.
“You get big bodies that aren’t the greatest athletes in the world, but if you could get them to play with proper footwork and leverage, get their weight behind them and transfer it appropriately, it could be something special, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” Osterhout said.
Barone said that the Broncos can’t let their Super Bowl success change the way that they prepare and it should make them work even more.
“(The Super Bowl) doesn’t change our approach. Even though we won everything last year, we could be so much better this year,” Barone said. “That’s something that always drives us as coaches. The trophy’s already got dust on it.”
Barone didn’t go into many details for next season’s prospects, but stressed the fact that the team needs to stick together and understand each other.
“I don’t want to make any predictions for this season, but I know that whatever we do is going to require a lot of hard work and everyone’s got to be on the same page,” Barone said. “And we will be.”