CENTENNIAL — Quinn Meinerz may be 10 pounds lighter this season, but that doesn't mean the 6-foot-3, 320-pound guard isn't packing the same punch.
Meinerz, who is entering his second season with the Broncos, looks to be a staple in the Broncos' new-look offense, led by coach Nathaniel Hackett. The outside zone scheme appears to fit Meinerz, who spent his offseason dropping weight to better fit the movement required in the scheme.
"Big ole Meinerz — he's good," said inside linebacker Josey Jewell, who is often trying to avoid Meinerz when attempting to tackle in practice. "He has some good movement and space. He’s a big guy, he can move people when he is tight and double teams. What people don’t see is that he can still move to an open space, gets around, really quick feet and things like that for a big guy. He’s fun to go against too.
"Big ole belly man. We might have to check him on the scales."
The 2021 third-round pick played in 15 games last season, including nine starts. And it appears he will be a starter again this year, taking the majority of first-team reps at right guard through nine days of training camp.
"I’ve been feeling pretty good right now," Meinerz said Friday. "I’ve been learning a lot, taking every bit of coaching and every bit of detail of anything that I can get. Obviously, a lot of people have been talking about how I lost a little bit of weight so that I can play faster in this outside zone, more movement system. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good, but there’s always things to keep correcting, getting better at and polish up."
Meinerz said the biggest adjustment in the offense has been the run-blocking angles. The Broncos intend to run a lot more off-ball to create tight angles, which is why Meinerz wanted to slim down this off-season.
But Meinerz also made sure to note that he hasn't lost any of his strength. That's been Meinerz's strongest quality, as he became known last season for pushing the pile and his pancake finishes.
Now, he feels like not only will he be able to bring the power, but he is quicker on the attack — the perfect one-two punch in Hackett's system.
"I feel like my first and second step off the ball has increased," Meinerz said. "I feel like I can just sprint and go straight ahead and I’ll beat that linebacker nine times out of 10. Even if he gets over the top, I’m going to latch on and run you out. Certain blocks like that, I can really feel the speed."
Luckily for Jewell, he won't be on the wrong end of Meinerz's blocking tactics this season.