On a day when Peyton Manning and other veterans rested, an undrafted rookie stood out among the quarterbacks.
Coach Gary Kubiak gave "rest days" to several players today, including Manning, DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Owen Daniels, Chris Harris Jr., T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, and Louis Vasquez.
Tight end Jeff Heuerman (ACL) and receiver Kyle Williams (Achilles) did not practice. Defensive end Malik Jackson (calf) did not practice, and linebackers Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall were limited.
Complete practice report below.
Brock Osweiler started out very rough, overthrowing receiver Cody Latimer twice and tossing a few other balls into the dirt. He had his ups and downs, but seemed to improve as practice went on. When he got away from attempting passes down field and threw intermediate routes, he was more effective. He was also brilliant on a roll out bootleg, completing a pass to tight end James Casey in the flats. He struggled at times, but looked capable of managing the run-heavy offense.
Zac Dysert also had an up and down day. He also looked smooth on roll out passes and squeezed in a tight pass to Jordan Norwood during 7-on-7 drills. He later overthrew receiver Isaiah Burse before missing an open Bennie Fowler running down the sideline, choosing to leave the pocket instead of throw deep.
Trevor Siemian arguably had the best day of the three QBs, throwing tight, accurate passes. But he was also up and down, at one point missing and open Fowler running down the sideline. He also held the ball too long at times, but he displayed a good arm. Consider him an early practice squad candidate.
Offensive line report
Ty Sambrailo was the left tackle again, Ben Garland was the left guard, Gino Gradkowski played center, Shelley Smith filled in for Vasquez at right guard, and Ryan Harris played right tackle. Michael Schofield spent time at right tackle with the second-team offense, and Kubiak praised Max Garcia after practice. Chris Clark blocked well on running plays.
Norwood made several big catches today. During one-on-one drills, he ran crisp routes and showed great hands. He leaped up to catch a pass thrown behind him by Osweiler during team drills and spent more time catching punts
Fellow receiver Solomon Patton also had a good day. He had arguably the best catch of the day when he jumped up over a defender to bring down a Siemian pass. He also returned punts today.
After making big plays the last two days, Jordan Taylor struggled at times today. He had another nice sideline catch today, but he struggled mightily to get separation during one-on-one, man coverage drills. Today was not his best showing.
Karl Schmitz's stock dropped as soon as Britton Colquitt accepted a pay cut. Schmitz has been inconsistent as a punter and has not been given opportunities to kickoff. With time and opportunities he could improve, but he's had little of the latter.
I noticed that . . .
Receiver Nathan Palmer made a few good plays today.
Lorenzo Doss made a few nice plays during one-on-one drills. But he was later trucked by Joe Don Duncan during team drills.
Speaking of JDD, safety David Bruton knocked him on his butt toward the end of a play. Aside from that, JDD looked like a tank today. More than once he caught a pass in the flats and turned up field to meet a cornerback with a lowered shoulder. None of the corners ever won.
Life of a #Broncos rookie. That's d-end Josh Watson under the pile. pic.twitter.com/Kt3J8dI21n— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) August 3, 2015
Kayvon Webster and Bradley Roby stepped in for Harris and Talib, and both cornerbacks played well. At one point, Roby shut down a short Demaryius Thomas route, forcing Osweiler to look elsewhere.
Speaking of Thomas, he ran a great wheel out today.
Steven Johnson and Todd Davis stepped in for Marshall and Trevathan.
Kicker Connor Barth went 4-5 on field goal attempts from various lengths.
Rookie linebacker Shane Ray had an up and down day, and seemed to get better toward the end of practice. He made a very nice inside move on a pass rush during team drills that caught my eye.
In the secondary, David Bruton played across from Darian Stewart at safety. Stewart played well, at one point breaking up a deep pass from Osweiler intended for Andre Caldwell.
Darius Kilgo's probably a candidate for the stock up section. He's been mentioned by name in recent days and got his hand on an Osweiler pass during team drills today.
"I think every single practice, including today, you’re going to have some ups, you’re going to have some downs. It’s all about how you bounce back from the downs. As long as you learn from those mistakes and they don’t happen again, I consider it a good day," Osweiler said of his performance.
Check back later today for more photos, videos, and stories from Day 4.