Day one of Training Camp is in the books for the Denver Broncos! We have updates on the quarterback battle, Demaryius Thomas looking a different player, the rise of Kapri Bibbs?, Derek Wolfe a man amongst men, updates on the injury front, and other news and notes
Football is back Broncos Country!!
All eyes were on the quarterback position on day one of Training Camp, and all three quarterbacks had their ups and downs.
According to Head Coach Gary Kubiak, Sanchez looked "sharp" during today's first practice.
Gary Kubiak thought Mark Sanchez looked sharp and well prepared. Added Paxton Lynch's head was spinning with day 1 of camp, crowd, ect— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) July 28, 2016
It's a good start for Sanchez and he should look sharp and well prepared for Camp. He's a veteran, has been a starter, and this isn't his first rodeo.
"I saw good things. I thought Mark was very sharp in practice. I have to go back and watch some film, but he just looked confident. Smart players know exactly what’s coming the first day. They’ve looked at scripts, they know what’s going on in practice and you can see the difference in their preparation. All of a sudden a young kid comes out here and his mind starts wandering. A lot of people out here watching them and they get a little stage fright, so to speak, but our guys came back good. I liked the way they bounced around."
However, Sanchez didn't have a mistake free practice. A pass intended for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was nearly intercepted by cornerback Bradley Roby, but he ending up dropping the interception.
Also, Siemian and Sanchez struggled early with the deep ball in Practice. According to onlookers, it took a good 5 or 6 attempts for one of these two to hit a deep pass.
Chemistry obviously going to be an issue early. Both Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian overthrew a deep ball by about 5 yards.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) July 28, 2016
The only turnover by the quarterbacks came from Trevor Siemian who threw a pass to receiver Cody Latimer and second-year corner Lorenzo Doss picked him off.
Outside of that, Siemian showed off his strong arm, but according to Cameron Wolfe, he ended up overthrowing multiple receivers.
Rookie Paxton Lynch looked like a rookie having his first career Training Camp practice today. He flashed at times by looking good throwing on the run, threaded a few passes, and he showed off his arm talent. However, he struggled with consistency and looked like a rookie on his first day which is expected.
Consistency will be the issue for Lynch. Has threaded the needle well, but missed some passes short and long.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 28, 2016
Head Coach Gary Kubiak said Lynch's head was "spinning" today. A combination of first-day` jitters, the crowd, and his first career Training Camp practice got to the rookie, that should have been expected.
Demaryius Thomas looking impressive:
One Broncos player looking to have a bounce-back year for the Denver Broncos is All-Pro wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas. He struggled with consistency, drops, and off the field issues. It clearly showed on the field at times last season, but he looks like a focused, determined, and just a different guy from last season.
Most impressive player today? Hard to go wrong with #Broncos Demaryius Thomas— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 28, 2016
Head Coach Gary Kubiak said that Thomas has improved focus from last season and is excited to see what he can do in 2016.
"He’s very focused. I think you saw that today. He practiced really good today. D.T. and I texted probably five or six times in the last week, talking to me about preparation and expectations and those types of things. So yes, I see a great focus from him. I think he was disappointed in some things last year, but he still had a pretty darn good year. He’s a big piece of this puzzle and we need him playing great and I think he’s working his way toward playing that way."
If the Broncos get can get the old Demaryius Thomas back, the offense will start looking much better than it did than last year. I expect a big year for Thomas.
Kubiak embraces analytics:
Analytics is becoming a big thing in the NFL and Gary Kubiak introduced that element to the Broncos last season, and it apparently paid off.
Kubiak said he learned to embrace analytics in Baltimore and brought over to Denver. Praised Mitch Tanney.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) July 28, 2016
The Broncos brought in analytics expert Mitch Tanney last season and Kubiak sang his praises after today's practice.
"I’ve been a part of it a little bit. I went to Baltimore and I saw it in a big way, so I brought that here with me. When I first came out, I told John Elway what I had seen take place in Baltimore and I thought we needed to go get a guy. Director of Analytics Mitch Tanney is our guy. He’s exceptional. On game days, he’s on the headset with me all the time from a standpoint of percentages and things like that and he helps me prepare throughout the course of the week for situational football that happens around the NFL that maybe didn’t happen to us. He does a great job."
Kubiak went to Baltimore for one season and saw what Head Coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome were doing. They have been one of the better run and most successful Franchises this past decade, so it makes sense that Kubiak would bring what they're doing to Denver.
Obviously, it worked out well for the Broncos. They will continue it again this season and hope for similar success.
The rise of Kapri Bibbs?:
I feel like we have heard this before, but after the first day of Broncos Training Camp, Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak seemed rather impressed with what he saw from Kapri Bibbs.
C.J. Anderson is your starting running back and rookie running back Devontae Booker took most of the #2 back snaps in today's practice, so that means Ronnie Hillman, Kapri Bibbs, and Juwan Thompson could be battling for one roster spot.
Well after day one, it appears that Bibbs has the lead in this battle.
"You guys see we’ve got four backs, which is probably unusual for training camp. You maybe take five at least, but I feel really good with Juwan doing a little bit of both (halfback and fullback), so it’s going to be very competitive. Booker got turned loose today and did almost everything. I think maybe not the last period, but yes, Kapri is a different player than I had last year."
Booker figures to be the Broncos number two back if can stay healthy this summer, but after him, the battle for the #3 and maybe the #4 job is up for grabs.
Bibbs looked good today and will be pushing Hillman and possibly Juwan Thompson for a roster spot. Also, Ronnie Hillman was seen doing some Special Teams duty during practice, so that could be a sign of Hillman being on the roster bubble.
Wolfe dominant in one on one drills:
Defensive end Derek Wolfe really turned the corner during the second half of the 2015 season and will look to continue that in 2016. With Malik Jackson signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Free Agency, Wolfe will need to be the man up front for the Broncos defense.
It looks like he is off to a fast start.
Derek Wolfe dominant in 1-on-1. Has blown past Sambrailo twice so far.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 28, 2016
According to DenverBroncos.com's Andrew Mason, Wolfe blew by tackle/guard Ty Sambrailo twice during one on one drills.
Unfortunately, when one player is dominating that means another player is struggling. Doesn't sound like a good start for the Broncos expected starter at guard or tackle.
Broncos fans chant "MVP, MVP, MVP" as Von Miller takes the field:
Broncos fans attending the first day of Training Champ chanted "MVP" when Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller took the field for the first time after signing his mega-deal with the team two weeks ago.
Fans chanting MVP as Von Miller hits the field pic.twitter.com/PdjczzPDEe— Tom Helmer (@Tom_Helmer) July 28, 2016
Pretty cool scene after some of the fanbase called him "greedy" and said the Broncos should trade him just a few weeks ago.
Looks like all is forgiven.
Kubiak makes a fan's day:
One of the best parts of Training Camp is the players signing jerseys and autographs once practice finishes.
Coach Kubiak signs his No. 8 jersey for a fan after today's opening training camp practice. pic.twitter.com/4mogBWFuNl— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) July 28, 2016
The Broncos Head Coach signed his very own jersey after practice today. As we know, Kubiak was a former Denver Broncos quarterback back in the day.
Pretty cool scene.
News and notes:
- Mark Sanchez pleased with what he saw from DT and Emmanuel Sanders today. He also had a long completion with tight end Virgil Green
- Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders says contract talks between his reps and the Broncos are "going back and forth".
- Rookie defensive lineman David Moala looked good during one on one drills.
- Defensive lineman Darius Kilgo and Jared Crick were getting into the Broncos backfield during drills.
- Broncos starting offensive line looks like this, Okung - Garcia - Paradis - Sambrailo - Stephenson.
- Gary Kubiak called cornerback Bradley Roby a starter.
- 104.3 The Fan's Cecil Lammey told me Mark Sanchez was the most impressive quarterback today.
- Lammey also said the recently signed receiver Marlon Brown stood out today as well.
- Von Miller will be eased into action. Practiced for about 40 minutes today.
- Andrew Mason noted that Sanchez and Siemian completed "at least 69%" of their passes during 7 on 7's
- Rookie Eddie Yarbrough looked good in one on one drills where he beat tackle Kyle Roberts. He also would have had a would-be sack on Trevor Siemian in game situations.
- Rookie DE Adam Gotsis only participated in individual drills but looked smooth according to Mason.
- Veteran cornerback Aqib Talib(leg) and edge rusher DeMarcus Ware(back) sat out practice today because they're both still on the NFI list.
- Talib was seen jogging around so it seems like he is close to returning.
- Rookie tight end Manasseh Garner was also absent from practice. It announced after practice that he was waived by the Broncos
Tweets from practice:
First player on the field: Kalif Raymond.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 28, 2016
#Broncos Von Miller receives largest cheers from the crowd as players take the field. Chants of "MVP!"— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 28, 2016
Devontae Booker limited on the first day. Watching as special teams works at #BroncosCamp— Cecil Lammey (@CecilLammey) July 28, 2016
Impressed with how Eddie Yarbrough explodes off the edge. Made Kyle Roberts look bad in a 1-on-1 drill.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 28, 2016
HORN! And the first day of #BroncosCamp is in the books— Kirk Davis (@MHR_KaptainKirk) July 28, 2016
Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez on replacing Peyton Manning in Denver.
"I had the pleasure of being a rookie after Favre retired or left New York. Now, this is another time that I follow a legend so those two guys are rarefied air. You never want to be somebody else, you've got to be yourself. Head Coach Gary Kubiak has a great way of keeping our team on track and understanding what people are saying and saying, 'What we can't do.' Who thinks like that? Who thinks, 'I'm going to go out here, but I can't do this.' Well why not? Why not go do exactly what you're put on this earth to do? I have a great time doing it.’ Just understand that you're blessed to be out here and have an absolute ball playing football, throwing the ball around to your guys and getting off to a great start. I'm not really worried about people saying what I can't do or thinking about what I can't do. That's not really in my make up."