Day four of Denver Broncos Training Camp was the first day they wore full pads. So naturally some big hits and scuffling happened today. We also have an update on the quarterback battle, Paxton Lynch having his best day by far, the veterans getting a day off, Kalif Raymond surprising at camp, praises for Todd Davis, Kapri Bibbs getting 1st team reps, news and notes, an injury update, and more!
The quarterback battle continued today. Rookie Paxton Lynch went off, but more on that later. Trevor Siemian and Mark Sanchez continued to receive the vast majority of reps with the first-team offense today.
It wasn't a great start for Sanchez but he finished the day strongly. As for Siemian, he didn't do anything notable and MHR's Ian St. Clair agrees with ESPN's Jeff Legwold saying that he "plateaued" and the others are catching up and surpassing him. 9NEWS Denver's Mike Klis shared similar thoughts by saying Sanchez has put some distance between himself and Siemian.
Thoughts on the QBs at #BroncosCamp. Lynch started strong & had a great day. Sanchez finished strong hitting 3 good passes.— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) July 31, 2016
Siemian didn't do much of anything, aside from not making mistakes. Sanchez has taken the lead seems to be the consenus.— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) July 31, 2016
Sanchez finished the day off strong with two deep passes to Cody Latimer(who burned Roby) and another to a diving Bennie Fowler. He also had another nice pass to Jordan Norwood as well.
Kubiak said the "quarterback has to step up and make plays" when everyone is worn out.
"That’s football. That’s game day. You are out there playing all day long and when everybody is worn out, the quarterback has to step up and make plays. He did that at the end of practice. He made some great plays, great throws."
That is what Sanchez did today.
Paxton Lynch with his best day by far:
After having an "up and down" start to Training Camp, quarterback Paxton Lynch had his best day of practice at camp today. Lynch completed multiple deep passes and was just throwing dimes all over the field. He even received some first-team reps with the first team offensive line during practice. He didn't attempt any passes, but getting any work with the first team is a plus at this point with Lynch.
Paxton Lynch just repped with first team O line All running plays 9 on 7 #9news— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 31, 2016
Lynch carried the momentum from day 3 where he led the third team offense 70+ yards down the field for a touchdown. That touchdown was a 39-yard strike to rookie receiver Kalif Raymond(who is having himself a camp as well).
The kid balling today. Another fabulous deep ball from Paxton Lynch to Durron Neal perfectly placed. #BroncosCamp— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) July 31, 2016
Paxton Lynch with back-to-back deep completions -- one to Kalif Raymond, one to Mose Frazier.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2016
With the deep ball being a very important play in Gary Kubiak's passing attack, it is promising to see Lynch do well in that area. It is also promising to see him continue to progress through camp.
Kubiak told reporters after practice that Lynch improves every day.
"He’s just better every day. Every day we are out here, he tends to make some big plays and do some good things. He struggles at times, but you are just seeing a guy get more and more confident. That’s part of being a young player. I really liked the way we practiced today. We battled each other, made plays on both sides of the ball and rested some guys. We had a lot of guys step up and push through the tough days. We got better today."
Kubiak also said Lynch is becoming more comfortable in the offense and his talent is showing up more and more.
"It’s a comfort zone. When you call the same play over and over again you start to get a little more comfortable. He is studying really hard. He is probably the first kid here in the morning because he has all these extra meetings compared to the other guys. His talent is showing up every day and the other stuff is getting better."
One good practice won't win you anything in this league, but now he will need to continue this production throughout camp if he wants to push for a starting job.
Veteran's day off:
The first day in pads ended up being the first "veterans day off" for 10 select players.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, tight end Virgil Green, center Matt Paradis, defensive end Derek Wolfe, nose tackle Sly Williams(injury related), cornerback Chris Harris Jr., linebacker Brandon Marshall, and safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart all had today off.
10 players getting vet days off-DT, Sanders, Green, Paradis, Wolfe, Sly, Harris, Marshall, Ward, Stewart #9news— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 31, 2016
The notable name on that list is center Matt Paradis. He went from Practice Squad his rookie year, fighting for a roster spot this time last year, to being a 19 game starter on the Super Bowl Champs to earning himself "veteran status". A pretty quick and big jump for Paradis.
This gives the "guts of the roster" as Kubiak calls it time to develop and earn themselves some valuable reps in practice.
"They are still involved mentally with the players. That’s what I really like. You see our guys rooting for each other and coaching each other. I’m resting those guys. They’ve got a lot of plays under their belt in their career. I know where I have to get them. The biggest point of emphasis is to get the team better from a young standpoint and that’s what we did today."
Giving the young players some much-needed reps is something Gary Kubiak is great at and something John Fox failed at.
Kalif Raymond making his case to make the roster:
The Broncos undrafted rookie wide receiver has been having himself quite a Training Camp thus far. He came away with a couple big grabs during today's practice and is catching the coaches eyes.
Rico praises running backs and especially Kalif Raymond. "Boy he's fast" pic.twitter.com/Pkka0gXPQX— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) July 31, 2016
The 5'9", 181lb(listed at 163 but says he weighs 181) receiver/returner has great speed and is electrifying and he is showing he can be a big-play receiver. Denver Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak praised Raymond during practice and after practice.
Here is a young kid not getting many reps, and I sit some guys today and he gets a lot of reps. He must have caught three big balls in practice. Kalif is very explosive. He’s not very big, but he is very explosive. I think he understands his role and how he can make this team as a returner or a slot-type player for us. He’s taken advantage of it."
If Raymond continues this type of play, he will have a great shot at making the Broncos.
Kubiak praises Todd Davis:
The battle for the starting inside linebacker job appears to be already won. Coach Gary Kubiak singled out linebacker Todd Davis as being "impressive".
Kubiak: Todd Davis is impressive. I mentioned him to the team today.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) July 31, 2016
Kubiak said he spoke to the team about Davis and how much he has grown since joining the team.
"It’s impressive. I mentioned Todd today to the team after practice. I mentioned about five or six guys that are second, third, fourth, fifth year players that have big roles on this team. We know the opportunity he is getting. It’s fun to watch as a coach. He’s paid his dues, so to speak. He’s been a hell of a solider and special teams player. Now he is getting an opportunity to be a starter. That’s why you play. I think it’s exciting for me, Linebackers Coach Reggie Herring and Wade to watch him become that type of player."
Linebacker Brandon Marshall believes Davis will win the job and that the two have already built some great chemistry together.
"It's been good. Me and Todd have a natural chemistry so I'm excited. Todd is a hell of a player and everybody will see soon. He's taking a lot of first-team reps and he's doing a hell of a job so unless coach says otherwise, I think that's what it's going to be."
Glad to see Davis make that jump this offseason.
Big hits and scuffles:
The first day in full pads usually leads to some big hits, some scuffles, and just all around physical play and today was no different. Von Miller "popped" rookie running back Devontae Booker and linebacker Zaire Anderson had a huge hit on running back Ronnie Hillman
Ronnie Hillman is headed toward the locker room. He may have hurt himself. He mentioned his back to Kubiak. #BroncosCamp— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) July 31, 2016
It was such a big hit that Hillman immediately went to the locker room complaining of a back injury.
Later in practice, the tempers finally flared. Backup center James Ferentz and backup linebacker Corey Nelson got into a minor spat, but the big one happened later.
Wow ferentz v Nelson again. This time both lines jump in. Kubiak stops action team meeting "work" is the chant here we go— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) July 31, 2016
The same two guys got into it this time and their teammates joined in as well. In ended up being a 10 or so man scuffle. This led to Kubiak gathering the team together for a quick meeting to get each side cooled down.
Both Nelson and Ferentz are fighting for a roster spot, so I like seeing this type of intensity from two bubble guys.
Kapri Bibbs getting 1st team reps:
Kapri Bibbs has continued his strong summer by receiving some 1st team reps at running back today
RB Kapri Bubbs got a first-team carry #9news— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 31, 2016
He is battling for a roster spot with Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson and so far is doing a great job. This battle will probably be won during the preseason, but nice to see Bibbs getting 1st team reps.
News and notes:
- Kubiak called left tackle Russell Okung a leader on and off the field.
- Kubiak also said that edge rusher Von Miller "wore some people out" today and that he "looks good".
- Receiver a strength of the team? Gary Kubiak believes there's a chance for this unit to be that good.
- Jordan Taylor continued to do Jordan Taylor type of things on the practice field today.
- Receiver Cody Latimer joined in on the one-handed catches today.
- Even on his day off, center Matt Paradis was coaching up his teammates. He's quickly becoming a leader of this team and may even be named a captain in the near future.
- Running back Ronnie Hillman went to the locker room with a back injury
- Offensive lineman Sam Brenner was injured during practice and suffered a concussion. He was wobbly and was carted off the field. No timetable was given, but he'll miss at least a few days because of the concussion.
- Cornerback Aqib Talib and Edge Rusher DeMarcus Ware remain on the NFI list.
- Nose tackles Sylvester Williams and Phil Taylor sat out another practice, but both should be back soon.
- Defensive end Kenny Anunike continues to work himself back from the PUP list.
- Recently signed wide receiver Marlon Brown left halfway through practice and no update has been given.
Tweets from practice:
Full pads today at BroncosCamp— Kirk Michael Davis (@Kaptain_Kirk62) July 31, 2016
Several Broncos getting a day off, including Chris Harris Jr., Derek Wolfe and Darian Stewart. https://t.co/lweAu7paLR— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) July 31, 2016
During a special teams drill Kapri Bibbs (white) went up against Shaq Barrett (orange). It was a battle of CSU pic.twitter.com/k0Ag3OrAcR— Zac Stevens (@Zactionpacked) July 31, 2016
It's fun being an offensive lineman! pic.twitter.com/HGtFMAwUZG— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) July 31, 2016
The pirate to sunshine pic.twitter.com/7B3t1hm6Lo— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) July 31, 2016
Cody Latimer with a one-handed grab ... go route past Bradley Roby up the right sideline.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2016
Paxton Lynch drops it in the bucket...literally. Throws into a trash can set up about 50 yards away. Kid's got CRAZY arm talent.— Jake Marsing (@JakeDMarsing) July 31, 2016
They are poppin. Von Miller just popped Devontae Booker #9news— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 31, 2016
Kalif Raymond is breaking ankles out here! Damn— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) July 31, 2016
A camp-best 4,741 fans attended this morning's Broncos practice. Many players talked about fans' energy & spirit! pic.twitter.com/Yv73eU1Alc— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) July 31, 2016
Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison on Paxton Lynch's growth
"He’s working hard. It’s taking all the reps he can and all the mental reps he can. He’s learning from film and learning what he does right and what he does wrong and what other people do right and wrong. We don’t have enough reps to give everybody the same thing. You have to learn from what other people are doing. I think each guy, not just quarterbacks, but everybody is trying to do that."
Dennison on getting a clear picture of the quarterback situation
"I think we are going to get a clear picture when we open [the first preseason game]. We are just going to take our time, let that thing sort out. I think we have plenty of patience. Let’s let them play some games, let’s let them lead. Game experience is big. Obviously, Mark’s got the upper hand on that. Let them go out there and play. The installation is just a part of us. We’re trying to progress it, so we don’t want to overload them. We try to teach in concept so they get a good feel and a grasp so we can move on. Hopefully, they master in a day, that’s a stretch at some point. We tell them to own those reps, come back and study those and then move on. I’m not so worried about eight days or whatever. That’s just what we are teaching. We let them go out there in practice and everyone will get better. We will find out what we need to find out in all positions."