The final day of the Broncos 2016 Training Camp concluded today, and it was an eventful one. Chip Kelly, Blaine Gabbert, and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers headed to Dove Valley to take part in the first of two joint practices before Saturday's preseason game. Day 21 consisted of all three quarterbacks looking good, the defense dominating, a Derek Wolfe injury scare, Henry Krieger-Coble getting 1st team reps, Shane Ray making fools look silly, a couple fights, injury updates, news and notes, and more!
As usual, the Broncos co-starters at quarterback split reps again today. Trevor Siemian received the first shot with the ones, but Mark Sanchez had his share of reps with the 1's as well.
Total QB Numbers, Day 21: pic.twitter.com/q0fyWdOEQH— The Orange Page (@theorangepage) August 17, 2016
Both Sanchez and Siemian had long touchdown passes to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders today, and both quarterbacks had success in the red zone against the 49ers defense. Both quarterbacks had good days and Kubiak seemed pleased with their effort.
"I thought they did a really good job. It's good for them to see different stuff, They were looking at different coverages and those types of things. I thought Paxton Lynch did some really good stuff. Mark makes a great play at the end of the end of the two-minute drill. Trevor makes a great throw in the two-minute drill. We got to make the plays, so it's a good competition. They're both becoming really good players, and it's a tough decision for us, but that's a good thing because they're doing their job."
Paxton Lynch stuck with the third team offense again today and was under pressure all day by the 49ers defense. This led to Lynch scrambling for yardage instead of attempting passes.
One thing to keep an eye on is the Broncos offensive line protecting the quarterbacks. Today, the 49ers pass rushing unit was getting after the Broncos quarterbacks, so this could be something to watch Saturday night. With the quarterback battle still wide open, protection issues could ruin someone's night.
Derek Wolfe injury
The Broncos already lost defensive end Vance Walker for the year earlier this week, so when Derek Wolfe went down and needed to be helped to the locker room with a leg/ankle injury, it was time to panic.
"He rolled his ankle, so we'll get it looked at here after lunch. I was on the other field, so I didn't watch the play. My understanding is that he rolled his ankle."
Thankfully, it appears that Wolfe avoided major injury and avoided the high ankle sprain
Kubiak said after practice that Wolfe just "rolled his ankle", and 9NEWS Denver's Mike Klis is saying he avoided a serious injury.
This leaves the Broncos defensive end position rather thing. Veteran Jared Crick and rookie Adam Gotsis figure to see a ton of reps on Saturday, and I wouldn't be shocked to see a veteran signing here in the very near future.
Broncos defense dominating
The Broncos defense flashed their dominance during today's final Training Camp Practice. They sacked, picked, and just dominated the 49ers offense.
While it's great that they are looking awesome, they are facing quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and the just signed Christian Ponder, so it's not a huge accomplishment.
Second-year corner Lorenzo Doss continued to be an intercepting machine by picking off his like 6th pass in the past week. It has been a solid summer for the Broncos 5th corner who may end up being inactive on game days.
Broncos could be heard telling the 49ers players to "hit the f#$king showers, this is over". One can only guess which vocal Bronco(s) were yelling this(Talib).
The Broncos defense dominated and shut out the Chicago Bears last Thursday Night and will look to do the same against Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, and Jeff Driskel.
1st team reps for tight end Henry Krieger-Coble
The Broncos undrafted rookie tight end Henry Krieger-Coble received some a lot of first team reps today after Jeff Heuerman injured his hamstring.
Development of day for Broncos--lots of first-team reps for undrafted rookie Henry Krieger-Coble #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 17, 2016
Kubiak said that Coble still has a long ways to go, but was impressed how he and Virgil held up today.
"I just told the team that you find out a lot about your guys, especially on a day like today. Jeff Heuerman's hamstring is bothering him about 20 minutes into practice, so we pulled him. Virgil Green and Henry took the whole practice. It's just fun to watch kids become players. He is young, he’s got a long way to go, but watching him compete today tells you that he's going to have a chance in this league. Very impressed with how he and Virgil held up."
Now Kubiak did have some tough love for the rookie tight end. He said Coble will need to get stronger if he wants to make it in this league
"He's got a long way to go from that standpoint. That's his issue right now. He's a 245 guy trying to play tight end in this league. It's hard to do. He's has to become more physical. He runs good routes, he's smart and he does all of those things well. He's playing well for Joe DeCamillis, but can he get a little bigger? Can he hang on to it and become a better athlete at a later stage in his life? That's what he's working on."
It is a good sign that the Broncos decided to go with Coble instead of veteran Garrett Graham. Of course, the Broncos could have just been seeing what the rookie tight end could do, but still interesting nonetheless.
Shane Ray earns praise
The Broncos 2015 first-round pick continued his rise to a potential starting job but putting in a dominant showing today against the 49ers offensive line.
Shane Ray was a monster today, I mean he was unblockable. #Broncos— Raj Sharan (@Raj_Sharan) August 17, 2016
Ray was lined up against 49ers All-Pro left tackle, Joe Staley today and worked him pretty good.
First, he made Staley jump offsides. Ray didn't do anything, but Staley was trying to get a jump on Ray because his first step and get off are that good. A few plays later, Ray used a nasty swim move to get by Staley and get the sack.
Ray is likely the Broncos "starter" opposite of Von Miller this year. Veteran DeMarcus Ware's snap count will be limited to pass rush situations only, and Shaq Barrett will continue to get his reps as well, but still good to see Ray make the big jump his second year.
The big reason for Ray's improvement is because of his technique he says.
"Technique. Technique was the biggest thing. Comfortability has come with the process of being here and understanding our playbook. But now, my technique is what I am trying to perfect. Making sure I get my hands inside on the runs. Making sure that when I lock a guy out, and I swipe his arm, I’m violent with it, I’m not just holding it up there. There are things that make you a better football player, and that’s what I come out here to work for every day."
It's possible the Broncos pass rush could be even better than last season's version.
- Tight end Jeff Heuerman was pulled with a hamstring injury.
- Derek Wolfe was helped off with a "rolled ankle".
- Cornerback Taurean Nixon, guard Robert Myers Jr., and Safety Murphy continued to sit out practice.
Tweets from practice
Really nice route-running from some of the Broncos' WRs, RBs & TEs in 1-on-1 work. Kapri Bibbs had a cut that froze Ray-Ray Armstrong.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 17, 2016
There's some poppin in 7on 7 today #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 17, 2016
Lynch: One thing I've started to learn is just to trust my instincts the way I did in college.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 17, 2016
Dennison: Their stunts got our offensive line a bit today. We'll go in and work on that.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 17, 2016
2 fights over last 10 mins in joint practices. First Dillon Day, Ferentz, others got in it w/ Aaron Lynch, others. Then Stephenson & Bowman.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) August 17, 2016
Bralon Addison broke a return that would likely have scored to end return drills.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 17, 2016
Todd Davis with the pick-drill INT off Blaine Gabbert.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 17, 2016
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison on what he is looking for from the quarterbacks
"Just consistency. Now we have a lot of concepts in. Especially in weeks like this week, when you’re going against somebody else, you get to go back and do some things that we can’t do against our defense. We have a good feel for what they are doing. We changed some concepts. We got back in the playbook and pull some stuff out. We also know that we are going to play them in a couple days, too. We try not to do the same thing every time, different formations. They did a good job as far as understanding what we are trying to get done and being consistent."
Dennison on Devontae Booker's pass protection
"He’s doing well. He stepped up. He just has to finish. He goes up there and there is no lack of courage. There is no problem with that. He knows what he’s doing. He seems to be on the right page with everything that we did. It’s just a matter of his technique and finish."
Paxton Lynch on checking down and throwing the ball away
"That's one thing that I've kind of started to learn, just to trust my instincts. Like I did in college, if I felt the pocket break down, then I wasn't hesitant to get out on the run and try to make a play that way outside of the pocket. Kubiak doesn't mind me getting out of the pocket and making a play as long as I keep my eyes up and make a good one. Whenever the pocket breaks down, I just trust my instincts and if it's to get out of the pocket, that's what I do."
Shane Ray on his relationship with DeMarcus Ware
"Me and DeMarcus talk a lot. He watches me; he watches my pass rush. He watches everything. When I do a move or something in the run game, he sees it. He always comes back and critiques me a little bit more. DeMarcus always tells me, ‘You’re beating the guy, but I want you to get the sack.’ So that shows me that he wants me to be complete. He wants me to be perfect. I take all of those critiques that he gives me as well as all of the advice he gives me as far as what I’m doing and go implement them in what I do in games and in practice. It has definitely made me a better player having him around."