The Denver Broncos had their first day of OTA’s on Tuesday and quite a bit happened. It’s still early, but this is technically the first full team action of the 2018 season and that is always exciting.
Let’s go over some of the more important happenings from the day.
Not everyone was a full go on Tuesday. Here is who we know was limited or did not participate in the first day of OTA’s. Several veterans and one rookie were held out of practices.
- OG Ronald Leary (knee)
- OT Jared Veldheer (ankle)
- TE Troy Fumagalli (hernia)
- DL Clinton McDonald (shoulder)
- WR Jordan Taylor (hips)
Head coach Vance Joseph elaborated on each injury saying, “We had Jordan Taylor obviously with his hips. He’ll be back probably mid-camp. We had Jared Veldheer, he’s got the foot injury. He was on IR last year with a broken foot in Arizona, so we’re just being smart there. It’s OTAs obviously, and we want to be smart and get him totally healthy before he plays again. [Troy] Fumagalli had a sports hernia. He had surgery, I think, after the Senior Bowl. So again, just being smart. He’s not really cleared to play yet, so we’re being smart there. Ron Leary has got some knee soreness, we’re being smart again there. Clinton McDonald had a procedure about two months ago. Again we’re being smart there. Our goal is to get out of OTAs healthy. We want every guy that we came in with healthy, and to go to training camp with a full roster of healthy players.”
Introduction to Case Keenum
The franchise got their first taste of a franchise quarterback under center in over two years with Keenum on the field. For Keenum, it felt good to get out there and play with his new teammates.
“It felt really good,” Keenum said on Tuesday. “It was nice to compete. We’ve been talking about doing that for a long time. To go out there, complete some balls and go against our defense. It was a good day.”
He will be tested every day against one of the better defenses in the NFL, which for a veteran guy like Keenum should improve his ability to make plays on gameday.
Competition open at guard
The one position the Broncos didn’t really address this offseason was the guard position opposite Leary. Menelik Watson has been taking some reps inside and competing with Max Garcia and Connor McGovern to see who might emerge as the starter there.
“We’ll see,” Joseph said of Watson moving inside. “OTAs, especially with the O-Line, are to allow guys to kind of play different positions. We want guys to play left guard and right guard. We want guys to play tackle and guard. He’s played tackle his entire career, so we’re going to see how he plays guard. It just makes us better and makes him a better player. It helps us win. We’ll see.”
What about the backup quarterbacks?
Both Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly had good first days. Each player made some big time throws and made good decisions. It is only the first day, so this is one camp battle that will remain heated all through Summer.
According to Andrew Mason of the Denver Broncos media team, both Lynch and Kelly were making some good throws.
... It was a good day for both of the Broncos’ rookie draftees at wide receiver. Sutton followed his big grab with another catch from Lynch down the right sideline. Lynch then hit fourth-round pick DaeSean Hamilton on two consecutive passes to close out the day’s work.
... Kelly did a good job placing his passes downfield. During the seven-on-seven period, he hit RB Phillip Lindsay deep down the right sideline, dropping in a pass that the rookie easily caught. Kelly later found rookie John Diarse up the left sideline, dropping in a pass past two defenders that Diarse nearly grabbed for what would have been a terrific one-handed reception, but Diarse lost the ball as he fell to the ground.