There was some hype surrounding undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay heading into camp. He played his college ball at Colorado which gives him that hometown love from many Broncos fans. He also ran for nearly 1,500 yards and totaled 15 touchdowns last season which also help. Turning heads during OTA’s and minicamp didn’t hurt either.
Well, he carried all that hype into day one of Broncos camp and had himself arguably one of the best days of any player on the field today.
The biggest praise given to Lindsay today came from Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall who saw what Lindsay can do first-hand today in practice when you worked him for a long reception. Marshall told reporters that Lindsay will be the Broncos third-down back this season.
“People go undrafted all of the time. How does [CB] Chris [Harris Jr.] go undrafted? The guy has all of the moves. I noticed that in OTAs. He’s quick. I think he’s going to be our third-down back. No offense to the other guys. [RB] Devontae Booker is a good route runner as well, but I think they’ll want to mix both of them in.”
Marshall was then asked about Lindsay’s route running ability and he said “He (Lindsay) has sauce so to speak. He has some good sauce to him. I like him.”. That is pretty high praise from a starter and key member of the Broncos defense.
Another key member of the Broncos defense commented on Lindsay today. This time it was All-Pro/ face of the franchise, linebacker, Von Miller. Here is what the Super Bowl 50 MVP had to say about rookie running back Phillip Lindsay.
“I’ve seen film, especially in OTAs. We’re definitely going to have some things planned for Phillip. Guys like that in the league, you just can’t cover them. They’re just assets to the offense. You have to have a back like that and we definitely have one.”
The Broncos did have a lot of things planned for Lindsay today. He was lined up at running back, split out wide, put in motion, used as a receiver, and returned punts. That versatility and doing it all rather well really helps his case of making the roster.
The competition at the running back position is rather deep right now. The veteran of the group, running back Devontae Booker has the lead right now in that battle. However, we saw rookies Royce Freeman and David Williams get some first-team snaps today as well. Also, don’t sleep on De’Angelo Henderson. He was last seasons Training Camp darling and he has looked good whenever given the chance.
Now here is where we need to be cautious. It is great that Lindsay looked great today, but they weren’t wearing pads. The running back position is a position you cannot truly evaluate how well they are doing until those pads come on. That goes for every single back on the roster, not just Lindsay, but just something to keep in mind as we go forward. It sounds like the first padded practice will be on Tuesday so we will have to wait and see until then.
Now with all that said, it is nice to see Lindsay live up to the hype and I hope his play continues as we go forward. The Broncos haven’t really had any dynamic running backs in their backfield for a while, so it would be nice to have a few of those this season.