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Case Keenum brings sense of relief to Broncos training camp

For the first time in two years, fans aren’t subjected to daily reports on who is leading to be the starting QB, and it’s glorious.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

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There’s a sense of relief this morning. And as we prepare for the second day of Denver Broncos training camp, doesn’t it feel glorious?

For the first time in two years, we don’t have to labor through daily reports on who has the lead to become Denver’s starting quarterback. That also brings some much-needed peace in the comments section. It almost doesn’t feel real.

It’s not just the fans who feel this way. It’s the players, coaches and front-office personnel. In other words, the entire Broncos organization feels the same relief. That tends to happen when you bring in a capable, functioning starting quarterback like Case Keenum.

“There is more confidence on that side of the ball,” linebacker Brandon Marshall told the media after the first practice. “I’m sensing more confidence for them. It’s not the question mark like it was the past two years. Case takes command of the huddle. He takes control. I think it’s kind of contagious, right? I think everybody believes in Case and it’s going to be good.”

Keenum’s presence highlights another rarity: It allows Denver’s offense to build chemistry and rapport, something it wasn’t able to do the last two years. And it showed. Now the Broncos can find what they do well but also what they don’t. That’s the most important aspect of training camp, short of staying healthy.

“I feel like I’ve got a good rapport,” Keenum said. “I want a better rapport. I think that’s going to be something I’m going to be concentrating on and working on for my entire time here. Each day is different. Each day there’s new things to talk about and learn. Go over to the side and talk with Emmanuel (Sanders) and D.T. (Demaryius Thomas), all of those guys. I love doing that. That’s one of the best parts of the game, getting on the same page as those guys. It was a lot of fun (Saturday).”

What comes next is comfort — on and off the field. Not just for Keenum, but offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and the offensive coaches, and the players.

“There’s still things that are new to me,” Keenum said. “Like (Saturday) was my first ‘First Day’ out here. Still kind of figuring out the flow of things and where the meeting rooms are, how we operate during practice and what the rest of the schedule is going to be like (Saturday). There’s still some new things, but it’s definitely feeling more comfortable. It’s nice to get all of the guys back in the building and see everybody, and it’s fun to pay football.”

It’s often said you want to make it as easy as possible for athletes to have success, regardless of their competition level. When it comes to the NFL, the guys on the field are the best at what they do. Don’t make it more difficult for them to have success. The last two years, John Elway and the front office didn’t do that, and it’s a huge reason why the team struggled. This season, at least in terms of the players, Elway and his staff recognized that and made the moves to fix it.

The pieces are there for Keenum and the Broncos offense to thrive. Now they just need to make it happen.

“Yeah, absolutely (Keenum can succeed),” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “It’s early, but absolutely. We think, obviously, our draft was pretty good, and in free agency we added some guys that we feel can help Case. We had some guys here already that we feel can help Case. It’s a matter of protecting Case. We know he can play, but any quarterback that’s being hit can’t play. We’ve got to do a good job of protecting Case (not only) from an offensive line perspective, but also running the football. That helps quarterbacks also.

“He is going to push the ball down the field, he’s trying to make big plays and he’s not afraid to make a mistake. That’s part of growing as a quarterback. We will make some big plays for Case. That’s his M.O.”

The first step on the path to success was to bring in a capable starting quarterback to ensure there wasn’t another training camp battle. The sense of relief everyone now feels heading into the second day of camp highlights how big that move really was. And it’s downright glorious.

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Broncos Tracks

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AFC West Tracks

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