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Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 2 news and notes

News and notes from day two of Broncos camp.

Casey Barrett - Mile High Report

Day two of Broncos camp is in the books and it was another solid day for the offense. We have Keenum making plays, Royce Freeman looking like the best back out there, Emmanuel Sanders looking explosive, the rookie’s receivers looking solid, news and notes, and some updates on the injury front.

Note: I was not present at camp and this is simply just a roundup of tweets and stories coming from Broncos camp

Quarterback Case Keenum continued to shine:

You saw on day one and it continued on day two. Quarterback Case Keenum looked to be in control and was tossing dimes all over the field. He hit them short, medium, and deep to multiple receivers today.

Keenum connected with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on multiple big plays today. He also hit Thomas, Hamilton, and Sutton for gains throughout the day as well. This sort of chemistry between Keenum and the Broncos wide receivers is further along than what Head Coach Vance Joseph imagined.

“No. That speaks to their summer work. I thought yesterday our offense took a major, major step since the spring. That speaks to Case’s leadership and keeping guys together all summer. They came out yesterday and it was a big improvement from the last day of mini camp, in my opinion.”

When asked about quarterback Case Keenum, rookie wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton praised Keenum’s accuracy and anticipation.

“When we were out there in California, I just know that Case is a real big anticipation guy. But he has great touch. I love catching from Case. He throws a great ball and he’s really accurate. You’ve seen that obviously these past two days, that he’s been able to put the ball in places that not a lot of quarterbacks can. Case, he’s doing great and he’s really shown it these last two days as well.”

Veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders who has shown a great chemistry with Keenum early on stated “we got our quarterback’ when asked about Keenum.

“We got our quarterback. That’s one question that we can check off. We got our quarterback. And it’s all about putting that work in when we’ve got a guy that’s the leader of this football team and who wants to be the leader of this team. He’s a veteran quarterback and he’s out there making all off the—I’m not going to say all of the right reads—but he’s making the right reads for sure. He’s spreading the ball around and it’s fun.”

After suffering through two seasons of sub-par quarterback play from Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, it is nice to see these type of comments from the players. What makes it even better is that the play on the practice field backs up the hype.

Also, one last note on Keenum. One aspect of Keenum’s game that has been really missed the past few seasons is his intermediate/middle of the field game. Siemian rarely attacked this part of the field but Keenum has been making a ton of plays here through two days of practice.

Rookie running back Royce Freeman impressed today:

Yesterday, rookie Phillip Lindsay stole the show and he continued to impress today, but the name that many kept mentioning today was the other rookie running back. That back being third-round pick, Royce Freeman.

According to most onlookers, Freeman was impressive today. He flashed explosive play, power as a runner, a great vision to find the hole and hit it. He has been contributing in the passing game as well. Evans notes his pass protection needs improvement which backs up what is being said at camp but rookies always need to improve there.

Like Lindsay, you cannot truly judge these backs until the pads come on, but Freeman is living up to the hype he had coming into camp.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders flashed his big play ability:

One name who continued to be mentioned today was veteran wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders. He struggled with injuries and poor quarterback play last season but seems rejuvenated with Case Keenum in the fold.

Sanders was taking crossing routes and quick passes from Keenum and turning them into big plays all practice. He appears to have his quickness back which helped him total a few 20+ yard plays today. Sanders was later asked what those big plays mean for the offense and he said “It means we win’.

“It’s going to mean a win. It’s trying to place those explosive players. That’s what we need. You’ve got to be able to execute. We know that we’re going to have a good defense. Offensively, we can pick it up or we can carry our own weight and just keep flying under the radar, which I like. I feel like we’re going to be alright.”

Sanders credits this early chemistry between he and Keenum from the offseason throwing sessions that he and the other wide receivers took part in with Keenum during the offseason.

“I think so. I just think from a mental standpoint, having guys walking up and talking to me about football, the communication is just so high right now. We’ll see something, then next thing you know if I’m walking over to him, he’s walking over to me like ‘Hey...’ And it just feels good to be on the same page because he’s trying to get everybody on same page. Like I said, we’ve got a quarterback, he’s a natural born leader and he knows how to play the position he’s playing.”

The Broncos offense really missed Sanders last season so I am hoping we see a big bounce-back year from the Broncos veteran wide receiver.

Rookie DaeSean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton made some plays

The Broncos drafted two wide receivers in the first four rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. Those two receivers being Courtland Sutton in the second round and DaeSean Hamilton in the fourth round. Both of these young receivers impressed early on in the spring and that has carried over to camp so far.

Hamilton credits veterans Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for he and Sutton’s quick transition from the college to the NFL.

“Yeah, I talk to those guys, ask as many questions as I can. Try to pick their brain a lot. Really try to see what they would do in specific scenarios that I was in, or I saw them do something that worked for them. And I try to pick their brain to see why they decided to do something like that. I try and stay in those guys’ ear. I know myself, [WR] Courtland [Sutton] and a lot of the other rookies, we try to stay in their ear because those guys have been through it all. They’ve played a lot of football, and really there’s no other way to get better other than trying to push yourself and also learn from some of the guys that are the best at what they’re doing.”

Both receivers have lived up to their strengths thus far according to onlookers. Sutton needs to work on his route running and such but he is a big body with great hands and he has used his size and hands to make plays throughout the first two days of camp. Meanwhile, Hamilton has proven to be the smooth route runner and just a solid technician in the slot.

I think the Broncos have two good ones here and both will contribute a bunch in 2018 in varying roles.

Running back job is wide open:

Many assumed the running back job would be between Devontae Booker and third-round pick Royce Freeman. Well, all five running backs on the roster have received 1st team reps so far in camp and the job is “totally open”.

Devontae Booker likely has the “lead” in this competition because he is the veteran while third-round pick Royce Freeman is not far behind him. However, rookies Phillip Lindsay and David Williams have looked good in certain roles as well. De’Angelo Henderson should not be counted out either. He was the camp darling last year and impressed during the preseason and whenever he touched the field so he shouldn’t be counted out either.

Head Coach Vance Joseph was asked about this after practice and simply said, everyone is competing.

If you watch our practice, all five guys are getting No. 1 reps. We’re competing. Again, in this league, it’s only two groups. It’s guys who are name-proven starters who want to remain starters, and it’s guys who are backups who are trying to be starters. Everyone is competing, so we don’t have a set roster right now of who is going to be our starters. Everyone is competing and that’s the way it should be.”

This battle should take shape once the pads come on and they’re going shells on Monday and full pads on Tuesday and Wednesday so that should be fun.

Injury Report:

News and notes:

Tweets from camp:


Vance Joseph on tight end Austin Traylor:

“He’s competitive. He played some for us last year. He’s a good blocker, he can catch the football fine. We’ve got a room of BIG 10 [Conference] tight ends, so it’s been fun to watch all of those guys compete, not just Austin. Every guy from top to bottom has done a good job of competing every day.”

Garett Bolles on knowing who the starting quarterback is instead of dealing with a competition:

“Having No. 4 back there is awesome. He’s a leader. Like I’ve been telling you guys since I’ve been here, what happened last year wasn’t a fluke for him. You can see it, he’s launching balls and “D.T.” (WR Demaryius Thomas) and [WR] Emmanuel [Sanders] are comfortable, and so is the rest of the crew. I love having him. He’s a leader and he sees things where last year I was like, ‘Man, I would’ve loved to see that.’ This year, we’re going to have a special team and I’m excited to see what No. 4 can do.”

Ron Leary on if he thinks Garett Bolles has improved since last year:

“Lots of improvement. Just being out there with him, I’m forcing him to talk more, because I’m a big communicator out there and that’s something I don’t think he did a lot of last year. I’m making him talk, even if I know what’s going on I still want him to say it, so I know that he knows it. He’s a great job with it so, and he’s going to continue to get better.”

Derek Wolfe on what Strength and Conditioning coach Loren Landow has brought tothe team:

“It’s multiple things. It’s not a one certain thing he brings. He brings an attitude. He’s really good at building a team as far as in the weight room, getting that comradery, letting the players lead, giving you a reason why you’re doing the certain things that you’re doing and telling you what benefits you are going to get from it. It’s not just like ‘Let’s just go in here and grind,’ and that’s it. He tells you why you’re doing it, so then that makes you work harder because you’re like, ‘Oh, I do want to be good at that, I want my first step to be better, so I’m going to do this movement as well as I can and as hard as I can.’ He does a really good job at that. He does a really good job at just being there for you when you need somebody to talk to, somebody to sit around and B.S. with. He’s good at doing that. He’s just an all-around great guy. His philosophies, I don’t think anyone in the country compares.”