Day 8 of Broncos camp is now in the books and we have a few storylines from the Broncos scrimmage. The first team offense and defense take battle and both sides came away with some positives, Paxton Lynch has another forgettable performance during the scrimmage, and Chad Kelly being the MVP of the scrimmage.
Keenum and first team offense have some success against the 1st team defense:
Case Keenum and the Broncos number one offense took on the Broncos number one defense today during the scrimmage and it was a spirited battle between the two squads:
Keenum and the Broncos starting offense had a long 12-play drive against the Broncos defense which resulted in a field goal attempt.
The Broncos did have a 4th and 1 attempt in which rookie running back Royce Freeman ran up the guy into nose tackle Domata Peko. He apparently had enough for the first down but the coaches called off the drive because it likely went over the maximum play threshold.
It was a good drive for both squads. The Broncos front seven sounds deadly and got after Case Keenum. However, Keenum showed off his good pocket awareness and mobility and was able to make some plays.
This was the only drive the first-team offense and defense had today so there are limited notes to add here. The defense looked good and the offense still performed well enough despite that
Head Coach Vance Joseph said Keenum did well despite the Broncos dominant defense.
“He was good. We have a really good defense and when you turn on to live and it’s full pass rush, that’s a top-five defense. I’m not surprised that it’s been competitive and it’s been more competitive this year than it was last year offensively. They’ve won more days than they won last year at this point in training camp. I am not down on the offense at all. Again, it’s early. We have plenty of work to do. I’ve been pleased with Case, how he’s handled our football team.”
Many were concerned about the Broncos defense after the offenses dominance but they quieted those worries these past few days. The good thing is, the offense still performed well.
Like last year, Paxton Lynch struggles during the scrimmage:
The second team offense and defense took the field after the first teams had their battle and it just didn’t go well for them at all.
Paxton Lynch and the Broncos second-team offense had a three and out on their first drive and after that Lynch continued to struggle. He was consistently under fire from the defense and took some sacks. He also tossed to safety Will Parks who hauled in his second interception of camp.
If these struggles continue, I would not be shocked to see another quarterback added into the mix here. It is hard to feel confident about the Broncos backup quarterback position.
Chad Kelly shines with the third-team offense:
While Lynch struggled, the 2017 7th-round pick, quarterback Chad Kelly was the MVP of the Broncos scrimmage.
Kelly tossed two long touchdown passes within a five play span. The first one was a deep pass to rookie wide receiver Jordan Leslie while the second one was another deep one to rookie wide receiver Mark Chapman.
Head Coach Vance Joseph kept it simple when asked about Kelly’s performance during the scrimmage today.
“Chad looked good. I think he threw two touchdowns within five plays. Yeah, he looked good.”
Now I don’t mean to temper any excitement, but Kelly was facing the Broncos third-team defense during the scrimmage. We have seen many quarterbacks come and go who have done well against third-team defenses. Kelly will have to continue this type of play as he raises up the difficulty level if he wants to compete for the backup job.
Kelly hasn’t had a great camp overall, but today was a very good day for him. Will this result in second-team reps? Vance Joseph said ““It hasn’t happened yet. It could happen in the future.”
Joseph also doubled on calling Kelly a playmaker after the scrimmage today.
“He’s a playmaker. He’s always been a playmaker. You watch his college tape two years ago, he just makes plays. It doesn’t always look pretty, but he just makes plays.”
Will this be the turnaround Kelly needs to make that jump to the second team? We shall see. It is the overall camp that matters, not just one individual practice. With that said, hopefully Kelly continues this impressive play.
News and notes:
- Safety Justin Simmons jumped a pass and made a diving interception on a Case Keenum pass during 7-on-7’s
- Guard Max Garcia replaced Ron Leary at left guard today who was given the veterans day off.
- Punter Marquette King was booming balls 50+ yards and showing off his coffin corner skills and downing them within the 10-yard line.
- Guard Ron Leary missed practice but was given the day off.
- Defensive end Adam Gotsis missed practice as well but it was just pre-cautionary
- Cornerback Marcus Rios sat out practice.
- Wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown was seen on the sideline but not in pads. He’s getting closer to be cleared but not there yet.
- Safety Su’a Cravens sat out practice again with knee soreness
- Tight End Jeff Heuerman continued to sit out practice with knee soreness
Tweets from camp:
Light drizzle coming down at UCHealth Training Center for the first scrimmage of Broncos training camp. pic.twitter.com/jgmZoGXAZH— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) August 5, 2018
CB1 and CB2 getting warmed up. How will they hold up against Keenum today? Gonna be fun to watch. pic.twitter.com/YM0iRbwQl8— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) August 5, 2018
First 7-on-7 pick for Case Keenum. Was looking for Emmanuel Sanders on a short out to the left and Justin Simmons made a sweet diving pick.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 5, 2018
Brendan Langley with good coverage on Courtland Sutton on two plays. First he had a PBU and second was overthrown. Both passes from Paxton.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) August 5, 2018
Keenum has been a bit erratic today.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 5, 2018
The #Broncos just announced they raised $40,614.31 at camp on Saturday for #AlzheimersAwarenessDay. Absolutely incredible. Well done #BroncosCountry. Awesome to also have the Bowlen family participate in this. pic.twitter.com/juSOg3vf7a— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) August 5, 2018
Second string offense sputtered with Lynch. DeMarcus Walker got a sack. #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) August 5, 2018
Third-team scrimmage highlight: Chad Kelly TD bomb to Jordan Leslie. Broncos sideline loved it.— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) August 5, 2018
Play of the day so far in the scrimmage made by WR Jordan Leslie, who fought off coverage from two defenders to catch a 35-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline from Chad Kelly to cap the drive for the No. 3 offense.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 5, 2018
Chad Kelly to Mark Chapman (beat Langley) for deep TD on go route. Chad Kelly slinging it #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 5, 2018
Marquette King’s coffin-corner work paid off today. He dropped two punts of 48 and 49 yards that both went out of bounds at the 8-yard line.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 5, 2018
Vance Joseph on Chad Kelly getting no 2 reps: “It hasn’t happened yet. It could in the future.” #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 5, 2018
.@dbook23: “I think we could be the top of the line … the sky’s the limit with this offense."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 5, 2018
.@ChrisHarrisJr says that Jeff Holland reminds him of “a young Shaq [Barrett]."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 5, 2018
.@chrisharrisjr: “Our offense is way better than it was last year … he’s improved from OTAs” … says the first-team offense is “way better” than the other offensive units, that it’s at “Level 10," and he sees the offense “putting up at least 30 a game."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 5, 2018
Chris Harris says #Broncos defenders used to call OC Bill Musgrave "mad scientist" when they used to have to go against him. Veteran CB believes this offense could score a ton of points this year. @1043TheFan— Cecil Lammey (@CecilLammey) August 5, 2018
Chris Harris Jr’s message to the world:— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) August 5, 2018
“I wouldn’t sleep on us too much. Not with our quarterback”
Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr with some good analysis of rookie WR Courtland Sutton: "He has to get comfortable running every route other than a fade."— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) August 5, 2018
But about those 50-50 balls...
"He's up there with (DeAndre) Hopkins ... Dez Bryant ... He can go up and get them." pic.twitter.com/xu3RdmlRN8
I can appreciate progress #Broncos rookie Isaac Yiadom is making, earning time at nickel with Tramaine Brock dealing with hamstring issue. But I would keep Kayvon Webster's number on speed dial. Secondary a little thin. Might need a vet for depth, IMO. #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) August 5, 2018
“You must feel the force young Jedi” pic.twitter.com/7n7PYHqcDS— Shane Ray (@StingRay56) August 5, 2018
Apparently there's this weird hive of people that think Chad Kelly is going to win the #Broncos starting gig, or something. He has very clearly been the third best QB in camp, today he looked better than Paxton.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 5, 2018
He is not going to be the starter, and has a ways to go to win QB2.
Vance Joseph’s thoughts on today’s scrimmage:
“It was good. It was fast, but it was pretty intense. For the 3s, that was really a football game for those guys. When you’re a young guy in this league—unlike college, especially as a corner—you watch college football games, guys get beat and the guy is overthrown by four yards. In this league, when you’re beat, they’re going to find you and it’s going to be a big play. That’s professional football. It’s good to have our young guys experience that now. You can’t make mistakes with technique. You cannot just not block your guy as a tackle. That quarterback will get hit. It’s good that those guys through the exercise before next Saturday. Next Saturday is live bullets.”
Vance Joseph on the running back battle:
“Hard to say. All five guys are getting reps and they’ve all done some really good things. I’ve been really impressed with the pass protection part. ‘37’ (Royce Freeman), ‘2’ (Phillip Lindsay), ‘36’ (David Williams), ‘23’ (Devontae Booker) and ‘33’ (De’Angelo Henderson) all have put their face on guys. That’s tough for a rookie. I watch ‘37’ block [S] Justin Simmons in the A-gap yesterday and was really impressed. I watched ‘2’ take on [ILB] Todd [Davis], and that’s a tough matchup for his body type, but he stuck his face in there. That’s been the impressive part and that speaks to their maturity as football players. That’s the last part most young backs get, the pass protection part. That part can be dangerous if those guys can’t do it on third downs. All five guys have done a good job at that part.”
Chris Harris Jr. on cornerbacks Isaac Yiadom and Brendan Langley:
“I’m not surprised. Isaac, he’s been able to make plays. He’s working his tail off every day, listens. He’s a smart player, so I’m not surprised at all. ‘B-Lang,’ he hasn’t been playing corner his entire life. It’s kind of like he’s still learning a lot. It just has to be consistent and I know he’s doing a lot of extra work with the coaches to make sure he’s consistent. They both have freakish talents. ‘B-Lang,’ he just has to get it. It has to click for him. Right now it’s been up and down, so we just have to get him consistent.”
Chris Harris Jr. on rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton:
“He’s good. He’s a good jump ball, 50-50 guy. He has to learn how to run all of the routes. In the NFL, you can’t just say, ‘I’m going to run a deep ball,’ and expect it to work 17 weeks. It’s not going to work in the NFL. He has to get comfortable running every route other then a fade. Those 50-50 balls, he’s up there with [Texans WR DeAndre] Hopkins, who else has great 50-50 balls? [Former Cowboys WR] Dez Bryant, those guys. He can get up and get them just like them or better. Seeing that right there is going to be a huge plus for us, but he’s going to have to run all of the routes. You can’t just make it easy. If I just know you’re going to run a fade every time, then it’s pretty easy for my job.”
Quarterback Case Keenum on avoiding turnovers:
“Yeah, I’m trying to end every drive with a kick whether it’s field goal, extra point or punt. I realize that sometimes the best play you can do is maybe throw it away. Sometimes at worst you’d want to just take a sack. Just eat it and punt the ball, let our defense do what they do. We’ve got some great defensive players, great pass rushers that—you give them the full length of the field to defend and they do a great job. I know the priority—obviously we’re trying to move the ball and score points—but we’ve got to protect the ball and having the ball in my hands every play that’s my number one job.”
Quarterback Chad Kelly on extending plays and making plays:
“You don’t really just go out there on gameday and be a playmaker. You’ve got to put in the work. You’ve got to work extremely hard out here on the practice field and know what your job is, what your role is and where everybody’s going to be. If you just get out there for a game and you don’t know anything, you might be struggling. I think it comes from having a sense of urgency on the practice field and kind of practicing the way you play. That’s really what I’ve always been told and taught, to go out there and practice the way you’re going to play a game.”