Day 8 of Broncos camp is in the books and it was another good day for the Broncos offense. They put together two solid practices and they head into tomorrow’s stadium practice looking pretty good.
Today we have the offense looking good again, Drew Lock spending more time with the 2’s, more bad snaps, Vic Fangio praising a newly signed receiver, news and notes, an injury report, and more!
Offense has their best day of practice
Just yesterday, I highlighted the Broncos offense as they put together their best day of camp. Well, I am doing the same exact thing today because they upped their game again and had their best day of practice and even earned a compliment from Head Coach, Vic Fangio.
Offense seemed to win the day today. Best practice of camp for the Scangarello O.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 26, 2019
Fangio: "Yeah it seemed like a better operation today. Hopefully when I go back and look at it, it was good play by them and not crappy play by the defense." #9sports
While he was contemplative of the offenses effort today, in typical Vic Fangio fashion, he was cautious to give too much praise.
“I thought it was a little better operation than it has been and that’s good to see. Hopefully when I go back and look at it it’s good play by them and not crappy play by the defense. Hopefully it’s good play by both sides and they’re winning. Don’t know the answer to that yet.”
HIs “I have to go back and watch it” has been something we have heard often from Fangio this summer. Before giving noteworthy public statements about a group or a player, he makes sure to go back and watch it first. I like that from him and hopefully the Broncos offense played well and it wasn’t just a result of poor defensive play.
As for what the offense did today, well they continued to be in rhythm, the timing continued to improve, and they looked much improved according to reports.
The one big play of the day was a Joe Flacco 50-yard bomb to wide receiver Courtland Sutton.
A decent amount of this offensive success came against the Broncos number two defense, but it is still good to see.
We needed to be patient with this group from the start anyways. Have a first-time Offensive Coordinator, a new quarterback, an offense full of youth and inexperience, and a new system. Add in going against what many assume will be a highly ranked defense and you will have a slow start. Glad to see that they have put together two solid back to back days.
Drew Lock had more reps with the second team offense
This is something I expect to see a lot more going forward, but today was a first big step towards that happening. Rookie quarterback Drew Lock saw a few more second-team reps under the center today.
Drew Lock got a little more second-team reps today. Kevin Hogan still got his share, also. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 26, 2019
Head Coach Vic Fangio was asked about this after practice and he told reporters that this was the plan from the get go.
“That was our plan the whole way to eventually let him work with the twos some—him and [QB] Kevin [Hogan] alternate a little bit.”
As we know, Kevin Hogan hasn’t been great thus far. He hasn’t had a disastrous day in awhile, but he really hasn’t done much to separate himself from his competition. This obviously is an issue for him because he has two young rookies behind him whom the Broncos will want to give reps too throughout camp.
Since Hogan hasn’t really done enough to lock down the backup quarterback job, Drew Lock should begin cutting into those reps more and more. I expect by the Broncos second preseason game, we will see Lock with the second-team offense in a more full-time basis.
Shotgun snaps continue to be erratic
This was an issue yesterday that was mentioned and highlighted, but continued again today, unfortunately. The Broncos centers, including center Connor McGovern, have had issues with snapping the ball too low in the shotgun formation.
Two low shotgun snaps from McGovern to Flacco in this period.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 26, 2019
After practice, Fangio was asked how he plans on correcting this issue and he told reporters that they have to “hit it”.
“You hit it. We have to keep practicing because we can have nine other offensive players on offense having the best down of their life. If we can’t get the snap, it’s wasted. That’s both the snap and the quarterback. Sometimes it’s the quarterback too. I thought it was a little better today in comparison to yesterday where we had kind of an epidemic of them yesterday. Today we kind of had a few of them. We can’t have any.”
This is certainly an issue they need to correct and correct quick. Bad snaps mess up the entire flow and timing of a play and eats up a few precious seconds the quarterback has to get rid of the ball accurately to someone.
Again, this is something that will likely improve with time. McGovern is still fairly new to the center position and he’s work with a new quarterback. Also have to remember he went from snapping to one of the shortest quarterbacks to one of the tallest ones. So an adjustment period here should be expected.
Fangio has high praise for newly signed wide receiver Nick Williams
The Denver Broncos announced earlier today that they have signed wide receiver Nick Williams to bolster their wide receiving depth.
We've signed WR Nick Williams.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) July 26, 2019
Fangio was asked about Nick Williams after practice and he told reporters that he looked like a “pretty damn good football player out there”.
“We’ve run low at receivers and particularly at the slot. We’re not low enough to ask [former Broncos WR Brandon] Stokely if he can still play, but he did a good job. He’s a guy that doesn’t meet your height, weight and speed, things that all the personnel people like, but looks like a pretty damn football player to me out there. Maybe all he needed was an opportunity and he’s got one now. Let’s see.”
The Broncos were running a little low on receivers because of injuries to DaeSean Hamilton and Rive Cracraft. I would assume that neither player would be able to play in next week’s Hall Of Fame game so they needed depth at the slot positon.
Williams is your typical slot receiver who has played in zone systems throughout his career. In all likelihood, Williams is merely a camp body but you never know. As Fangio stated, maybe this is the time he puts everything together and becomes a solid NFL player.
- Right tackle Ja’Wuan James sat out practice with a bruised leg and is considered day-to-day. Vic Fangio did not seem concerned by the injury and it seems minor.
- Linebacker Dekoda Watson sat out practice with a leg injury but he is considered day-to-day as well per Fangio. Like James, this injury seems minor and he should return in a few days.
- Oft-injured tight end Jake Butt sat out his fifth consecutive practice and his odds of making the 53-man roster are dwindling.
- Wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton sat out practice with a hamstring injury and he is considered day-to-day as well.
- Tight end Bug Howard has a sprained ankle and should be out a week according to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis.
- Wide receiver River Cracraft continued to sit out practice because of a muscle injury.
- Linebacker Todd Davis was seen on a stationary bicycle during practice as he is recoverng from a calf injury. He is still a few weeks out from being ready to return.
- Offensive tackle Jake Rodgers sat out practice after injuring himself during Thursday’s practice.
- Guard Ron Leary simply received a day off.
News and notes
- Broncos signed wide receiver Nick Williams to add more competition to their wide receiving position.
- Jake Brendel replaced Ron Leary at right guard while Elijah Wilkinson replaces Ja’Wuan James at right tackle
- Former second round pick DeMarcus Walker received some first-team reps today. The coaching change has appeared to benefit him a good deal.
- UDFA WR’s Kelvin McKnight and Trinity Benson continue to get first-team reps with DaeSean Hamilton sidelined.
- Tight ends continue to be heavily involved into the offense and something we will likely see all season.
Tweets from camp
DBs gotta warm up those hands pic.twitter.com/qffSCVqnnV— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) July 26, 2019
#Broncos TE room down to four practicing with Butt and Howard out. As it stands, this is what I believe will be the group that makes the final 53-man roster (Fant, Heuerman, Fumagalli, Fort). #BroncosCountry #BroncosCamp pic.twitter.com/wuGADXqqL5— Ryan Edwards (@redwardsradio) July 26, 2019
First look at new Broncos WR Nick Williams (No. 86) during individual drills pic.twitter.com/8i88E9VJtZ— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) July 26, 2019
RG Jake Brendel and RT Elijah Wilkinson getting work with the first team with Leary and James not practicing.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) July 26, 2019
Joe Flacco DEEP to a diving Courtland Sutton for 50+ yards. Good throw, great catch.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) July 26, 2019
Flacco drills completion to Patrick, then hits Sutton on go route. Sutton half-dives for nice catch. No 1 offense working against no 2 D. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) July 26, 2019
Timing really starting to come together for this Broncos offense...— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) July 26, 2019
Joe Flacco completed five-straight passes in 11-on-11s (against the No. 2 defense), including a 50+ yard bomb to Courtland Sutton. Offensive finding some rhythm.— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) July 26, 2019
DeMarcus Walker getting some reps with the ones today.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 26, 2019
Flacco still has fastball. Throwing darts today. Ball deflected still arrives on time to Sutton. McKnight getting run with first team. Need that 4th-5th WR to make plays on special teams. McKnight gets first down in two minute drill. Has looked good #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 26, 2019
Best series of camp for the first-team offense. Moved the ball 60 yards down the field in the two-minute drill.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) July 26, 2019
Three completions from Joe Flacco to Kelvin McKnight in the series.
Kelvin McKnight has been on fire with Joe Flacco today. He’s really impressed.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) July 26, 2019
Hogan looked to Winfree four straight times in a move-the-ball period before a drive-ending incompletion on 3rd-and-10— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 26, 2019
Kelvin McKnight might mess around and make this team if he keeps getting open for Flacco.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) July 26, 2019
Two low shotgun snaps from McGovern to Flacco in this period.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 26, 2019
Vic Fangio: “Our plan the whole way was to eventually let Drew work with the twos some.”— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) July 26, 2019
Vic Fangio on more bad snaps: “We have to keep practicing it. Nine other offensive Ayers can be having the best play of their life but it doesn’t matter if we can’t get the snap right... We can’t have any of those.”— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) July 26, 2019
Vic Fangio: “We’re low on receivers at the slot position. Not low enough to ask Stokley to play but pretty low.”— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) July 26, 2019
Head Coach Vic Fangio on what the young players will get out of the environment at Broncos Stadium at Mile High tomorrow
“Hopefully we’ll have a decent crowd, 50,000 or so maybe. Is that doable? What’s the weather for tomorrow? Like this? Nice. 50. Broncos Country has to come out. It will be good for those young guys especially some of these guys that have been at small schools where they don’t see a crowd or a stadium that big. It can be a little imposing. Hopefully it helps them for next Thursday and the rest of preseason and moving forward. I think there’s benefit to it. That’s why we did it. We didn’t have to do it. They asked me if I wanted to do it and I said, ‘Yeah. let’s do it.’”
Head Coach Vic Fangio on what he has seen from the young players rotating at inside linebacker
“They’ve all had their moments—both good and bad. They obviously play a little better when they’re in there with [ILB] Josey [Jewell] because he can kind of serve as their caddy a little bit. That’s always important to remember when you’re evaluating players, who they are in there with. That’s why we have to always change those guys even without injuries because guys—you don’t lose, for example, both safeties in one game on the same play. So the guy that goes in, he’s got to get used to playing with that other safety. Same thing with inside linebackers and offensive line. Anybody that has to work with somebody close to them it’s always important to get that intermixed in there. I think those guys have had their moments, good and bad.”
Broncos rookie guard Dalton Risner on what it will mean to him tomorrow to practice at Broncos Stadium at Mile High having grown up a Broncos fan.
“It’s an awesome moment. I see that every day playing with the guys I play with and this team and this whole area. Being a part of the Denver Broncos is a dream come true, and I don’t take that for granted any day. Any time that you might get in the grind of camp, I realize that this is a blessing for us.”