In what has been a weird 2020 football offseason because of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, we FINALLY have some actual Denver Broncos on the field action to talk about. The Broncos began their shortened 2020 Training Camp today with a practice today. It was in shorts and a jersey, but we still saw our Broncos at full speed for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. Here are the news and notes we could gather from the limited media availability allowed at Broncos camp.
Jerry Jeudy shines
The Denver Broncos selected Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy with their first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Many had Jeudy as their best receiver in the draft class and the electric wide receiver didn’t take long to turn heads at Broncos camp.
Jeudy is as advertised.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 14, 2020
Can't wait to see him run with the ones.
Here’s what Denver Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio had to say about his first impressions of Jeudy in a Training Camp practice.
“Good, Jerry’s come in here and he’s got good polish as a receiver comparing him to other rookie receivers coming out of college. He runs good routes. He’s got good change of direction, good hands. It was nice to see him making a couple of plays today.”
Fellow first round pick of the Broncos and another player the Broncos offense is going to be leaning on, Noah Fant, also had some positive reviews of Jeudy’s first practice with the team.
“I think Jerry had a nice day today. I think he had a couple good catches. He had some good routes. He’s going to be a lot of help for us. Obviously, we have who’s doing big things for us. Jerry’s going to be a good addition to that. It’s good to see him obviously coming out and making some catches already and doing his thing. I’m excited for that. I think having a bunch of receivers that are good threats will open all of our tight ends up which I’m super excited about. It’ll be a good thing.”
The rave reviews came from the Broncos defenders as well. Veteran starting safety Kareem Jackson discussed the difficulties of covering Jeudy to reporters after practice.
“I think it’ll be very difficult because he has this unorthodox way of running routes. We were kind of talking about it today. He can get in and out of his breaks better than anyone I’ve ever seen before. For him to be rookie, his tempo and his routes—the way he can change pace and the way he sells things is very rare. It’s going to be a challenge for opposing defenses and guys in the secondary. For us, getting a chance to see him every day is going to help us. There’s another guy we see twice a year that kind of puts us in the mind of him in terms of getting in and out of breaks and running routes. For us to be able to see him on a day-to-day basis is going to help us. He’s going to pose a challenge for some other defenses.”
Jeudy was considered a home run addition to the Broncos offense and so far(even though it’s VERY early) the results are meeting the expectations thus far. Jeudy has yet to play with the first team offense, but it shouldn’t take him long to be promoted to first-team offense and be the Broncos number two receiver in the Broncos offense.
Bryce Callahan sighting!
The Broncos signed Bryce Callahan last offseason but he barely even had a practice rep with the team before missing the season with a foot injury. Well, now it’s 2020 and he’s finally healthy and playing in the Broncos first-team defense early on.
He also made some noise in the first practice of 2020 by getting an interception during today’s practice. The Broncos will need Callahan to stay healthy and be effective in 2020 if they want to make some noise in the AFC.
Here’s what Head Coach Vic Fangio had to say about how Callahan looked during practice.
Callahan had a good day today in his first action back. He actually did have one day of the earlier practice. Again, I haven’t watched the whole day of practice, but he did make some plays out there today. It’s good to see him out there moving around. His foot feels fine. He’s confident and ready to go.”
It appears that A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan will be your number one and two corners this season with Callahan shifting to the slot in nickel and dime packages with whoever wins the third cornerback job to play outside in these situations.
Drew Lock impressions
Drew Lock had a handful of starts in 2019 but 2020 is really his first big test as a starting quarterback in the NFL and today was his first Training Camp practice as the leader of the Denver Broncos. So all eyes were on Lock and he looked fairly well according to most reports.
Before we get going, he did have two interceptions during today’s practice. These are not the end of the world and should be happening early in camp. He only has a handful of starts under his belt, learning a new offense, it has been a weird offseason and well, it’s just practice, so lets not overreact to these just yet.
According to onlookers, Lock went 16 for 22 during team drills today with one interception by Bryce Callahan. Camp is a growing process so mistakes and camp INT’s will happen, but overall, it sounds like Lock had a solid overall practice.
Here’s what starting veteran safety Kareem Jackson had to say about his first impressions of the Broncos offense in the first Training Camp practice of 2020.
“I think they did a lot of good things today. For those guys to be so young, they have a ton of talent on that side. They looked good today and they made a lot of plays. [QB] Drew [Lock] threw some good balls, [WR] Courtland [Sutton] is going to be Courtland and I saw some good stuff from [WRs] Jerry [Jeudy], KJ [Hamler], DaeSean [Hamilton] and a few other guys. Those guys are explosive. Football is something they’ve been doing ever since they were kids, since they were real, real young. I expect for those guys to come out and compete at a high level every day. They did some great things today as well.”
This is a young offense learning a new offense in an offseason that didn’t give them time to learn and gel together. So we need to have some patience here and let these young guys grow and learn from their mistakes on the practice field. However, a solid first day from them all is an excellent sign.
K.J. Hamler makes the catch of the day
While Jerry Jeudy was the rookie getting all the attention from the media, and rightfully so, the Broncos second-round wide receiver K.J. Hamler made some noise as well. He hauled in what was the catch of the day and potentially the catch of camp during today’s practice session.
The explosive Hamler figure to see time at the slot position and potentially as a returner for the Broncos during his rookie season. However, making catches like this on a consistent basis and using his explosive ability to make plays after the catch will only increase his snaps his rookie season.
I’m personally excited to see what Hamler can do for the Broncos.
News and notes
- Linebacker A.J, Johnson picked off Drew Lock on 7-on-7 drills
- Running backs Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon took turns with the first-team offense during today’s practice.
- Rookie cornerback Michael Ojemudia picked off quarterback Jeff Driskel during today’s practice
- Elijah Wilkinson and Jake Rodgers split time at RT today while Demar Dotson was working on conditoning
- Austin Schlottmann took all the first-team reps at center today while rookie Lloyd Cushenberry took second-team reps.
- According to DNVR’s Andrew Mason, tight end Jake Butt took some first-team reps
- According to DNVR’s Andrew Mason, running back Royce Freeman is the Broncos clear number three running back
- Tight end Austin Fort had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will be “out awhile” according to 9NEWs Denver’s Mike Klis
Tweets from Camp
#Broncos GM @johnelway out here watching. Some early thoughts. @JakeButtTE, in battle to make team, running routes well. And Oline depth will be needed. Seeing Schlottman, Rodgers getting reps. #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) August 14, 2020
Fangio on Juedy: "Jerry's come in here and he's got good polish as a receiver. He runs good routes, has good change of direction, good hands and it was nice to see him make a couple plays today."— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
Vic Fangio: "We got a lot accomplished. I like the urgency of our players as we move through this shortened training camp. I thought it was a great day."— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
Jeudy with the catch, hard plant and juke of Jewell. The rookie has certainly made his presence felt on Day 1.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
Jerry Jeudy gets behind the defense during 11-v-11 and catches another deep ball from Driskel, who has been throwing it well today.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
KJ Hamler with a beautiful diving catch of about 35 yards on a well-thrown ball by Driskel. Catch of the day so far.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
Even from our perch 200 yards away, Noah Fant’s size — and how he moves it — is just different.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
Lock and Courtlsnd Sutton with a couple sweet connections already, including a great thread-the-needle delivery from Lock on the run to his right near the sideline.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
Lock comes back and hits Sutton on a deep post in traffic. Followed by a nice sprint outside run by Lindsay.— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 14, 2020
“Phillip Lindsay isn’t a pass-catching threat.” pic.twitter.com/FsXxXswfKd— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 14, 2020
#Broncos first practice over.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) August 14, 2020
Jerry Jeudy is good
Bryce Callahan is healthy
Demar Dotson is a mountain of a man
Big day for secondary with INTs
Austin Schlottmann took every first-team rep as No. 1 center. Imagine he'll rotate with Cushenberry before decision is made. #Broncos— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) August 14, 2020
#Broncos Fangio on Dotson. "We have to get familiar with him. He's behind in terms of learning the offense. We have to get him caught up and knows what to do so we can see how good he is and where he might fit. He has the license and permit to win a starting job." #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) August 14, 2020
Fant on Broncos drafting Albert O: “I know when the Broncos took me, they took me for a reason. I’m happy to have those guys (Vannett and Albert)…it’s a lot of fun having both those guys in the room.” #BroncosCountry #BroncosCamp @KOAColorado— Brandon Krisztal (@BKDenverSports) August 14, 2020
Day 1 observations: C Austin Schlottmann had some nice snaps to Drew Lock. (What? He did) Rookie C Lloyd Cushenberry already working w?2nd team.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 14, 2020
It's A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan at CB with Isaac Yiadom as No. 3. But rookie CB Michael Ojemudia coming on. (more) #9sports
More observations: *New RT Demar Dotson didn't take team reps as he's acclimating. Jake Rodgers did a nice job.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 14, 2020
*It was Gordon/Lindsay; Lindsay/Gordon at RB. Gordon adds explosiveness.
*TEs Fant/Vannett/Fumagalli looked good. Jake Butt/Albert O are getting there. (more) #9sports
More Day 1: *Rookie WR KJ Hamler had best catch of day for TD, but also drop that deflected into INT.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 14, 2020
*All 3 QBs (Lock/Driskel/Rypien) looked good but Driskel got to work with second-string WR named Jeudy. DaeSean Hamilton is working with Sutton w/1st-team offense. #9sports
Noah Fant says that Pat Shurmur’s offense is “much more detailed” than the one run last year. Said there are tweaks on each route that will allow receivers/TEs to take advantage of mismatches. Says that the offense has not been more difficult to learn than Rich Scangarello’s.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 14, 2020
Head Coach Vic Fangio on what he expects from T Demar Dotson and if he has a chance to start at right tackle
“Right now, we just have to get familiar with him. He’s obviously behind as far as learning our offense. He had none of the offseason virtual meetings. Today was his first day here with us. Actually, yesterday was. We’ve got to get him caught up so he’s knowing what to do so we can see how good he is and where he might fit. Certainly, he has the license and the permit to win a starting job if he can, but that remains to be seen. We have to find out—it’s going to take us a little while here to find out exactly where he’s at.”
Tight end Noah Fant On what he likes most about his role in Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur’s offense and how much time he was able to spend working with QB Drew Lock in the offseason
“I’d say my favorite thing with Coach Shurmur is just early on I’m moving around a lot. He’s moving me around, using me in different places. I’ll be in the slot, I’ll be in-line and I’ll be outside as a wide receiver. I think that’s what I love the most just being able to have a versatile game and do a lot of different things, take advantage of a lot of different matchup. Especially with as good of receivers as we have, it’s going to be a lot of fun to do that. With Drew, we got a couple of good sessions in. I’d say like 10 or 15 of them—throwing with him and just kind of working out with him obviously in small groups with everything that’s going on right now. It was good. That helped us out a lot being able to work out together and kind of run through those beginning plays together and kind of try and make up for lost time. That was very helpful.”
Safety Kareem Jackson on if the defense can be elite and if he thinks the defense will have to carry the offense early in the season
“I think we can. I think we have the veteran guys on this defense that can be great leaders. Not only that, I think we have the talent to do it at every level. Adding [DL] Jurrell Casey along with [DE] Shelby Harris, and we have those two outside backers in [Bradley] Chubb and Von [Miller] along with [LBs] Jerry [Attaochu], Todd [Davis] and A.J. [Johnson]. Then in our secondary, we’ve got some guys that can be great leaders as well—[CB] A.J. [Bouye] and getting [CB] Bryce [Callahan] back. I think at every level we have veteran guys that know what it takes and that’s played a lot of ball. We’ll be ready and up for the task. I think the offense will be fine. They also have some veteran guys. They’re young, but they’ve got some guys that’s played a lot of ball. Those guys are as competitive as anyone in that locker room, so I think they’ll want to go out and they’ll want to do what they’re expected to do as well. As far as us having to carry those guys, I don’t think we will have to. I think they’ll come out and perform just well.”