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2020 Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 4 news and notes

Here are the news and notes from day 4 of Denver Broncos Camp.

Denver Broncos Training Camp Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Broncos put on the pads for the second-straight day today and it was a better showing by the teams defense. The unit pressured and sacked the quarterbacks, interceptions were made and a certain pass rusher decided to have one of his annual Training Camp practices where he ruins the offenses day.

Von Miller ruins the offense’s practice

It has happened a few times every August since the Broncos drafted Von Miller. He wakes up and decides that today is the day that he will single handedly ruin the offense’s practice - and that is exactly what happened today.

Right tackle Elijah Wilkinson was clearly outmatched by Miller which really shouldn’t be a surprise. Von is a shoe-in Hall-of-Famer at the top of his game being matched up against a career backup so he should be dominating. However, after a quiet Day 3 by the entire Broncos defense, a day like today by Miller and the defense was needed.

As we know, Miller entered Training Camp with a new mindset and today showed that off a bit. Here’s what Head Coach Vic Fangio had to say about Von and his performance today.

“I think that had a good day today for the most part. Obviously, I haven’t watched the tape yet, but I thought he did good. I think Von’s in good shape. He’s a little heavier than he’s been in the past, but not drastically. I think he’s worked hard in the offseason to get his body where he wants to get and where he feels it needs to be. I think it’s shown in dividends already on the practice field.”

Von who spent time this offseason recovering from Covid-19 showed out to camp heavier as Fangio stated but heavier with added muscle packed on to his already athletic frame. He is adding a whole new commitment to the game, proved it by improving his body, and now by dominating practice once again.

Now, it wasn’t just Miller who showed up today, the entire defense had a bounce back performance after a less than stellar day 3 of practice. Here’s what cornerback A.J. Bouye had to say about that turnaround today.

“You have to take advantage of every rep and every practice because soon as you know it, Monday night is coming up. Yesterday was our first day in pads and it didn’t go the way we wanted. It wasn’t really a message, it was just [Head Coach] Vic [Fangio] coming in, showing us our keys, what we need to look for, how we need to play certain things and we just implemented that. Like I said, it’s going to be around the corner. No preseason games, so you can’t get your technique right. Everything we’re doing in practice, we’re doing it full speed—both offense, defense and special teams. We have to simulate games somehow.”

A great day by the Broncos defense obviously means the offense struggled so let us see if they have a similar bounce back performance during the next practice!

No. 3 cornerback job heats up

This is probably the most competitive positional battle on the roster currently and the entire competition had their moments during today’s practice. The competition is De’Vante Bausby, Isaac Yiadom, and rookie Michael Ojemudia and again, all three had their moments today.

Bausby looks to be the early favorite for the third cornerback job, When healthy last season, he looked fairly good and like a solid starter in Vic Fangio’s defense so he has proven to do it in the past. So far, he has continued that sort of play in the early portions of camp. The competition is far from over, but he hasn’t done anything to lose that favorite label.

Here’s what veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye had to say about Bausby to the media after today’s practice.

The first day I met Baus, he was asking about my situation in Houston, being undrafted and things like that. He stood out to me when I was studying film of guys last year. Just to see him pick it up in camp, he hasn’t left. You can tell he knows the playbook, certain route concepts and he’s very aggressive and he wants to make plays on the ball. You can see what he’s been doing all camp.”

Bausby wasn’t the only cornerback to have a food practice. Former third-round pick Isaac Yiadom had himself a good practice as well.

He broke up multiple passes today but still needs to improve all facets of his game if he wants to have a consistent role in the secondary according to Head Coach Vic Fangio. Here’s what he had to say after being asked about what Yiadom has to do to earn a role in the secondary.

“Just to improve in all facets of the game. Obviously, job number one of a corner is the ability to cover. We want to see improvement there. Corners have to tackle in this league in the run game. He has to improve there and just overall awareness of what we’re doing on defense and understanding his position and how it relates to what we’re doing. I think if he can achieve those things, he’s off to a good start and will be a major factor in our defense.”

Number one cornerback A.J. Bouye was asked about these two and their competition and what each player brings to the table. Here is what he told the media after today’s practice.

“It’s definitely a lot of competition. Both of those guys have different skill sets, but the both capitalize on their opportunities. One thing about Ike that I noticed is how big he is in person. He has the length. He’s definitely going to be aggressive with you. He’s running with every guy that I’ve seen so far. With Bausby, I just see a lot of stuff where he’s off. He’s reading routes because he wants to have his eyes in the backfield and be able to make plays. They both bring certain things. I’ve seen how Isaac played against [Chiefs TE Travis] Kelce last year and just tight ends and things like that. Those are big guys and just for him to be so aggressive with his hand placement and foot placement and everything that just shows you that he’s very crafty with it.”

Finally, we have rookie Michael Ojemudia who earned some first-team reps today. He didn’t do anything noteworthy it seems, but he did get a shot to show his talents against the first-team offense.

Austin Schlottmann gets first-team reps at center for the second straight practice

The center job figured to be between rookie Lloyd Cushenberry and Patrick Morris who started some games last season, but Austin Schlottmann has surprisingly became the early favorite for the job.

He opened camp as the starting center before Patrick Morris getting the nod on day 2. Schlottmann once again got the nod on day 3 and if you assume the pattern, Morris would get the nod today. However, Schlottmann started at center for the second straight practice.

To me, that makes him the early favorite for the center job. Rookie Lloyd Cushenberry has yet to earn first-team work but you have to assume it’s coming at some-point. However, Schlottmann appears to be the early favorite right now.

He started some games at guard last season for the Broncos and faired fairly well in those stints. Nothing amazing, but he clearly did enough to earn the trust of Hall Of Fame offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

The transition from guard to center is one starting right guard Graham Glasgow knows and he spoke about the transition from center to guard and ending up calling him a “really smart kid”.

“I’d probably say the biggest part that he needs—he’s kind of figured it out. He’s a really smart kid, but it just comes down to the mental part of the game. When you’re a center, you’re not getting a whole bunch of one-on-ones like you would if you were a guard or if you were a tackle, but you end up just as exhausted because mentally it takes toll on you. You need to make sure you’re on top of your game and you spend a lot more time studying. If the center is messed up, we’re all messed up. He’s getting everybody on the same page, and so far, him and [C] Pat [Morris] and even Cush (C Lloyd Cushenberry III)—because Cush, he’s a first year player—have done a fantastic job and they’ve been learning the system well.”

It’ll be interesting how this all plays out, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schlottmann open up the season as the Broncos starting center.

Injury Report

  • Tight end Austin Fort remained sidelined and will be out 4 to 8 weeks
  • Receiver Juwaan Winfree returned to practice after being sidelined.

News and Notes

Tweets from Camp

Quotables

Head Coach Vic Fangio on what he looks for during red zone periods

“Number one, you’re looking for execution. Guys understanding what they’re supposed to do on both sides of the ball and being able to operate now in tight quarters. Obviously being in the red zone, it’s not good on defense to be in the red zone, but it is a defensive advantage when the field is condensed. We have to be able to know how to adjust our play on defense to take advantage of that. Offense has to realize that things are condensed and play sharp, play quick and fit the ball in there where it needs to be fitted. Runs have to be run efficiently. Red zone’s a big part of the game. Once you get down there, whether you get three or seven or give up three or seven is crucial.”

Head Coach Vic Fangio On how much of a benefit it is to have a veteran like G Graham Glasgow next to the young centers

“It’s good. One of the very underrated and unappreciated things in football and it happens across the board is the guy that you’re next to. For the O-line, it’s obviously the center having the two guards next to him, the tackle having the guards next to him, the guards having the tackle next to them. Sometimes guys end up really helping somebody before the ball is snapped. It happens on defense. Inside linebackers being one of where it happens a lot, safeties where it happens a lot, D-linemen. I kind of end up—and you can tell a difference when one guy needs that experienced guy next to him that can help him pre-snap. When that guy disappears for whatever reason, you can see a difference in one guy’s play. It happens. I’ve called them for a long time—I’ve said certain players need a caddy out there on the field. Some guys do better when they’ve got a good caddy with them. That’s just the fact and it’s for those positions we mentioned.”

Cornerback A.J. Bouye on which offensive players he enjoys going against

“Off the bat, I’d say probably [WRs] Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Being in the league for a while, I’ve seen a lot of rookie receivers come in and it seems like they don’t have it figured out. You can look at those two and tell—whether it’s in the offseason, coaching that they’ve had outside—they’re real polished in routes, especially Jeudy. He never gives you the same look every time and I’m loving going against him. He’s going to keep me true to my technique.”

Guard Graham Glasgow on quarterback Drew Lock

“In regard to Drew Lock, he’s awesome. I think he knows what he’s doing, and he can go out there and do it. When it comes to being a quarterback, there’s a lot of pressure that’s placed on you in this league. From what I’ve seen so far—how he handles himself and the offense and how he’s just a leader for our team so far—he’s been doing a fantastic job and that’s all you can really ask, especially for someone as young as he is as a second-year player.”