Day four of Broncos camp is in the books and boy, it wasn’t a great one for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He had 3 interceptions and nearly had a few more as well and this is not the type of performance he needs while in a quarterback competition. The Broncos' defense caused this type of day and they look good as advertised. We also have McTelvin Agim stepping up, Patrick Surtain II hype, an injury report, news and notes, quotes and more.
Teddy implodes as Lock may take an edge in the quarterback competition
So far, Teddy Bridgewater has been “Steady Teddy” throughout the first three practices. However, on day 4, Bridgewater had his worst practice to date and ended up throwing a total of three interceptions during 11-on-11 team drills.
This is an U-G-L-Y day for Bridgewater. The defense has brought it, no doubt. But this one’s going to be a rout for Lock on the scoreboard unless something drastically changes.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
The first interception was off a deflected pass by second-year defensive lineman McTelvin Agim. Okay, shit happens there and you move on. However, on the very next play, safety Kareem Jackson jumped a Jerry Jeudy route and intercepted Bridgewater again. After practice, Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio did try to save Teddy a little bit by saying that was the first time they used that coverage during Training Camp and wanted to see how the quarterbacks would react to it.
“The one [interception] was a coverage that was the first time we played it this camp, so maybe he got fooled. I’m not sure. Then, there was a tip. There’s always a story behind every interception. We’ll see what that story was.”
Agim strikes again a few plays later when he tipped another pass and it was intercepted by a diving Kareem Jackson.
In the end, an interception is an interception and neither of these quarterbacks can afford these in this competition.
Meanwhile, Drew Lock had a good day of practice and remained mistake-free. He has had a few near interceptions, but almost interceptions don’t count(probably with the coaches) in the eyes of the fans and media. This was a Teddy-heavy day where he attempted 12 more passes than Lock, so maybe we’ll see a Lock-heavy day in the near future.
Drew Lock had just three passes hit the ground in 15 attempts today — and two of those incompletions were drops.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
The defense was back at full strength after yesterday’s rest and really brought it after the quarterbacks, specifically Bridgewater. I expected to see this sort of meltdown from Lock while Bridgewater would stay safe and protect the ball better. The role reversal is surprising (to me at least) but good news for Drew Lock who has said he’s going to be a “calculated gunslinger” this season.
Drew Lock’s worst throw Saturday was his first team-period throw, which Trey Marshall nearly intercepted. Then he completed 12 of his next 14, with the incompletions being drops.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater started hot. Then he hit a 3-turnover wall.
In the end, it appears, at least on the outside, that Drew Lock has the edge in the quarterback battle. He has “won” two of the days, arguably three while Teddy only has one “win” in the battle. With all that said, we just have two non-padded practices and two in shells in the books, and while these practices matter, the upcoming padded practices, scrimmages, and obviously preseason games will ultimately decide this and all the other roster battles on the team.
Currently, though, Lock likely has the edge and hopefully, both quarterbacks continue to improve and grow.
Agim breaking out?
Outside of the daily quarterback nonsense, I love seeing young players step up, specifically in the trenches. It is something we really haven’t seen from this team that often the past decade so I love to see it. We saw it with Dre’Mont Jones last year and could be seeing it happen with McTelvin Agim this year.
The other thing that is clear today: The Broncos’ No. 1 defense could be terrific. Not 2015 level, but among the NFL’s top 2-4 units this year. Windows remain minimal in coverage. McTelvin Agim looks like he could be a rotational force. Consistent pressure.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
As stated previously, McTelvin Agim was primarily responsible for two of Teddy Bridgewater’s three interceptions. Defensive line coach/Bear wrestler Bill Kollar always tells his defensive line to put their hands up in the quarterback’s passing lanes if they cannot get to the passer. Longtime Texan and current Cardinal J.J. Watt did this under Kollar’s coaching, current Denver Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris has been disruptive with this the past few years and now Agim may follow in their footsteps.
Head Coach Vic Fangio was asked after practice how he felt about defensive lineman McTelvin Agim and he told reporters that he’s a lot better than he was last season.
“We hope so. The next four weeks will tell [along with] the season if he’s one of the 53. He’s a lot better than he was last year. I feel a lot better about him.”
Fellow defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones was asked about Agim’s improvements this offseason and he attributed his growth from simply him being more confident.
“I think he’s always had it. The biggest thing was just him and his confidence. Last year, his head was more in the clouds because he’s new and he doesn’t know what’s going on. Now he’s like, ‘Alright, I know what’s going on. I know my role and my capabilities.”
This is great to see and hopefully, we continue to see his growth throughout the summer and he can grow into a productive rotational defensive end for the Broncos defense.
The Broncos defense is very good
We knew this entering Training Camp, but the Broncos defense is looking damn good through the early portions of the practices. We saw it today with the three turnovers and the offense has felt the pressure from the front seven and dealt with the tight coverage from the secondary.
Von Miller is looking like his usual self, cornerback’s Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby are showing why the Broncos signed both of them, they have one of the top corner tandems in the league, Bryce Callahan is a legit slot corner and the defensive line is applying the pressure every single day, and rookie Patrick Surtain impressing everyone.
This of course is without Pro Bowler edge rusher Bradley Chubb who is still being eased into action and hasn’t had any team reps as of it.
Vic Fangio is one of the best in the business when it comes to defense and the Broncos have the makings of a top-three defense in the league who could carry them to the postseason.
Patrick Surtain II hype
Yesterday we had veterans hyping up Surtain about how quickly he has acclimated to the NFL and is acting and playing like a veteran and today, the hype continued. Wide receiver Tim Patrick was about how Surtain has looked and he kept his answer short and simple. He said, “He’s good.”.
Tim Patrick not wasting words on evaluating Pat Surtain II:— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) July 31, 2021
The reporter asked a follow-up question where he asked Patrick about what has stood out about Surtain’s game. He repeated that “He’s good” and went on to talk about his size, his intelligence, and how the rookie has already picked up the Broncos' defense.
“He’s good. He’s bigger than what you think. I don’t know if you guys have gotten right next to him, but he’s like a solid 6-foot-2. He’s filled out, and he’s smart. You really don’t expect rookie DBs to know the whole defense already. He’s fitting right in with an already talented defense. It’s remarkable to see.”
Veteran safety Kareem Jackson who played cornerback for the majority of his career before transitioning to safety was asked about the biggest challenges Surtain II is facing as a rookie. He mentioned the game speed and how just everything is moving faster than it did in college.
“Just adjusting to the speed of the game. Obviously, he played some big-time ball [in] the SEC, but it’s still a difference. These guys you’re going to see out here; everybody’s faster, everybody’s stronger. Just being able to adjust to the defense and the speed and just recognizing different things, I think that was the big difference for me. We go from being one of the best guys on the field to just fitting in, and everybody’s good, everybody’s fast. Just learning the defense, learning where your help is and things like that. I think for me that was the biggest difference.”
Coming from Alabama and Nick Saban’s defense, he’s well prepared for the next level and is showing that out on the practice field. However, even he is having trouble covering Jerry Jeudy, but, nobody has really been able to cover him as of yet.
- Wide receiver Tim Patrick returned to practice after sitting out yesterday with some minor knee soreness.
- Rookie cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. returned to practice after missing the first three days due to being on the Covid-19 reserve list.
- Nose Tackle Mike Purcell missed practice after suffering what appeared to be a sprained ankle during yesterday's practice. Head Coach Vic Fangio said he would be miss about a week of practice.
- Linebacker Josey Jewell sat out practice with some groin tightness.
- Vic Fangio said that rookie linebacker Baron Browning is “a little stuck” in his rehab and he isn’t sure when he will be back.
- Rookie cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. returned to practice today but did come up hobbling late in practice.
News and Notes
- Like Calvin Anderson, veteran tackle Bobby Massie is getting a second straight day starting at right tackle.
- Linebacker Justin Strnad received some first-team linebacker reps today with Josey Jewell sitting out practice.
- Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland has been struggling with drops throughout camp.
- Wide receiver Trinity Benson continues to make plays and is making a push to make the 53-man roster
Head Coach Vic Fangio on his overall impressions of DE Marquiss Spencer
“He’s done a nice job. He did a good job learning in the offseason and through the minicamp. [He’s a] seventh-round pick that we kind of liked, and had some feeling for. He’s taken to being coached and trying to correct his weaknesses. He’s doing a good job.”
Head Coach Vic Fangio on his impressions of RB Javonte Williams
“[He’s] good. He’s picked it up good. He’s showing his versatility. He can run a route as well as carry the ball. We think he can block, although that hasn’t been tested yet to the nth degree. We like him. He’s done everything that we expected up to this point.”
Head Coach Vic Fangio on where C Quinn Meinerz needs to improve the most
“Just everything. Especially with a young player, he’s got to know what to do. That’s always the first hurdle you have to get over. The more comfortable you are at knowing what to do, you play better. ‘Cush’ (C Lloyd Cushenberry III) went through that last year. He got better little, by little, by little every week. He never made a big jump, but over the course of the season, he kept getting a little bit better because you get comfortable. The quicker he can learn, the quicker his talent can be shown. So far, he’s done well.”
Safety Kareem Jackson on his decision to re-sign with Denver during the offseason
“I think we have a great group of guys here, coaching staff obviously, and this particular scheme that I’m able to play in here. For me it was key to be in a great scheme, so just coming back here where I’m comfortable [at], been here the last two years. Not only that, I didn’t want to move. Moving’s a headache. Picking up and going to another city, that’s not something I was ready to do. It’s a great group of guys here. I think we’ve got a lot of talent on this team, and we’ve got a lot of pieces in the right places to play some good ball and to get in the playoffs, and to make some noise this year.”
Safety Kareem Jackson on being a fan of WR Jerry Jeudy and what he expects from him entering Year 2
“I mean, these first two, three days, he’s been doing some great stuff. Last year I was a big fan of him. I think this year I’ll definitely be that same guy, a big fan of [WR] Jerry Jeudy. He just is a unique talent. I mean, it’s not a lot of guys that young able to run routes the way he [does]. Just concept-wise, the speed that he possesses to get in and out of his breaks. He’s doing some good things here early on in camp. I look forward to seeing him going against some other guys. But just excited for our offense in general. [QB] Teddy [Bridgewater], [QB] Drew [Lock], those guys have been looking good. Our receivers have been looking good. They’ve been throwing the ball down the field, so I’m excited for those guys.”
Safety Kareem Jackson on his observations of the running backs group so far
“A lot of speed. Those guys are explosive. Having a chance to watch [RB Javonte] Williams in college, the things that he did at the college level, definitely excited to see him this year. [RB Mike] Boone as well, very explosive. Just seeing him the first three days, I’ve been really impressed with that. The ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. All those guys. All four of them. [RB] Melvin [Gordon], [RB] Royce [Freeman], those guys have been looking really good. Just excited to see them. We go to Minnesota in I think about a week or so, something like that. Just excited to see us against some other competition and see how we match up against other people.”
Wide receiver Tim Patrick on what he focused on during offseason training
“Always route running. [That’s] always at the top, but I wanted to create more separation and be more of a YAC [yards after catch] guy. I made a lot of tough catches and stuff like that, but I think [to] take the next step and to really become an elite receiver, I need to take hitches 60 [yards]. I need to take slants 60 [yards] because I don’t want to be known as a possession receiver. I just want to be known as a playmaker.”
Tweets From Camp
An orange hill. Biggest crowd of camp. pic.twitter.com/WHjwowuJUI— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) July 31, 2021
Lock DEEP right sideline to Sutton past Mac McCain for the TD. McCain actually had good coverage, Lock dropped it in for an over-the-shoulder, 41-yard score in 7-on-7.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Bridgewater has looked solid today in 7-on-7. Has hit Benson, Darboh and Fort for big gains. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) July 31, 2021
Bridgewater, working vs. combo of 1s and 2s in the secondary, nearly had a deep shot to Jeudy for a TD down the right sideline, but led him too far. That followed two downfield completions of 20+ yards to Fort and Benson.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Josey Jewell didn’t take snap of 11 v 11 or 7 v 7 during first period. Watching from side. #Broncos— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) July 31, 2021
I hate to beat a dead horse, but Trinity Benson continues to make plays. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) July 31, 2021
Teddy just fit a ball in a small window to Jeudy coming across the field.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) July 31, 2021
Alexander Johnson came right in front of the passing window and Jeudy showed good concentration to make the catch.
TWO STRAIGHT INTS OFF BRIDGEWATER:— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Looking for Jeudy to the left, Jackson jumps the route and takes it to the house.
Nice pass from Lock to Hinton, 20+ with some yardage after the catch, down the seam.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Bridgewater looking for Fant on a post route in the end zone in a red-zone period, ball short of the target, Johnson got his hands on it. Nearly was Bridgewater’s 3rd INT today.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
“Might have the yips,” @redwardsradio says.
RED-ZONE INT— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Thrown by Bridgewater
Tipped by McTelvin Agim, who is having a monster day.
Deflected pass caught by Kareem Jackson, for KJack’s 2nd INT of the day.
Nice move-the-ball period for Lock and the 1s against the top defense. RBs provided most of the thrust, but a fourth-and-2 play saw Lock look right, then find Fant to the left for 11 yards to keep the drive alive.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Indeed, and Lock had significant struggles against the 1s on Thursday. But he rebounded that day with a fairly good red-zone period at the end — 3 TDs & one throw into triple coverage — whereas Bridgewater couldn’t pull himself out of the soup. https://t.co/jYWFz5NXe5— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2021
Tim Patrick not wasting words on evaluating Pat Surtain II:— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) July 31, 2021