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Broncos and Vikings scrimmage: News and notes

Scrimmage time!

DENVER BRONCOS, MINNESOTA VIKINGS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The first day of the scrimmage between the Broncos and the Vikings is in the books. It was a full padded practice between the two sides and it was an interesting one. We have Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock winning depending on which media team you ask, Jerry Jeudy may have been the best player on the field, the defense held their own vs. the Vikings offense, the offensive line struggling in the interior, news and notes, an injury report, quotes, and more.

Teddy wins the day per Broncos media and Locks wins per Vikings media

Well, everyone on the Broncos side present at the first scrimmage between the Broncos and the Vikings came away awarding Teddy Bridgewater of the day. As Andrew Mason noted below, Lock has the best throw of the day but Teddy was the most consistent and safest with the ball today.

Meanwhile, the Vikings media present at the scrimmage named Lock the winner of the day. Now, they likely were not focused on every quarterback snap like the Broncos media was and well, focusing on the team they cover. However, a fresh set of eyes is always interesting and gives us another example of the classic “eye of the beholder”

As for what happened, Teddy Bridgewater was the more consistent one of the day. He had the bigger plays, protected the ball better, and did the best during team drills. The big one was a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy. It was a slant play but Jeudy broke free and was able to take it to the house.

After practice, Bridgewater was asked what he came away impressed with after today’s scrimmage. He noted he thought they did a good job handling the different looks that Mike Zimmer’s defense threw at them today.

“Today, we did a good job of just trying to execute based on different looks. Like I said, we’ve been going against our defense for the last couple days. Just to see some of the different looks that the Vikings defense has shown—it was huge for us just to see where we stand as an offense and what areas we need to get better in. Seeing the different looks, trying to protect it, and trying to make the right reads versus different looks is the big takeaway from today.”

Hopefully, they can learn and grow from today’s performance and have a better day during tomorrow's scrimmage.

Meanwhile, Lock wasn’t bad, but he had two interceptions, one called back because of defensive holding away from the play and another during team drills off a tipped pass. That in the eyes of most had him lacking today. With that said, the best throw of the day belonged to Lock who fit a pass into double coverage along the sideline to wide receiver Courtland Sutton for a 30+ yard completion.

After practice, Drew Lock told reporters that he’s anxious to get back and watch the film.

“There’s a lot to take from it today. I’m anxiously ready to get back, watch this film. There’s a lot of things that I could’ve done better today—some good things that I did today, some good things that we all did today, some bad things we all did. I think that’s the benefit of coming to these things. Not as much time as you would normally put in a game week, going into a Sunday, coming in here and practicing against them. So there’s some wild looks that we saw and will be able to go back and learn from. But it was good, it was good—that’s what you come here for.”

So who “won” depends on your bias and/or who you trust the most. I always lean towards Andrew Mason personally but to each their own on this one.

Jerry Jeudy burning DB’s

Another practice where Jerry Jeudy was burning the defensive backs on the field, showing off his elite route running, and scoring touchdowns.

As I mentioned previously, Jeudy had his big play in 11-on-11’s against the Vikings where he took a Teddy Bridgewater pass 50+ yards for a touchdown. He was burning defensive backs in one-on-one drills where it’s basically unfair for a cornerback to match up against him in these drills.

Teddy Bridgewater after practice said he’s worried about Jeudy sometimes because of the way he moves, he wonders if he has ACL’s in his knees.

“Jerry Jeudy—he scares me, man. The way he’s in and out of breaks, he can’t have any ACLs or knees. I wish I had his knees (laughs). That guy—the way he’s ale to change directions, he makes all of his routes look the same. He’s doing a great job of attacking the ball when we throw it to him across the middle and making plays after the catch. He’s having fun. That’s what you love to see. That entire room—those guys—they feed off each other’s energy. Jerry makes a play, you see Tim Patrick out there celebrating. If ‘Court’ makes a catch, you see Kendall Hinton high fiving, jumping up and having fun. When you can have comradery in a room, it’s contagious. Right now, you see Jerry making plays and the entire room.”

On the big touchdown pass the two had, Teddy credited Jeudy for doing most of the work and said this is the flash this offense can show moving forward.

“He just did a good job of understanding the coverage. We ran a play where I just had to read the safety and what the safety did. I was able to hold the safety a little bit with my eyes, and Jerry did the rest. I threw it in a tight window and Jerry made the catch. He went down and five seconds later he goes into the end zone like it’s a fire drill and he’s on fire. Like I said, he’s having fun. That’s just a glimpse and some of the flash that you see in the offense.”He’s bringing his entire game together and may very well be the Broncos' number one receiver ahead of Courtland Sutton. He’s looking that good.

If he can stay healthy, he should be on his way to a big breakout year for himself and the Broncos.

Offensive line struggles

After some optimism regarding the offensive line that happened this offseason and early in camp, it might be time to start worrying about this unit, specifically the interior.

The Vikings' defensive line was whooping the Broncos' offensive line’s ass all throughout practice. The interior of the line was often the culprit here and was responsible for many would-be sacks, pressures, and tackles for a loss. It was a discouraging performance from Mike Munchak’s unit.

Another concern was the multiple false starts that have happened in multiple practices now. We also had snapping issues between the quarterbacks and centers Lloyd Cushenberry and Quinn Meinerz as well. This is something that needs to be cleaned up according to Head Coach Vic Fangio.

“We have to get that fixed. You never know who’s totally at fault sometimes. Everybody wants to blame the center. Sometimes it’s the quarterback. He’s got to get it up and the quarterback’s got to hang in there longer until they can make it automatic. It’s not automatic with him right now, so they can’t treat it like they’re with ‘Cush’ [C Lloyd Cushenberry III], who’s done it for all his life at LSU and now here. We have to get it fixed. It’s both guys.”

If the struggles continue, there’s a chance we could see a potential shuffle in the line. Veteran Graham Glasgow has played at center during his career and could help solidify this position. This move would allow the Broncos to add Netane Muti to the right guard position. He has been hyped up a few times by coaches who likely want to find a way to get him in the lineup. This is me speculating, but it makes sense.

Injury Report

  • Linebacker Josey Jewell continues to sit out practice with a groin injury
  • Rookie UDFA cornerback Mac McCain continues to sit out practice with a hamstring injury
  • Rookie defensive lineman Marquiss Spencer sits out of practice
  • Defensive lineman Deyon Sizer continues to sit out of practice
  • Defensive lineman McTelvin Agim sits out practice as well

News and Notes

  • Tackle Calvin Anderson received the first-team reps at right tackle today
  • Wide receiver Kendall Hinton received some first-team reps today
  • Rookie undrafted free agent DeVontres Dukes had a couple of touchdown receptions during today’s practice and continues to get mentions throughout practice
  • Linebacker Justin Strnad received the first-team reps at linebacker again while Josey Jewell remained sidelined

Quotes

Head Coach Vic Fangio on the defense’s performance at practice today

“It was excellent work. They did some things that we hadn’t seen yet, so good learning experience for us defensively. We had some of those newer guys in there that just got here the last few days. They’ve obviously got a lot to learn. I thought overall it was really good work on the defensive field.”

Head Coach Vic Fangio on what he’s seen from WR KJ Hamler when healthy

“He’s definitely got the speed and quickness and the elusiveness that we liked when we drafted him. Like you said, he’s got to stay [healthy] and put a clump of practices together because you can only get better by practicing. It’s never more exemplified than these guys that we just got the last few days who are playing out there. It’s really unfair to put them out there because they really don’t know what to do. They’re hanging on to their ass because they haven’t practiced. Everybody needs practice. KJ needs a clump of practice that he’s really not been able to have yet last year. He’s had it right now. He’s going, and hopefully he can keep it going.”

Head Coach Vic Fangio on what he wants to see ILB Justin Strnad improve on over the final weeks of training camp

“Just everything. Like I said, he is definitely, definitely getting better, but he has not mastered anything yet. He just needs to keep getting reps and keep playing, and all of that will happen. The position that he’s playing in our defense, it can be overwhelming but then at some point it just all comes together because it all fits and it’s all very logical. But he’s not there yet. He will be. I’m confident he can get there.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on where he believes the offense is at this point in training camp

“I’m not really an evaluator, but I can say that guys are not thinking much. They are just playing fast. That’s what you love to see. When guys think too much, they play slow, guys have bad technique and that’s when injuries happen. For us, guys are [saying], we make a play, we learn from it. If something goes bad, we get back to the meeting room and we learn from it. You don’t really see guys making the same mistake twice when we come out to practice. That’s huge to see and that’s showing a lot of growth in this offense.”

Quarterback Drew Lock on how to take care of the football

“You’re in press conferences, you know, we talk about taking care of the football, but when you get out there, the actual instincts are going to have to take over. I think the more looks you end up seeing, the better you become with these plays, the more familiar you are, it almost just comes naturally—you being able to take care of the football. You know the looks. You’ve seen 100 looks on a certain play to know when, ‘Eh, it’s probably going to be there,’ or, ‘Maybe best to check it down.’ So it’s easy to say it on the mic, but it’s another thing to go out there and do it.”

Quarterback Drew Lock on where he has improved

“I would say one—the biggest thing for me, besides taking care of the football, was just working on footwork, like I’ve talked about before. I think Coach Shula and Coach Shurmur have done a great job of being on me every single day and making sure they’re always consistent. I think that’s been the biggest upgrade to my game so far is—it’s not this time on this play, it’s this drop. This time is this—it’s been consistent throughout this camp. I think it’s just going to keep on getting more consistent throughout the rest of this year.”

Tweets from Camp