The second and final scrimmage between the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings before their preseason matchup on Saturday is in the books. For the Broncos, the quarterback battle remains the same as it did before the scrimmage, the defense dominates again, K.J. Hamler showed off his big-play ability, injury updates, news and notes, quotes, and more.
Quarterback competition remains even after the scrimmages
Today was a Drew Lock day after Teddy Bridgewater had two turnovers. However, Teddy did have the best pass of the day when he had a long touchdown pass to K.J. Hamler. However, neither quarterback was great today, Lock just protected the ball better. It was a narrative flip after having a Wednesday practice where Teddy “won” the day while Lock had the best throw of the day. However, as I said, neither was all that impressive.
If we’re being totally honest, Brett Rypien won the day today— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
According to DNVR’s Andrew Mason, Lock went 6 for 13 during the 11-on-11 team period. So the win seems like a “default” win which we have seen a bit too much from both quarterbacks during this competition.
I personally was hoping for more of a separation from one of the two at this point and time but it remains fairly even through almost two weeks of camp and two scrimmage practices against the Vikings.
With it being as close as it is currently, it only adds more weight to the preseason game this Saturday and against the Seahawks next week. Hopefully, we get some sort of answer to that starting this weekend.
The defense plays well again
The strength of this team will be on the defensive side of the football team, as we know, but they showed that throughout these two days of practices.
Von Miller just had what would have probably been a strip sack. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 7, 2021
Von Miller was whooping up on Vikings right tackle Brian O’Neill throughout practice and could have had multiple sacks on quarterback Kirk Cousins.
The defense continued to apply pressure, the Broncos had a turnover from Nate Hairston during a period through practice. The Vikings offense had issues throughout these two practices to move the ball, score points during team periods, and just manage to do anything. Wide receiver Adam Thielen made some plays today, but overall, it was a good showing from them.
Big play K.J. Hamler
Second-year wide receiver K.J. Hamler had the highlight play of the day when he caught a 40+ yard touchdown pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during today’s practice.
He showed off his wheels and blew past the Vikings' defense and hauled in a deep pass from Bridgewater for a touchdown. This is the sort of big-play ability Hamler has and adds to this offense. When you have Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and Noah Fant out there so having this sort of weapon and speed from the slot puts the defense in a tough spot. Who do you double cover? Who do you shift your coverage towards?
This offense has big potential. It all comes down to the quarterback taking advantage of these weapons and finding the open receiver. If they can find someone who can do that consistently, oh boy.
- Wide receiver Kendall Hinton sat out practice today.
- Wide receiver and returner Diontae Spencer sat out practice today.
- Linebacker Josey Jewell who is dealing with a groin injury continued to sit out practice.
- UDFA rookie cornerback Mac McCain sat out practice with a hamstring injury.
- Rookie defensive lineman Marquiss Spencer sat out practice with an ankle injury.
- Wide receiver Tim Patrick missed today’s practice.
- Defensive lineman Deyon Sizer sat out practice.
- Defensive lineman McTelvin Agim say out of practice with a groin injury.
- Linebacker Pita Taumoepenu missed his second straight practice.
- Running back Mike Boone was carted off the field with a quad injury.
- Guard Dalton Risner left practice with a knee injury.
News and Notes
- Running back Mike Boone suffered a quad injury and was carted off the practice field. We figured to see a lot of Boone on Saturday against his former team so it opens an opportunity for Royce Freeman.
- Guard Dalton Risner injured his knee during practice but it didn’t seem serious as he returned to the sideline but was done participating in practice.
Head Coach Vic Fangio on his thoughts on the offense after watching the tape from yesterday’s practice
“I liked watching it today there. I thought we did a good job. [It’s] nice being over there with the boys. A little different perspective but I thought there were a lot of good things yesterday, also. Way too many pre-snap penalties, the center/quarterback exchange, I think we improved on that today. We only had one over there but overall, I was pleased with the work offensively.”
Head Coach Vic Fangio on what he’s seen from RB Royce Freeman
“Yeah, [RB] Royce [Freeman] has had a good camp. I think he’s—obviously he knows what to do, he’s a very smart football player. [It’s his] second year in this system and Royce is a really good back, and he’s definitely an NFL quality back. We’re happy to have the amount of backs that we have. We have a good crew of running backs.”
Head Coach Vic Fangio on the growth of WR Seth Williams throughout training camp
“Yeah, he’s progressing. He’s a young guy [who] came from an offense in college that their passing game wasn’t too sophisticated. He’s adjusting to learning an NFL offense, going against NFL defenses and the various types of coverages. So, it’s always an adjusting period for wideouts because it’s a different game in the backend. He’s flashed his ability, but he’s still got a long way to go.”
Head Coach Vic Fangio on the progression of TE Albert Okwuegbunam
“Yeah, I think he’s doing well. I mean, he has had a great recovery from his ACL. He’s not letting it affect him at all [with] the way he’s playing, or it doesn’t seem to me like it’s in his head either. He’s just letting it loose out there. I’ve been very impressed with his play and his play in light of coming off that injury.”
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell on if CB Kyle Fuller looks different than when he coached him in Chicago
“He looks very similar. Kyle is a guy that takes very good care of himself every year. He’s health conscious and he stays in great shape. The big thing about him is he’s familiar with the system and he’s really fitting in with his teammates. I see a really clear bond already, which is nice to see.”
Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur on if believes joint practices are beneficial
“I think it’s very valuable. I think it just adds to their experience. We see a certain scheme of defense that’s different than what we’ve seen this week. I think we benefitted from getting the reps because we’re going to play teams this season that play this style of defense, so that’s beneficial. I like changing the scenery and making the players have to adjust. I think that’s part of our game—adjusting. By practicing against another team, you see a couple wrinkles that you weren’t expecting, and they apply their rules. I think these are all teaching and coaching moments. There were many more good plays than bad, but the bad plays you learn from and you move on.”
Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur on if he’s pleased with the progress C Lloyd Cushenberry III has made
“Oh yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you asked that. I’ve seen great growth. We put him through a test last year. You can’t imagine a young man coming from college with really no training, and in our first four games, we were playing—one was the Super Bowl champ. We were playing playoff-caliber teams early against really good fronts and multiple fronts. He battled all year and didn’t say a word and continued to improve throughout the year. I think he’s on that steady climb still. He’s got a bright future. He’s smart, he’s tough, he works hard, and he’s really self-aware when something bad happens. We’re pleased with his progress.”
Tweets from the Scrimmage
Quinn Meinerz getting some extra under center snaps in with Drew Lock before practice. Meinerz had some problems with his snaps yesterday. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 12, 2021
New DT Lorenzo Neal Jr. (No. 68) is listed at 325 pounds, behind only Mike Purcell (328) on the roster. Defensive line jobs are firmly up for grabs given the recent string of injuries. pic.twitter.com/DiC6J2b6gK— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) August 12, 2021
Von Miller has been watching tape. He was all over a Kirk Cousins rollout to the right for a would-be sack.— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) August 12, 2021
Broncos’ second-team defense has forced three consecutive incompletions from Kirk Cousins to start the day.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 12, 2021
Von Miller sack vs O’Neill, but Thielen was open on a deep dig for a big gain that wouldn’t count— Luke Braun (@LukeBraunNFL) August 12, 2021
Nate Hairston picks off Jake Browning in team.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 12, 2021
First INT for the defense in joint practices, I believe.
Oh man, Lock nearly connects with Hamler on a 50-yard bomb. Just overthrows him by a step. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 12, 2021
Fangio is on the offensive field watching intently right now.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Kyle Fuller with a physical PBU during 7-on-7 work.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 12, 2021
Nice to see him making plays.
Ragged 7-on-7 period for the QBs.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Teddy missed a throw, and the whistle has blown on Lock twice.
Teddy a little late on the throw, picked off in 7-on-7 red zone.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Kendricks with an INT and then a PBU of Teddy. Some fan yells, “Where’s Aaron Rodgers?” Then the whistle blows on Teddy’s final 7-on-7 red-zone rep. Bad series for Bridgewater.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Lock finds Freeman on a short slant for a TD in 7-on-7 red zone. Had one to Benson too that might have been a TD. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 12, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater with a 45-yard TD pass to KJ Hamler.— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 12, 2021
Hamler was way behind the defense.
Teddy B deeeeeep against the wind, ball wobbled, but dropped into arms of wide open KJ Hamler for TD. 11 on 11. Earlier, Lock threw perfect spiral deeep to wide-open Hamler. But slightly overthrown. And so it goes. #9sports— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) August 12, 2021
Snaps are still off today. No fumbles, but some wide snaps, mistimed snaps— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
#Broncos offensive line has been much better today in pass protection. Also hasn’t had any false starts yet.— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 12, 2021
Seth Williams is putting together a nice day. Has had a couple nice catches down field. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 12, 2021
Rypien with the best Broncos pass of the day — down the right sideline, hitting Trinity Benson in stride for a TD— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Teddy looking for Gordon right flat, low, ball in and out of Gordon’s hands, picked by Kendricks— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Boone looks like he tweaked something. Came up hopping after a run. Tried to walk with assistance but is now on the ground. Teammates concerned and checking on him— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Meanwhile, Lock and the No. 1 offense didn’t get very far in move-the-ball. Freeman galloped 13 yards to move the chains on the opening snap, and then the offense stalled, with an incompletion on a fourth-and-5 from the Broncos 43.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2021
Motley gets beat in the two-minute drill for a touchdown. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 12, 2021