One of the hardest parts about covering the Broncos at this time of year is the fact I can’t attend training camp. I do what I can to keep up with every shred of meaningful news dropping across the web, but there’s simply no substitute for seeing things with your own two eyes.
So you can understand why I was ecstatic when The Gazette’s George Stoia agreed to chat with me on Cover 2 Broncos. He’s been a regular attendee of camp and made his way to Minnesota to take in the Broncos’ joint practices with the Vikings, which gave him perspective on what Fangio could mean when he said those reps would have a real impact on the ongoing QB1 battle between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.
Here’s a quick rundown of the things we discussed:
- How much dime personnel are the Broncos going to use?
- Will Alexander Johnson or Josey Jewell lose playing time to Justin Strnad?
- How has Jewell looked since his return from injury?
- Do you think Patrick Surtain will eat into any of the “big 3” corners time?
- How is Surtain being used?
- Is Caden Sterns strictly a backup and special teamer in 2021, or will he find his way to the field?
- Is Von Miller back to his Pro Bowl form?
- What are realistic expectations for the pass rush?
- Who has stood out most along the DL?
- Is the rotation mostly Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, and McTelvin Agim?
- How has Shamar Stephen looked?
- Is there any young guys who could push for the roster?
- Who will be the WR3: Tim Patrick or K.J. Hamler?
- KOA’s Benjamin Allbright reported the Ravens have called about Tim Patrick. Is he being phased out of the offense?
- How often are you seeing end arounds, gives, and “gadget-y” stuff to get Hamler the ball?
- Fangio sounds very optimistic about Okwuegbunam’s recovery; is he losing time to Eric Saubert?
- Shurmur tends to use 11 on about 60-65% of his offensive snaps. Is that going to change in 2021?
- The Broncos used more 12, 22, and 21 than I expected against the Vikings. Is that a hint at things to come or was that a preseason mirage?
- Is anyone actually pushing Bobby Massie?
- How is Calvin Anderson being used, is he the swing, or a true RT1 candidate?
- Is Cameron Fleming a cut candidate?
- Did Lloyd Cushenberry make a jump?
- Will Netane Muti stealing a starting job?
- Who seems to be the Broncos’ starting OL?
- Drew Lock vs. Teddy Bridgewater
- The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran mentioned that it’s like there’s two different offenses in practice. Is that true?
- How different has the offense looked when each is under center?
Stoia and I also played a game of “Stock watch”
- Trey Marshall
- PJ Locke
- Kary Vincent
- Parnell Motely
- Josh Watson
- Curtis Robinson
- Justin Strnad
- Jonathan Cooper
- Derrek Tuszka
- De’Shawn Williams
- Shamar Stephen
- Jonathan Harris
- Trinity Benson
- Kendall Hinton
- Tyrie Cleveland
- Diontae Spencer
- Seth Williams
- Branden Mack
- Cameron Fleming
- Brett Jones
- Drew Himmelman
- Andrew Beck
- Austin Fort
To say I enjoyed my chat with Stoia is an understatement. He had no issue fielding my questions, big and small. There’s a ton of things beyond the QB1 competition that could have a huge impact on a playoff or even Lombardi chase this year. My hope is our conversation gives Broncos’ Country a far more informed take on what’s going on beyond the veil at camp, and helps us to avoid any huge surprises during the upcoming cutdowns.
Let’s go, Broncos.