clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2021 Broncos Camp: Day 8 news and notes

Day 8 of Broncos camp is in the books and we’re nowhere closer to figuring out who will be under center come week one against the New York football Giants.

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

Day 8 of Broncos camp is in the books and we’re nowhere closer to figuring out who will be under center come week one against the New York football Giants. However, is it beginning to look like the coaches are leaning towards Bridgewater? We also have Dre’Mont Jones looking great, Netane Muti earning some first-team reps, an injury report, news and notes, quotes, and more.

Disappointing day for the quarterbacks

If you were hoping to have some idea of the quarterback competition before the Broncos departed for Minnesota for their scrimmages, you’re likely disappointed. Today wasn’t a great day for either quarterback which continues a pretty concerning trend for these two.

In a continuing narrative switch, Bridgewater started off practice with a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy. Onlookers mentioned this would have likely been a sack in-game conditions but still promising to see Teddy take shots deep. Meanwhile, Drew Lock who self-proclaimed himself as a “calculated gunslinger” only attempted one pass over 10 yards. This was supposed to be the opposite of each other.

Unfortunately, neither quarterback looked overly great today and their accuracy was all over the place. Teddy had an ugly red-zone pick by Justin Simmons where he jumped the route. Interestingly, per DNVR’s Zac Stevens, the Broncos ran the same play just two plays earlier where Bridgewater hit Noah Fant for a touchdown. This time, Simmons knew what was coming and capitalized.

Meanwhile, Drew Lock’s interception was a tipped McTelvin Agim(had another solid day) pass that landed in linebacker Josh Watson’s hands. So, with like Teddy’s two deflected interceptions, shit happens, but still not acceptable considering everything.

The reports from camp regarding Drew Lock are concerning, for me at least. First, we’re hearing how he’s being very safe and conservative with the ball like he’s afraid to make any mistakes. Next, we are hearing via the DNVR post-practice shows that Lock was getting the whistle blown on him during the 7-on-7 drills(taking too long) and that he’s just looking hesitant. Another tidbit mentioned during this show is how Teddy Bridgewater has received more first-team and reps overall than Drew Lock the last few practices. Could the coaches be showing their hand a little bit?

My one big takeaway from the first eight days of Broncos camp is how disappointing it has been for Drew Lock. I’ve heard how he just needed more reps, being in the same offense will really bring out the best of him, JOSH ALLEN 2.0, and yet, he can’t beat out Teddy Bridgewater? If he showed any significant improvements he would easily be ahead of Teddy right now and there wouldn’t be any debate. Now, we have a few practices of Teddy earning a slight win in a row, and Lock’s only big “win” was when Bridgewater threw 3 interceptions, not Lock simply being better than him. I hoped for better but so far it’s been fairly disappointing. We still have time for things to change starting with the scrimmages vs. the Vikings next week and of course the preseason games. However, it’s hard to feel confident about the Broncos quarterback position currently.

Dre’Mont Jones is ready for a big leap

Now, on to some positive news. Once again, it has to do with the defense and them dominating. Defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones who’s primed for big things in 2021 had quite the day today. He would have had multiple sacks, multiple TFL’s, and simply lived in the offense's backfield today.

Head Coach Vic Fangio told reporters after practice that Jones should make a big jump this season, just like he did from his first to his second year in the league.

“He’s doing good. Dre improved a lot from Year 1 to Year 2. He should make another big jump this year. Hopefully we’ll be healthier in the d-line and he doesn’t have to play as much as he played last year, and we can pick our spots with him even more so.”

The Broncos' defensive line and front seven figure to be very good this season. Shelby Harris has long been a consistent stud for the Broncos while big Mike Purcell figures to anchor the defensive line in run situations. Dre’Mont Jones providing excellent play from the other defensive end position would really solidify this unit. Second-year lineman McTelvin making that second-year jump would be the cherry on top for this unit.

Reserve defensive line Deshawn Williams who figures to be on the 53-man roster spoke about this defensive line’s potential this season. He told reporters that the potential for this group to great is there.

“The potential is high if we don’t put the work in. On paper we look great, but we just got to work, and I think that’s what we’ve been doing now in this camp, as you saw today. Today was one of those dog days of camp but man, the potential is there. Like on paper everybody knows how dangerous we can be but when we put the work in it’s just going to match what everybody’s been saying, how good we can be. I think the sky is the limit for this team. Like I said earlier before camp, it’s something special brewing around here, and I want to be a part of it to help. Whatever I can do because it’s going to be a wonderful year.”

The Broncos are going to need this unit to step up and live up to their potential if they want to have success in 2021.

Guard Netane Muti earning praise from Fangio

One notable mention during Vic Fangio’s post-practice presser was his praise of second-year guard, Netane Muti.

Fangio when asked to name a surprising player who stood out to him while watching film named Muti. He told reporters that they’re expecting a “big jump” from their big second-year lineman.

“I think [G Netane] Muti has flashed for a second-year offensive lineman that has done well. He still has his negative plays that we have to clean up, but he’s flashed nicely. You have to remember he’s a guy that had limited playing experience in college football because of injuries and didn’t play much last year. We’re looking for a big jump from him. He’s one guy that I’ve noticed.”

As of now, Muti has not earned many first-team reps outside of the day Graham Glasgow was given a day off. However, with the interior offensive line struggling at times and being dominated by the defensive line, maybe they’ll shuffle some things up.

Despite earning some early praise, things have been up and down for the second-year center Lloyd Cushenberry. A high percentage of the pressures on the quarterbacks have come from the interior offensive line which could point to Cushenberry struggling still. So, with Muti flashing on tape, could the Broncos shift Glasgow to center and play Muti at right guard? Just spit-balling here, but that’s one way to get Muti in the starting five.

Injury Report

  • Nose tackle Mike Purcell sat out practice once again with a sprained ankle.
  • Linebacker Josey Jewell sat out practice again with a groin injury.
  • Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland sat out practice again with a backside injury.
  • Undrafted rookie Mac McCain sat out practice again with a hamstring injury.
  • Rookie linebacker Baron Browning is still on the PUP and is “way behind” because of missing time due to his injury.
  • Rookie defensive end Marquiss Spencer left practice early and Head Coach Vic Fangio had no update him after practice.

News and Notes

  • Veteran Bobby Massie got the start at right tackle once again today.
  • Rookie safety Jamar Johnson returned to practice after being on the Covid-19 reserve.
  • Wide receiver Trinity Benson continues to make plays and is really pushing for a 53-man roster spot.
  • Guard Netane Muti is pushing for reps with the 1st team and earned praise from Vic Fangio.

Quotes

Head Coach Vic Fangio On why WR Trinity Benson has been able to have success thus far in training camp

“I think the biggest reason, like I said then, is he’s been here three years now—two years spent on the practice squad. All that work is paying off. He’s in the hunt. Trinity always could run. Now, he’s a better receiver [and is] polished on knowing what to do and how to do it. He’s in the hunt with all those guys.”

Head Coach Vic Fangio on his impressions of S Caden Sterns

“He’s doing well. He’s picked up the defense extremely well. He’s been able to advance it a lot quicker than your average rookie can at his position. I’ve been very pleased with the way he’s progressed in this camp and learned everything. One of the bigger, final tests for him—and we won’t know until we start playing games—is he has to be able to tackle. If he does a good job of tackling and he’s a reliable tackler, then I think we have a good player.”

Head Coach Vic Fangio on the differences he seen in WR Jerry Jeudy from last year to now

“I just think it’s all of it. He had the 15th game last year where he had some drops. I thought the 16th game was going to be critical for him. I told you guys that, I told him that. He came back and had a really good game in the last game. He’s carried that over to the offseason. Now you add in the intangibles, the things you can’t quantify—having an offseason, having a second year in the same system, going through OTAs and minicamp, all the meetings he’s been through, throwing with guys, being able to do things in person. You put that in there with his natural maturation level and the one he experienced between Week [16] and [17] last year, and this what you get.”

Defensive lineman Deshawn Williams on what he’s seen from DL McTelvin Agim

“He’s having a great camp. A lot of people think rookie linemen, defensive linemen, [are] supposed to come in and make an impact. It’s not that easy. You’re going against grown men. The speed changes, the strength changes, and he’s got that year under his belt and now you see everybody’s been bringing his name up. Man, he’s out there having a great camp, and I can’t wait to see him when we go against Minnesota to put it all together. He bust his tail this offseason, and it’s showing.”

Defensive lineman Deshawn Williams on the impact of the Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar

“That’s Bill man. Shoot, Bill—we do that drill, the batted balls every year every day. I think the last two or three years we lead the league in batted balls so, it shows. It’s paying off. You’ve got the best hand in the league with Shelby. He gets those tipped balls, and you get those opportunities for INTs and things like that but, we work those every day and it shows on game day.”

Tweets from Camp