Training Camp Day 9 is in the books! By now, the spat between T Garett Bolles and OLB Bradley Chubb has been brought up by every reporter and addressed by every writer, so I feel obligated to acknowledge that it happened and that I hope it’s fully resolved.
We saw some healthy competition between QBs Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, and today looked in favor of Bridgewater. Fangio’s not ready to make any predictions on who will be starting, and preseason games won’t be the only factor in determining it either.
“It will be a total evaluation, meaning from the start of camp until the day we name a starter.”
Moving away from the quarterback conversation, though, we can focus on receiver KJ Hamler, who was previously on the Reserve/COVID-19 list due to a protocol. He’s back on the field and pushing as hard as ever.
“I tested positive first, then negative thirty minutes later,” he explained, regarding the situation that put him on the COVID-19 list in the first place, “So, I knew I’d be back, just some misunderstandings.”
Asked about the recovery process from his recurring hamstring issues, Hamler assured that it’s good. “I got my routine down pat...Staying up on my fluids. Just happy to be out here with the guys playing ball with them, being back to my normal self.”
He’s taking on a new role this year too, in special teams, and he mentioned that a lot of returners are learning from Special Teams Coordinator Tom McMahon and WR Diontae Spencer.
For Hamler’s part, he wants to do anything that will help. “They want to put me back there at punt return, kick return, I’m comfortable back there. I’m still learning.”
Hamler praised WR Diontae Spencer, whom he called ‘Big Spence,’ and noted the significance of having him in his life.
“Big Spence has been a great part of my life. He’s teaching me all the ways. He’s been doing this now for three or four years, so I’m just on his hip all the time just learning like, ‘How would you catch the ball on this? Would you fair catch it?’ Things of that nature.”
He would say he’s improved, too, especially in the area of controlling his jitters and being calmer. “That was my main goal...Coming in from college to the NFL was I was always jittery back there, worried about what’s in front of me instead of just relaxed.”
“I don’t muff a lot of punts anymore so I’m more comfortable,” he added.
Asked if he was the fastest on the team, Hamler said “Ain’t no question about that.” He’s confident in the Broncos’ offensive team, including TE Noah Fant, QBs Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, and their entire receiving corps.
“Seth, he’s progressing really good,” KJ said about rookie WR Seth Williams, “He’s starting to understand things, he’s starting to know which read he is, so he can take his time on certain routes.”
Hamler mentioned that Williams is tired sometimes, likely attributed to the altitude in Denver. “We’re in Colorado, the Mile High. So, he’s got to get used to it. Everything else he’s coming along really good.”
Trinity Benson, another first-year receiver, has been turning heads with his speed. “Me and TB always talk about building a 4x100 team, and we’re trying to figure out who the anchor would be,” Hamler admitted, but added that the two don’t need to race it out.
Speed isn’t the only thing on Hamler’s mind, though; the WR sees initiative in himself, and he wants to take it onto the field this season.
“I want to be the playmaker,” he said, “I want to be the spark to this offense. It’s a lot of talent on the offense...Every opportunity, I’ve got to make plays. Some days you might get six balls some days you might get one. So just take every opportunity.”
Hamler doesn’t take his position in Denver lightly, and he speaks highly of his opportunity to play football for the Broncos.
“I’m blessed that I’m here. I’m blessed I’m a part of the Broncos organization. So, I just try my best just being me every day.”