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2021 Broncos Training Camp: Day 10 news and notes

Drew Lock outshines Teddy Bridgewater in the Broncos’ scrimmage.

Due to poor air quality in Denver, the Broncos moved their stadium scrimmage indoors on the tenth day of practice. Drew Lock came through with some big plays while Bridgewater had his second “down” day of camp. Fangio and the coaching staff also gave some young players a chance with the starting lineup.

Drew Lock’s big play day

The day started with a splash when Lock dropped a 60-yard bomb to Courtland Sutton from his own 27 or 28 yard line. Sutton created separation on Kyle Fuller and Lock hit him in stride for what could have turned into a long touchdown if Fangio and the coaching staff didn’t whistle the play down.

While it took a bit of wind out the play that it didn’t go for six, the early whistle gave Lock more reps in the redzone, and it took him little time to find Eric Saubert for a score. Later in the day Lock also found undrafted rookie DeVontres Dukes in the endzone for a touchdown against Caden Sterns and Michael Ojemudia.

The coaching staff gave Lock the first half of the scrimmage with the first team offense and they went against the first team defense, which makes Lock’s performance all the more encouraging. While there was limited coverage of practice with no fans in attendance and most of the local media in Canton, Ohio to cover Steve Atwater, Peyton Manning, and John Lynch’s inductions into the NFL Hall of Fame, The Gazette’s George Stoia, DNVR’s Zac Stevens, and Mile High Sports’ Zac Segars said he held his own during the 1on1s.

I personally believe the Broncos’ coaching staff always planned on waiting until the preseason games to call the quarterback competition, but there’s little question reports suggest Bridgewater had the better week. Lock’s big day came at the perfect time to give him a little confidence heading into the scrimmages against the Minnesota Vikings.

Dre’Mont Jones continues to ball out

The Broncos’ 2019 third round pick had another terrific day and managed to get the best of Graham Glasgow. It continues a great week for Jones, who was credited with three or four sacks on Friday. I’m excited to see what the year holds for him, as his vast repertoire of moves, body control, and burst will make him a nightmare in one-on-one matchups with most guards around the league.

Netane Muti rotated in for first team snaps with Graham Glasgow.

On Saturday Fangio said the Broncos are looking for a big jump from Muti, a sixth round pick out of the 2020 draft who would have gone much earlier if not for a lengthy medical history. Today he gave Muti a chance to prove he belongs as a starter. It remains to be seen what the old ball coach thinks of the performance.

“To be honest with you, I wasn’t watching him.”

Caden Sterns draws a rave review

We’ve been hearing a ton about Patrick Surtain II and reasonably so. By all accounts George Paton’s first selection is becoming a foundational part of the Broncos’ defense and helping Fangio unlike a dime personnel I expect to terrorize the league. I’m not going to let Surtain’s greatness overshadow the other exciting rookie DB though. By all accounts, Caden Sterns is starting to look like he could blossom into a dependable starter.

Kareem Jackson’s took note of a potential heir apparent today. The 33-year-old returned to Denver after George Paton declined his team option this offseason. As if to hammer his plans home to the veteran, Paton also took two safeties in the 2021 draft. Jamar Johnson opened camp on the Covid-19 list for 10 days, but Sterns has begun to look like a steal.

“Man, [S] Caden [Sterns] [has] been doing some great stuff. He’s picking up the defense really well, he’s spitting out the terminology, he’s getting the guys that he’s in with lined up and he’s making a ton of plays. Guys like that you just put them out there and they just have a knack for it so, it’s been exciting to see him on a day-to-day basis and seeing his growth. I don’t expect anything else from him. Just being in the film room with him, listening to him and how he carries himself so definitely excited to see him in Minnesota and in the preseason.”

Injury Report

News and Notes

Quotes

Head Coach Vic Fangio

On not having practice at Empower Field at Mile High

“I would have liked to have been at the stadium. We’ve got new guys here. They’d like to see the stadium. We were going to have a pregame warmup just like the game. We were going to go in after pregame warmup and come out. We were going to go in at halftime and come out. We lost that a little bit. I would’ve preferred that, but we chose not to.”

On who made the decision to move practice indoors

“I guess technically it was my call, but I was heavily influenced on what call to make by the medical people. But it was left up to me.”

On how CB Ronald Darby has performed in training camp

“He’s had a good camp. He’s kind of like of like a good referee—a good referee, you don’t notice. There’s a lot practices out there [where] I don’t notice him until I go put on the tape. You like that out of a corner. Not much business going over there.”

On what escalated the altercation between T Garett Bolles and OLB Bradley Chubb during yesterday’s practice

“You couldn’t see much on tape as to what precipitated it. We talked to both of them. I think we’re in a good spot. They worked against each other a lot here today.”

On if he envisions giving C Quinn Meinerz more reps at guard

“As you get down towards the end, you have to start finding versatility in your o-linemen. You dress eight in a game. A couple guys have to be able to play two spots.”

On if G Graham Glasgow suffered an injury during practice

“He’s fine. We’re just intermixing guys.”

Tight End Noah Fant

On evaluating the offense

“I think we did well. I think we got stagnant in certain parts of practice. I thought we had some really good drives though. Obviously still have a lot to improve on. Me personally, that last play in the red zone, I should’ve had that ball. There’s just things that you can improve on, things that you can get better at, and we’ll keep going from here.”

On the potential for the team’s run game in 12 personnel

“I think we can be really good, man. It really comes down to how good our tight ends can block, that’s a big part of it. I think we’re coming along in that area for sure. I think I’ve gotten better each year. I think all of our guys have gotten better each year. [TE] Eric Saubert [has] really impressed me in that facet of the game, with the run blocking. He’s done a really nice job. I think we’ll be all right in there. I think we’ll be good; I think we’ll be able to run the ball [in a] 12 personnel.”

On if he’s comfortable in a leadership role

“It’s Year 3 for me. For me, I want to prove a lot. I want to be a guy on this team that people can count on. So it’s not so much as being comfortable, I’m just hungry. Last year wasn’t good enough and I feel like that’s how all of our younger guys are feeling right now. It’s like we don’t have time to sit back and be quiet anymore. We have to make these changes, get better and win games.”

On if his chemistry is getting better with QB Teddy Bridgewater

“Yeah. I mean honestly, you hope to keep building it. Our whole tight end room, our receivers, everybody—we’re hungry for more. We’re hungry to keep going. For me personally, I want results now. It sounds good to be a week in and be like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re making progress.’ But we have to keep moving faster and faster. We have a game coming up in four weeks, five weeks, whatever it is. We have to get this going. I think we are, but I’m just urging everyone to keep moving, keep getting better and keep getting better at a quick, fast pace.”

On the differences between QB Teddy Bridgewater and QB Drew Lock

“It’s hard to say. They’re both quarterbacks. The balls come out of their hands differently, but that’s about it. Drew has the arm talent to throw anywhere. I mean so does Teddy, but Teddy has more accuracy—I wouldn’t say ‘more accuracy’—it’s like his ball comes out with a little more loft on it. Everybody has said that; everybody’s gone through that in all these pressures. It’s about the only difference though. They’re both great quarterbacks; they both can make good decisions; they both take reps with the ones. So we’ll see what happens from there.”

Safety Kareem Jackson

On what he’s gotten out of training camp so far

“For me, it’s just all about making sure I’m out here and executing. Getting calls out, making sure the guys are getting in the right positions. We’ve got two new corners with [CB] Ronald Darby and [CB] Kyle Fuller, so just making sure my communication is great with those guys, and also [CB] Pat [Surtain II] as well. He’s been playing a lot of dime with us and some corner as well—but just making sure our execution has been good and just kind of flying around and getting ready for the season opener.”

On his evaluation of the defense in today’s practice

“I think we did pretty well. For us, it’s just all about executing. I feel like if we execute and get guys in the right place, and we do what we’re supposed to do, we’re as good as any group out there. For us, that’s the big thing about it. I mean, flying around, just competing at a high level and being consistent with what we do each and every day. I think that’s just the main thing for us as a defense to get us ready to go for Week 1.”

On what the dime package allows the defense to do on the field

“Actually it allows us a lot as far as what we can do. Having that many DBs out there—first of all, we have to be capable to be able to do it. With having Pat and having him be able to play the dime with the size that he has, long arms, a big corner, you can put him in there [as] No. 3 on some tight ends. If they have four-wide, he can still play in the slot as well. I think we’re a pretty versatile defense as far as our personnel, so I think that’s going to be good for us this year.”

Tweets from camp