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
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.
After 60-yard bomb from Drew Lock to Courtland Sutton, Drew Lock hits a wide open Eric Saubert off play action for a TD.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 8, 2021
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.
Teddy probably wasn’t making that throw FWIW— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 8, 2021
Also looked like a TD at first, as George noted(might’ve wanted to do some goal line work):https://t.co/1hqaUe0RTg
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.
I feel like Lock gets the edge today. Started with deep ball to Sutton, had the TD to Dukes, but then struggled a bit in red zone/goal line in second half.— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
Bridgewater was better in the second half, had the TD to Williams. But came up short in 1 minute drill. https://t.co/0vnmhKasQq
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.
Dre’Mont Jones beats Glasgow and would have gotten a sack, but holding is called. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
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.
Caden Sterns, man. Nearly one hands a pass from Lock, great play. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
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.”
- Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland missed another practice after bruising his backside last week.
- Linebacker Josey Jewell, wide receiver Tim Patrick, and defensive lineman McTelvin Agim are all dealing with groin injuries.
- Defensive lineman Marquiss Spencer went down with an ankle injury on Friday and missed another practice.
- Defensive lineman Deyon Sizer is dealing with a hamstring injury.
- Defensive back Kary Vincent missed practice with a hip injury.
- On Saturday Fangio said Diontae Spencer is dealing with a knee issue.
#Broncos back in pads and inside. Don’t see ...— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) August 8, 2021
News and Notes
- Nose tackle Mike Purcell donned pads today, but did not participate in the scrimmage.
- 3rd round rookie Quinn Meinerz got a chance to play guard today.
- The Broncos cut Tedric Thompson to make room for Lorenzo Neal Jr. today. Neal is the son of the former Chargers’ fullback who helped lead the way for LaDainian Tomlinson for years. Neal Jr. went undrafted and originally signed with the New Orleans Saints following the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s a 320 lb. former team captain who could surprise with some time to get his body right.
- The only place in the world that had worse air quality than Denver this morning was Krasnoyarsk, Russia which is infamous for its “black skies.” The air was so bad Fangio deferred to the medical personnel and cancelled the originally planned scrimmage for Empower Field. I hope if you’re reading this from Denver you’re doing everything you can to stay safe.
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
Lock to Dukes TD at :26— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
Bridgewater to Williams TD at :50 https://t.co/H4caAP7WVI
No team work for Mike today so far. https://t.co/sHqfQY0MO6— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) August 8, 2021
Great news. Strnad's been eating into Johnson's snaps and could be a real factor for dime. https://t.co/LR1UZEQaJr— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 8, 2021
Albert O, my goodness. One-handed catch. Nice play. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
Still doing GL work with Lock. Finds Pierson-El in flat to his right for easy TD— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 8, 2021
All Lock so far today IMO
Bridgewater nearly intercepted over the middle by Kalambayi. Was right to him and dropped it. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
Dre’Mont Jones and Malik Reed with a likely sack on Drew Lock in the red zone. Both having great days.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 8, 2021
Entirety of #Broncos practice, having doing mock pre-game warm-up, was 11-on-11 -- 71 snaps.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) August 8, 2021
Bassey, Dawson and Browning account for 30. https://t.co/9I75Kg8KnB— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) August 8, 2021
Should’ve been EASY INT, *cue canned ‘that’s why they’re not on offense’ soundbite*— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 8, 2021
Jeudy drop over the middle. Bullet from Lock, right on the money. Callahan nearly tipped it. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 8, 2021
Pitch to 33 for short gain on 1st— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 8, 2021
PA, looks right for quick throw. Sterns jumps it and breaks it up. EASY Pick-6 if he’s able to make the catch
First ugly mistake for Lock I’ve caught so far
Throws over the head of Beck. Definitely not a good pass, but it also looked like Beck didn’t make much effort for it because he thought pass was intended for someone behind him— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 8, 2021
Pocket collapses. Lock steps up & runs for short gain. Called sack on the play though potentially
Teddy in. Throws it to the corner for 19, but Surtain does a great job of getting in the way for what looked like a PBU— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 8, 2021
Teddy goes right back to him in the opposite corner. This time he separates from Johnson for a fairly easy TD
Ronald Darby just knocked Hamler down on a short pass to the flat from Lock for an incompletion. Would have blown him up in a game— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 8, 2021