clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Offense looks sharp but defense impresses

The second day of Broncos’ training camp was exactly what a fan would hope for - good football all around.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Good morning, Broncos Country, WOO HOO!

The Broncos are not just playing football; they are playing good football.

And although “it’s just practice” - as the head coach himself noted - it’s still showcasing what we’ve all been desperately waiting for.


“I think they made some really good plays—I think the defense made some incredible plays,” Nathaniel Hackett said. “It’s just everyday getting better on both sides. What you’re always hoping to see—every day you’re out there—is both teams doing good things. All the way from special teams, to offense, to defense; you just always want to see that improvement.”

As is typical early on in training camps, the defense tends to get the better of the offense, but Aric DiLalla of noted on the “Broncos Now” podcast that the offense looked “crisp and efficient” on Day 2, Russell Wilson looked in control and he got the ball out quick - something he hasn’t always been known to do.

That’s the good news.

But the better news is that the secondary doesn’t seem to have lost a step as both Justin Simmons and Patrick Surtain II have had themselves a day (or two!) against this offense.

Despite a perfect pass to Courtland Sutton, who had the ball in his hands, Surtain went up to knock the ball out with his left hand, couldn’t get it so switched mid-air to knock it out with his right.

Even Sutton had to clap for that play.

In fact, Surtain’s pass breakup was so amazing, Hackett was ecstatic - even though it meant his offense lost the “third-down competition.”

“I get so excited when there is a great play. I love the game of football,” Hackett said, admitting he’s technically on the offensive side but practice can’t be an ‘us vs. them’ mentality. “That [play] was awesome because that was two big human beings competing for a ball. You love to see that. They are going to make each other better, and that’s what I love.”

Simmons, building off his big day Wednesday, also came across the field to break up a pass headed right for Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy was stride for stride with Kareem Jackson as Wilson’s deep spiral hung in the air before Simmons just appeared and knocked it away.

That one earned a compliment from the head coach.

“That one right there was pretty dramatic,” Hackett said. “I think we were actually trying to pick on somebody else, and then he came over and helped out, so that was an amazing play. That was unbelievable.”

‘Good on good’

An interesting difference in Hackett’s approach early in training camp is that the first-team offense is playing against the first-team defense - Sutton v. Surtain; Garett Bolles v. Bradley Chubb, etc.

Hackett believes this is the best way to get improvement on both sides of the ball.

It’s good on good, and we want to make each other better,” he said. “You always want everyone rolling. Then every now and then, you get to sprinkle those other guys in and see if they can step it up—whether that would be on offense or defense. It’s about making the team better. You want everyone to compete together.”

It only makes sense that the Broncos’ defense that will have to face Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Derek Carr, Lamar Jackson, etc., should go against Russell Wilson in practice to improve their chances against other elite QBs.

“I think they love it,” Hackett said of the defense having to go up against Wilson. “One, you never know when he’s going to break the pocket because he is very mobile back there.”

Surtain certainly loves going against Wilson - and not just because he beat him on a play. Because he knows what covering Wilson can do for his own craft.

“It makes me better all-around as far as a player—going in each and every day competing against a guy like him.” Surtain said. “He makes tremendous throws each and every day. When you go against a guy like that—a high-caliber QB like that—it just makes you better all around.”

And it’s not just defending well-thrown passes; it’s learning from a quarterback who relishes the good play from his defenders...but will compete just as hard not to let a good defensive play happen again.

“Those great leaders are about making as many people around them better,” the head coach added. “I think ‘Russ’ does that by being as accurate as he is, as smart as he is, changing the tempos back and forth, and all of those different things that he’s going to do, [while] at the same time, love them up, talk a little bit back to them, and all that stuff.”


What do you think of 1s vs. 1s throughout training camp?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    Love it. What a no-brainer.
    (483 votes)
  • 2%
    Hate it. Too many chances to get first string players hurt.
    (11 votes)
494 votes total Vote Now

Broncos/NFL News

Denver Broncos: Russell Wilson extension details remaining in-house
Broncos GM George Paton doesn't want information leaking from the team's facility.

Denver Broncos news: Brittany Bowlen steps down from role with team
The Bowlen era is coming to an end in Denver.

Broncos cult hero Quinn Meinerz talks Broncos Country, bowling, the ukulele, and why he's ready to lock down a starting right guard slot
The cat who pushes over trees is learning to play the tenor ukulele. For love. Stop giving us reasons to root for you, Quinn Meinerz. Seriously. Stop.

Injury Report: Broncos to slowly work TE Greg Dulcich back into practice
Dulcich, the team’s 2022 third-round pick, missed the final two weeks of the offseason program with a hamstring injury.

Broncos named ESPN's 2022 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year
The Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award is given to a sports franchise that demonstrates how teamwork can create a measurable impact on a community or cause.

Broncos Camp Notebook: Russell Wilson pleased with 'great first day,' offense’s progression as training camp begins
"To be where we are and to have a new head coach like [Head] Coach [Nathaniel] Hackett, we are so far along," Wilson said Wednesday. "We are going to be really prepared."

4 Players that stood out on Day 2 of Denver Broncos training camp
Which players stood out on Day 2 of Denver Broncos training camp? Several of them were expected, with at least one that is trying to make the team.

Ranking each NFL team’s schedule based on opposing QBs: Chiefs have toughest path - The Athletic
According to the 2022 QB Tiers survey, AFC West defenses have huge challenges while NFC East defenses have much easier tasks.

Cardinals remove ‘independent study’ clause from Kyler Murray’s contract
The Arizona Cardinals have eliminated the mandatory “independent study” clause in quarterback Kyler Murray’s contract extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday evening.

NFL news roundup: Latest league updates
Commanders coach Ron Rivera announced TE Antonio Gandy-Golden will be returning to school to finish his education instead of continuing his playing career.