Day two of the Denver Broncos Training Camp is in the books, and this defense is on fire. I am so excited about this roster and the upcoming season. We might just be in practice, but we’re looking good.
P.S. I will forever be embarrassed that I was even remotely disappointed by George Paton’s decision to draft Patrick Surtain over Justin Fields. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been wrong, nor will it be the last.
The offense, of course, isn’t just coasting through. We already know the Broncos rolled a nat 20 on their quarterback check during the offseason, but it’s clear that all parties on both sides of the ball are making each other stronger. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett is all about fostering that team growth right now. It’s magic happening in Denver.
Hackett, who is tackling (no pun intended) his first training camp as head coach, expressed why he thinks QB Russell Wilson elevates the defense.
“You never know when he’s going to break the pocket because he is very mobile back there,” he said, “I also think, like anything, those great leaders are about making as many people around them better. I think Russ does that by being as accurate as he is, as smart as he is, changing the tempos back and forth...(while) at the same time, love them up, talk a little bit back to them, and all that stuff.”
Ultimately, he added, it enhances the fun and makes the guys want to play harder.
One of the focal points for the offensive side of the ball this year is Russell Wilson’s line, and how they’re going to block for him. Hackett admitted there are some challenges in blocking for a mobile quarterback, but it’s a non-negotiable.
“That’s something I’ve seen offensive line get a little freaked out about because we always say, ‘Block until the ball is out.’ It’s going to be something they have to get used to, but I am very excited about this line.”
Hackett drew attention to the fact that the offensive line has been introduced to a completely new system, including the outside zone and pass protection, and that they’re doing a fine job grappling with the changes.
“They’ve really bought in up to this point,” he noted, “There have been a couple of guys that have been big surprises—not because they’re not good, but because of how much they’ve bought in and how much better they’re getting every day. I appreciate that from them and I’m excited for them.”
Few are as excited to block for #3 as is Garett Bolles. It’s hard to forget when the OT promised Wilson back in April, “I know you’re used to getting hit. You’re not going to get hit here.”
Garett Bolles explains how he learned of the Russell Wilson trade. At 0:34, he shares how he told Wilson, “I know you’re used to getting hit. You’re not going to get hit here.” pic.twitter.com/Kd9xq58hbB— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 14, 2022
This will be the first year that Bolles has only worked with one quarterback in preparation and, while he says he “loved” all his quarterbacks, he is looking forward to the consistency of blocking for the same guy day in and day out.
“That consistency—we can build upon that and create championship habits to hopefully play into January and our goals,” he said in tonight’s presser.
Bolles has a personal connection with his quarterback — their kids are playing together and they’ve developed a brotherly love even just in the beginning of this process — but he also believes in Wilson’s leadership and as a playmaker.
“I think it’s a lot of fun to have a mobile quarterback, to have a guy that can move,” Bolles said, “Maybe a little late off the ball, he’s just going to push the guy right on the rim, and then he steps up and throws a bomb to Courtland or Tim or Jeudy.”
“You just watch that ball fly and you’re like, ‘Man, that’s nice,’” he continued, I think every day we’re getting better, and he’s getting better. It’s going to be fun to see what we can do this season.”