Good morning, Broncos Country!
As training camp officially came to a close yesterday, and the dust settled from the only joint practice between the Broncos and Cowboys ahead of Saturday’s preseason matchup at Mile High, several things became clear:
The defense couldn’t stop bringing it.
The offense couldn’t stop scoring touchdowns.
The run game is solid; Javonte Williams is even better than last year.
Russell Wilson is fearless.
The wide receivers are fast.
The pass rush is fire.
The most important one, however, was a simple truth...
The Broncos are good.
Granted there are a lot of variables still in play, and like me, you may be a little gun shy about admitting such a truth (given how cavalierly stated opinions in recent years might have gotten you burned) but even as hope can be a dangerous thing, it is also “the best of things.”
And right now we have a lot of hope that this rejuvenated team has had it with mediocrity.
Russell Wilson’s arrival in Denver six months ago signaled this new mindset, but nothing is a guarantee until you see it in action. The rather rapid learning curve by the offense over the past two weeks has been validating, if not relieving. But you never really know what you’ve got until you play another team.
And then came the joint practice with the Cowboys Thursday, and suddenly the offense was straight fire and the defense was a pile of explosives just waiting to go off.
Wilson connected with a plethora of targets - from Courtland Sutton to Jerry Jeudy to Kendall Hinton to Albert Okwuegbunam to Montrell Washington.
“This has been exceptional,” Wilson said of his Broncos training camp. “I think I’ve always had amazing training camps, but this one has been really special. ...We were just so locked in.”
Looks like the Cowboys lost the scrimmage and the fights— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) August 11, 2022
And the Broncos D turned in multiple pressures and would-be sacks, “smothering just about everyone not named CeeDee Lamb.”
It was obvious to all (save some Cowboys’ reporters on Twitter) the Broncos won the day - and on both sides of the ball.
But it didn’t come without its “skirmishes” ... aka, fights.
While the Broncos’ offense had its way with the Cowboys D during much of the 11-on-11 period and red zone work, the Broncos’ defense was holding its own. Other than some nice hauls by former first-round draft pick, CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys offense suffered the wrath of a reconfigured defensive line in desperate need of proving its strength.
Rookie edge rusher Nik Bonitto also made his presence known - mostly in the backfield and often with a sack.
4-SACK DAY FOR NIK BONITTO— Henry Chisholm (@HenryChisholm) August 11, 2022
According to new lineman DJ Jones, the fights were just an obvious outcome of one group (Dallas) getting its butt kicked by another (Denver).
“If you get your tail handed to you, you’re gonna feel some type of way about it,” Jones told Channel 7’s Troy Renck. “I feel like everybody was just doing their jobs, it’s just you get to let out some energy and get to hit somebody who’s not your brother and put your hands on somebody else and I think we took full advantage of that today. ...Everybody was just making plays.”
Patrick Surtain II, who had his hands full covering CeeDee Lamb, also takes the fights in stride.
“I just think, all in all, that’s just how football is. It can get really physical out there,” he said. “Some guys get a little enthused, get a little physical, so that’s what leads to that. It’s football at the end of the day.”
More importantly, good football at the end of the day.
Bradley Chubb with the hit stick on Zeke Elliott pic.twitter.com/yHorLAfdN3— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 11, 2022
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