The Broncos had their third padded practice of camp thus far and it was a solid showing from both units, but the Broncos offense is starting to click. We’re over halfway through camp and a week away from the Broncos first preseason game so things are starting to get real for the 2022 Denver Broncos.
Today we have the Broncos offense starting to click, Jerry Jeudy making big plays, the first fight/skirmish of camp, news and notes, injury updates, news and notes, and more from day 10 of Broncos camp.
Offense Winning Practice
Early in camp, the Broncos defense was winning the days while the offense had some growing pains. There was even moments when in the middle of practice, the offense needed to all huddle together, refocus and try to step up their game. Well, now over one week into camp and with the entire offense installed, the Broncos offense and quarterback Russell Wilson are starting to put it all together.
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked about how important it is to see the offense starting to stack together multiple good days together. He replied by saying that the installment period is over and that just both sides are out there playing football.
“It goes with everybody. It’s just as us as a team, you want to see good things on both sides of the ball. You don’t want just one side to get after it—one or the other. I think, again, it is continuously evenly matched. The defense is really good and the offense is starting to understand what we are doing. We just finished our installs up, now everything is—there’s no new stuff. So, they just get to go out there and play football.”
It made sense for the defense to have the edge early on. The offense was learning a new offensive system, building chemistry with new quarterback Russell Wilson, and the defense only saw some minor changes from last years team. So, the offense had some growing pain, but still looked a helluva a lot better than we saw in previous camps.
With that said, Hackett still believes the defense has the edge on the offense in the knowledge department.
“I’d say defense, probably, right now. I am kind of hard on the offense, from my standpoint. The defense—because of the carryover from last year, I think those guys all playing together, being around each other longer, I think that has really helped them. It’s a really established unit—a veteran unit that has played really good football in the past. For us, we are just doing everything we can to make plays and continually learn. We are throwing young guys in there with the ones, which is really great to see. Every day, we are just trying to get better.”
Now, with the offense knowing everything and going up against a defense that’s learning what they’re going to do and playing good ball as well, you have some solid competition. Neither unit has looked bad, which is wonderful to hear considering the defense has dominated the past 4-5 camps it seems. Both units have looked good, traded punches and splash plays and appear to be a much more balanced unit heading into the 2022 NFL season.
Jerry Jeudy makes a big play
With Tim Patrick out for the year with an ACL injury, the Broncos will need someone to step up and be productive and replace his production. The obvious name here to watch is former first-round pick Jerry Jeudy. Well, during today’s padded practice, he showed he could be that guy to help replace Patrick’s production and displayed some dominant play.
Jeudy dominated a bit today. He was consistently beating up slot cornerback Essang Bassey who is filling in for the veteran starting slot corner K’Waun Williams. One play in particular saw Jeudy blow pass Bassey’s coverage and catch a 60-yard touchdown bomb from quarterback Russell Wilson.
If Jeudy can put it all together this upcoming season, we could see multiple big chunk plays like this from Jeudy and Wilson. He continues to flash his elite separation skills, his explosive ability after the catch and just route running that leaves cornerbacks in the dust.
Now, it wasn’t just Bassey who Jeudy beat today. During one-on-one drills, Jeudy was able to get the best of cornerback Patrick Surtain II and get some separation between he and the Broncos elite number one cornerback.
With Tim Patrick out, the Broncos need Jeudy to step up.
The Broncos had their first scuffle of camp today. It was between guard Ben Braden and defensive lineman McTelvin Agim. Punches were thrown and both had to be separated and pulled to the side by Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Hackett was asked after practice how he handles these types of situations because we haven’t had to see him deal with this just yet. He told reporters that he kicked the two players off the field because that’s exactly what would happen during the game if a player threw a punch.
“I just kicked those guys off the field. In the end, that’s what happens in a game. In a game, if something like that happens—if someone is out, potentially for the whole game, it hurts the team. In the end, we talk about the team. It’s all about the team, and I know there’s heated battles out there, but it’s all about controlled aggression. No matter what happens, you can’t throw a punch. You can’t do anything like that. That’s not what we want, that’s not what we coach. After that, we talked, cleared the air and made sure they were all good. Then they were able to come back onto the field.”
Hackett had the two players talk it out and eventually hug it out infront of the team and move on with practice. You may or may not think Hackett’s obession with hugging is good or bad, but this displayed the leadership Hackett has. He quickly handled the situation, showed the team he won’t tolerate that sort of thing, handled in a bit of a new-school coaching way and moved on.
He’s a very “team first” and player friendly coach and his tactics are much different than the old school stuff we saw from Vic Fangio, but I like seeing this leadership from the Broncos Head Coach.
News and Notes
- QB Russell Wilson had his first fumbled snap of camp today with center Lloyd Cushenberry. He later had one with rookie center Luke Wattenberg
- Rookie center Luke Wattenberg received some first-team reps today. Potentially noteworthy.
- Recently signed rookie RB Max Borghi had a good day today
- Broncos did WR/CB one-on-one drills for the first-time during camp today
- UDFA rookie WR Brandon Johnson caught a 35+ yard touchdown from QB Russell Wilson during team drills
- Broncos had their second-highest attendance ever for Training Camp today. Excitement is high in Denver and at Dove Valley.
- EDGE Randy Gregory and OT’s Billy Turner and Tom Compton remained on the PUP
- WR Tyrie Cleveland continued to miss practice with a throat injury
- Veteran slot corner K’Waun Williams continued to miss practice with a knee injury
- Guard Netane Muti missed today’s practice and is being evaluated for a knee injury
- EDGE Jonathon Cooper sat out practice
- NT D.J. Jones continued to miss practice with a minor back injury
Tweets from Camp
Bradley Chubb went up to a bunch of defensive teammates today to get them pumped up in stretching. He’s ready to go. pic.twitter.com/yGhhTrhBZG— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 6, 2022
Russell Wilson complete to Montrell Washington pic.twitter.com/eYBNfxwqew— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Finally seeing some DBs vs Receivers drills out here at #Broncos Training Camp. Montrell Washington just put Essang Bassey on skates over the middle. Jalen Virgil w/ a deep TD in McMillian. @KOAColorado— Ryan Edwards (@redwardsradio) August 6, 2022
Seth Williams just came up strong on a 50/50 ball with Faion Hicks in 1 on 1s— Cody Roark (@CodyRoarkNFL) August 6, 2022
Russell Wilson found Albert O sneak outside and hit him with great touch in stride for at least a 20-yard gain.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Max Borghi with an EXPLOSIVE burst to get to the outside. Speed on display— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Russell Wilson to Jerry Jeudy for 20 yards. Jerry crossed the field and found an opening in the zone. Russ hit him.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Kendall Hinton bringing one in from Russell Wilson on the left sideline for a first down.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Mike Boone caught a screen and ran to the end zone 75-yards down the field (wouldn’t have been a score) BUT Quinn Meinerz ran stride-for-stride with him the entire way to the end zone.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
The belly is, in fact, fast.
Luke Wattenberg getting snaps with the 1s at center — first snap with Wilson resulted in a fumbled exchange. Timing off — it happens in a new center/QB exchange sometimes— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 6, 2022
Russell Wilson to Courtland Sutton for a TOUCHDOWN in the red zone. Sutton boxes out the CB well— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Another day, another sweet Montrell Washington TD!— RK (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 6, 2022
This time it’s a diving catch in the back of the end zone from Brett Rypien.
Russell Wilson scrambles into the end zone for a score— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
Sick block from Cameron Fleming to open up a TD run for Max Borghi on a toss.— RK (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 6, 2022
Borghi having a nice day.
Oh a move-the-ball period, the offense started with a 2nd-and-15. Picked up 8 on a screen then likely got sacked on 3rd. Bradley Chubb was at least acting like it was a sack— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 6, 2022
First team D has won each of these last two scrimmage periods. Most recent one ended with Dre’Mont “sacking Russ”, who then scrambled out and found Jeudy for a completion that didn’t count— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) August 6, 2022
I’ve seen some really great corners in training camp but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one bring sticky coverage on every play the way that Pat Surtain II does.— RK (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 6, 2022
The dude is RELENTLESS.
As the Broncos look for a Tim Patrick replacement, UDFA WR Brandon Johnson seems to have a connection with Russell Wilson...— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 6, 2022
In two-minute end-of-first-half scenarios with no timeouts, the Broncos first- and second-team offenses both successfully drove to FGs. Definitely feels much different than last year.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 6, 2022
Spoke with #Broncos rookie Nik Bonitto after practice today. He said he’s starting to really feel comfortable in the defense. Said he was doing more “slanting and looping” at OU. In Denver, he’s mostly just playing straight up edge, which he enjoys. He’s looked great so far.— Summer of George (@GeorgeStoia) August 6, 2022
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett on if putting C Luke Wattenberg in was to get him experience
“Without a doubt. You’re only going to find out how those young guys are if they are thrown in there. How does it feel when, all of a sudden, [QB] Russell Wilson is taking a snap from you? These are things we have to get through. We have to work through that. Those guys have to get on the same page so if we do need him, he is ready to rock.”
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett on how critical it is to be successful in the last two minutes are on both sides of the ball
“Two minute is everything. You go back to most football games and there is something at the end of the first half or second half that really decides the game. As you guys know, we don’t do a lot of seven-on-seven, so I love that because that’s where everyone knows it’s a pass. You get to go in and play situations and work it out. We had some great conversations over there for some things that happened. I think it is unbelievably critical because a lot of the time, the quarterback is usually the most focused in. But the more you can get everybody else understanding the situation, how it changes down—you just can’t do it enough. Over and over, whether we are walking through or we are going full speed. I also think it is good conditioning and its fun. The guys get to compete. So, we will try to do a lot of that.”
Center Lloyd Cushenberry on what it’s like to work out and train with QB Russell Wilson
“It’s a 24-hour job. It’s all about winning and all about football. We go out there, it’s about comradery and being with the guys, but the main thing is about putting in work. On the field for two hours to in the classroom for another two hours, then back on the field in the evening. It’s our own little minicamp. I’m glad he invited me out because it helped get the chemistry between us. Just sitting in the meeting room—even though he’s not necessarily talking about offensive line but more with the receivers and tight ends—I get to hear some of their terminology. If I hear something on the field, I can remember it from San Diego. I’ll know what it is. It helped a lot.”
Inside linebacker Jonas Griffith on his impression of how OLB Baron Browning’s transition from inside linebacker to outside linebacker is going
“I think for a normal person, it would be pretty tough, but with [OLB] Baron [Browning], he’s an athlete and a freak. Seeing him fly on the edge and that bend—it’s freakish to see. I’m excited for him and think he’ll have a great year.”
Inside linebacker Jonas Griffith on if he believed he would be a key contributor on defense when he first arrived in Denver a year ago
“I always had faith in myself to get to this position. I didn’t think it would happen this quick, but I was always ready for it to happen. [I] just stayed prepared and tried to stay ready so when my number was called, I was ready to make a play and show the coaches I was capable.”