clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Broncos Training Camp: Day 5 news and notes

Here are the news and notes from day five of Broncos camp.

Denver Broncos 2023 training camp Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Day five of Denver Broncos camp is in the books and the team finished up their third straight practice in pads.

Today, we had another not-so-great practice by Russell Wilson but Sean Payton doesn’t seem concerned, the defense has another strong day, the run game will be key, veteran corner K’Waun Williams standing out, news and notes, injury updates, notable quotes and more!

Payton is not worried about Russell Wilson’s struggles

According to reporters at camp, it was another rough day for the Broncos' quarterback Russell Wilson. He threw two interceptions, one of them in 11-on-11s and one during the red zone period. He also missed open receivers and just continued to struggle against the Broncos' defense.

Head coach Sean Payton does not sound all too worried about Russ’s performance. He said: “Yeah, no big whoop. He’s doing fine.” when asked about his day.

He continued by saying that they’re installing plays and that they’re calling plays on offense that they may not match up well with the defense out there. He is keeping an eye on what’s working, and what is not working and is building that up in his memory bank so he can be better prepared for the season.

“We are in an installation pattern, so as we install, we continue to see—sometimes, we are putting a play in, and it doesn’t really match. We may not run it if we were playing Denver’s defense, but it is in the installation schedule. Throughout this training camp and preseason, you begin to see some things that we are doing well. There are a few things that maybe you don’t feel as comfortable about. You are constantly building up that memory bank of what you are seeing and how we are executing it. It was our first day in the red zone.

So, we, myself included, need to keep that in mind when reacting to these tweets from camp. We lack context about what’s going on, what the purpose of this play is, and just the structure of practice. Payton could be challenging Wilson to see what he can and can’t do.

With that said, having almost an interception per practice, including two today and reports of off-target passes and missed reads is concerning. We can chalk it up to early camp struggles, but we saw this from Wilson last year and it continued throughout the season. This year, we have Sean Payton running the show, so the end result will likely be different. So, we need to be patient and trust in Payton’s process but it is still hard not to be a little concerned right now.

Broncos run game is an emphasis and strength so far

While the passing offense has had its struggles, the Broncos' run game has been the strength throughout camp thus far according to KOA’s Ryan Edwards. This makes sense with the team putting an emphasis on the run game and how often they appear to be running the ball throughout camp.

While talking about the Broncos' red zone period, Payton talked about how important their run game needs to be in that area. He continued by saying that they went back and looked at the top 10 offenses and defenses in the red zone and talked about the specifics of their scheme. He later added, “You have to be pretty efficient running the ball to be good in that area.”

“Obviously, the trick there is you have to be good running the football. We went through the Top 10 teams last year, both offensively and defensively, in the red zone, and we talked to them about all the specifics. It’s a pretty important and special situation in our game. Good red-zone teams typically are in the playoffs. I would say the emphasis was a little more pass-driven and not run-driven today in those two team periods.”

We saw the Broncos' struggles inside the red zone last year and their inability to score in that area(especially against Seattle). Payton is looking to fix that this year and spent today’s practice as well as tomorrow’s practice working on it.

A strong run game paired with a strong red zone offense will be key for the Broncos success this year. It looks unlikely that they will be throwing the ball around a lot, so they need to be successful and effective in this area.

Cornerback K’Waun Williams has been a standout player

Veteran cornerback K’Waun Williams had a standout day in Broncos practice today. He had a key deflection during the team period today and had a big interception during the red zone period at the end of practice.

His performance so far has caught the eye of head coach Sean Payton. He told reporters after practice that Williams has had a good camp and has stood out so far.

“He’s had a good camp. He’s got good ball skills. You see his speed, and he’s got really good range. I think he plays well deep and some guys have trouble with the ball deep, but he’s someone that I think is very comfortable going from low to high, and vice versa. I think he stood out.”

The Broncos secondary as a whole has stood out so far. Justin Simmons is intercepting Russell Wilson daily, we know how good Surtain is, Damarri Mathis has had a strong camp and Caden Sterns is flying around making plays himself. So, having your slot corner, who is a key member of your defense also having a strong camp only solidifies an already strong unit.

News and Notes

Injury/Attendance Report

Notable Quotes

Head Coach Sean Payton on his impression of CB Fabian Moreau

“He played quite a bit of snap last year in New York. He’s smart, and he’s one of those players that you know exactly what you are getting. I think there is a physicality to how he plays. He’s excelled in the kicking game, and he is someone who is smart. We’ve looked at him for a while now, and we’ve had a lot of good feedback from places he has been. He had a good visit, and his workout was good. We felt good him and especially good about his football IQ.”

Head Coach Sean Payton on if the team will practice certain game situations in a scrimmage setting in the coming days

“We kind of have a calendar. I don’t know if we are working up to a full scrimmage, but like tomorrow, we get into competitive—two days from now, competitive two-minute [drills]. Each day and each installation has an emphasis and today was obviously red zone. We are going to be back in the red zone again tomorrow. We will walk through it tonight and then we move onto the next one. The old schedule—back 10 years ago, 15 years ago—you always had a scrimmage the Hall of Fame weekend, which would be this weekend. That’s kind of gone away based on the amount of practice time we are having. We are going to have full practices, and we will get pretty much what we are wanting to get from a period. Sometimes, it may be live. Today was not live, but nonetheless, it was physical.”

Head Coach Sean Payton whether he wants Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph to pressure more or less

“When you’re in the installation phase—we’re not in the special meals phase yet where we’re going to design gameplans specifically—we’re kind of getting it in, and then, as we get closer to the season—the first easy area is third down, so when we’re talking about that, we’re talking about first and second down within the framework of an odd front. Obviously, we know what his strengths are, and we’ll be smart enough to put them in those spots.

Head Coach Sean Payto on his impression of OLB Nik Bonitto and what he wants to see from him

“We have his college coach. Obviously sometimes there’s a bigger learning curve for guys. It’s a production position, right. It’s one in which you’re getting to the quarterback, you’re affecting him—doesn’t mean you have to be sacking him—and then you’re holding up in the running game. This will be a big training camp for him.”

Tweets from Broncos Camp