Good morning, Broncos Country!
The Broncos’ elite defense had another stellar day Thursday but the offense was not to be stymied as the team wrapped up its second week of voluntary OTAs with just one more week to go before a mandatory mini-camp and then a break.
Thanks to the always-salivating takeaways via Andrew Mason, the team’s strengths and weaknesses are coming into focus, blurred mostly by the fact that it’s still just OTAs and players continue to get a grasp of their new playbook.
With the first-team defense getting after Paxton Lynch and his first-team offense, the second-year quarterback showed his composure under pressure, according to Mason.
“The No. 1 defense dialed up a heavy pass rush on three consecutive plays. Lynch stood in the pocket and got rid of the football for completions on each of those plays, finding Emmanuel Sanders, Devontae Booker and finally Demaryius Thomas as pass rushers bore down on him.”
But Von Miller was not to be denied as he showed off his athleticism later in team drills with a leap to break up a pass in the backfield.
Continuing to be a rookie standout, Carlos Henderson impressed his teammates when he made a sharp cutback in the opposite direction after catching a pass from Trevor Siemian, leaving his defender to slide in the grass while making the wily getaway.
Both Henderson and fellow rookie wideout Isaiah McKenzie have gotten the praise from Emmanuel Sanders.
“I saw Isaiah catch a slant and take it to the house. He’s explosive,” Sanders said on Tuesday. “Carlos is a great route-runner. He keeps his arms running through the cuts. I’ve been watching film on him and just seeing how he is. He is a technique guy.”
The other Henderson rookie (of the De’Angelo variety) also got some wows with a score on a powerful TD run in Thursday’s practice.
“Rookie De'Angelo Henderson ripped off a touchdown run during the red-zone period, capitalizing off solid blocks from rookie Elijah Wilkinson and 2016 practice-squad tackle Justin Murray to get to the left side. Henderson then showed good straight-line speed, accelerating forward past defenders for the score.”
Brandon Marshall, Lorenzo Doss and Justin Simmons all had big plays to prevent the offense from scoring, which continued to be a theme of the day.
Marshall chased down DT, who had caught a pass from Siemian and was heading downfield, but No. 54 forced a fumble and ended the drive.
Doss broke up a 35-yard pass from Lynch to Jeff Heuerman, preventing a touchdown, while Simmons intercepted a pass during red zone drills.
Earlier in the week, coach Vance Joseph pointed out after practice that the mistakes on offense right now are all part of the learning process.
“Right now, everyone is learning. It is tough to evaluate the quarterbacks when everyone is learning,” he said. “Sometimes the receivers’ mistake can fall back on the quarterback’s mistake. Obviously in the fall, it would ramp up as far as decision making and who’s playing the best at each position.”
Sanders raises money to help kids participate in sports
Aside from OTAs (and probably some extra practice with his QBs), Emmanuel Sanders has been busy this offseason getting his foundation off the ground.
Hosting a silent auction Wednesday, Sanders raised money for the Gear Up program, which provides sports equipment and registration fees to disadvantaged kids in Denver.
Sanders, who came from poverty and found an escape through his talent in sports, feels especially connected to raising money for this issue.
“I was one of those kids,” he said, noting that his grandmother raised him while working two jobs since his parents had him when they were too young to be able to really take care of him. “I wanted to play sports, but I couldn’t play sports. All my friends were playing sports. Luckily, my uncle fell in love with me to the point that he started paying for me to play sports. Now look where I am today.”
So Sanders knows it’s not often feasible for kids to get the opportunity to play sports and possibly discover a real talent in it. And even if they don’t become professional athletes, the benefit of sports can really change their lives for the better.
“There are a lot of kids out there that have parents that aren’t able to take them to practice or provide them with football gloves, or football cleats, or a baseball bat or things of that sort. It was one way to touch my heart and something that I wanted to do for kids,” Sanders said prior to the event. “A lot of people say, ‘Why choose sports? Everybody is not going to go to the NFL.’ Sports do more than just trying to go professionally. It teaches you team work. It teaches you so much. It teaches you discipline. It teaches you work ethic. Not only that, it keeps you healthy.”
Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the day
Former Broncos linebacker Tom Graham passes away at 67
Graham, who played for the team from 1972-74, died after a long illness.
Hochman: Piscotty enduring personal heartache | Benjamin Hochman | stltoday.com
Yes, this is about baseball, and no it isn’t about the Rockies (or Cubs). But it is a bittersweet story (and is written by a guy who was my favorite writer at the Post before he moved back to his hometown St. Louis). Anyway, it’s about the Cardinals right fielder whose mom was just diagnosed with ALS.
Broncos OTA Day 6 takeaways
The defense brought some heat, and Paxton Lynch showed composure under a heavy pass rush as the Broncos closed the week.
Broncos OTA Day 5 takeaways
Find out how the garbage-bin drill that the QBs did to help improve their pass placement bore fruit during Wednesday's session.
Broncos can be Super Bowl contenders again if their offense shows more life - SBNation.com
Coming off a disappointing Super Bowl hangover, the Broncos need some real offensive improvement to supplement the elite defense.
BTV: Don't count out the veterans in WR competition | YouTube
Cody Latimer, Jordan Taylor and Bennie Fowler discuss competing for the No. 3 WR spot and the Broncos' new WR additions from the Draft.
Broncos linebackers love beefed-up D-line | FOX Sports
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Nose tackles don't usually get a lot of love, especially those whose phones didn't even buzz during the NFL draft.
Brandon Marshall: Broncos 'still believe' they're best in AFC West - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
LB Brandon Marshall called last year's third-place finish in the AFC West 'not acceptable' and the team leaders would not let it happen again.
C.J. Anderson hopes raising production as easy as riding a bike - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
C.J. Anderson is pushing to get right physically and find the right frame of mind to contribute more as a leader for the Broncos in 2017.
NFL's Best QB Situations 2017 - Goal Line Stand - Rotoworld.com
Broncos are ranked 28th. Yep, only the Rams, Browns, 49ers and Jets have a worse "QB situation" than the Broncos, says Patrick Daugherty.
It's a family affair on the Broncos defensive line for the Pekos - YouTube
It's a family affair on the Broncos defensive line for the Pekos
Broncos' Will Parks faces misdemeanor non-violent domestic violence charges | 9news.com
BRIGHTON - Denver Broncos safety William Parks is facing misdemeanor charges of harassment and non-violent domestic violence stemming from an incident in Brighton with his former girlfriend.
Keys to ILB Todd Davis' next step forward
How can Todd Davis lock down a starting ILB spot and improve on his 2016 campaign?
Biggest remaining weak spot of each AFC team - NFL.com
You would think it might still be the offensive line. And NFL.com's "weak spot" for the Broncos is still a line, but it's on the other side of the ball.
Sanders hosts 'A Night to Catch Flight'
Emmanuel Sanders hosted his first annual 'A Night To Catch Flight' on Wednesday, with proceeds going towards supporting the children from disadvantaged families.
Broncos Bookworms program to encourage kids' summer reading
The Broncos are starting a new community initiative to keep students reading over the summer.
Ezekiel Elliott phone records turned over to NFL - NFL.com
The NFLPA and reps for Ezekiel Elliott last week turned over phone records and other documents to the NFL as the league continues its probe into allegations he assaulted his girlfriend last year.
New York Jets trading Calvin Pryor to Cleveland Browns - NFL.com
The New York Jets have agreed to trade former first-round pick Calvin Pryor to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for linebacker Demario Davis.
Indianapolis Colts add Christine Michael to backfield - NFL.com
Christine Michael has resurfaced in another NFL city. The well-known back, who has spent time in Seattle, Dallas and Green Bay recently, was signed by the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.
FPI makes its predictions for the 2017 NFL season
Will your team make the playoffs in 2017? Is it good enough to make a Super Bowl run? ESPN's analytics team examined team data via the Football Power Index, and believe the Broncos will go 8-8. So much for good metrics.
From the little we know, which player do you think stands out the most so far in OTAs?
This poll is closed
Any player in the No Fly Zone
"whorfin" (all of the above)
"shasta" (other option)
"j-mac31" (some of the above)
"SaguaroBronco" (disagree with poll premise)