Good morning, Broncos Country!
The first five days of Training Camp have gone better than expected, primarily because the offense looks like a formidable force in the NFL this year.
And that is primarily thanks to Case Keenum.
“He’s better, in my opinion, than what I saw on tape,” coach Vance Joseph said earlier this week. “His accuracy, his command, his smarts, his feel...he’s better now than he was last year, in my opinion.”
But better than the coach loving what he sees from his quarterback is what the quarterback’s team sees.
And they are totally on board with No. 4.
Every single player who is asked about Keenum has a genuinely interesting and positive reaction to the new quarterback - not just a canned talking point.
Which is such a relief heading into the new season.
But don’t listen to me, listen to the players and coaches.
Offensive guard Ron Leary says No. 4 “brings a lot with him” - and that’s just good for everybody.
“He’s a really confident guy,” Leary said. “He knows this game, and he’s played a lot of ball so having him back there on the center is a big help for all because I think it’s going to really show come Week 1.”
Veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer sees a true leader who has fun playing the game - which is rubbing off on the entire offense.
“It’s awesome,” Veldheer said. “He’s a guy who brings his ‘A’ game every day, does his job, and it’s up to us to protect him and keep him in there all year healthy.”
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is noticing that too.
“I think our players are rallying around him. He’s got a terrific work ethic,” Musgrave said, noting that Keenum’s ability to anticipate the right throw for different receivers is key. “He knows when to change speeds to make it more catchable for receivers on various routes. He knows when to have to really frozen rope it and drill it on there. Those are innate qualities.”
Emmanuel Sanders has definitely liked that quality as he and his fellow receivers have seen Keenum spread the ball around to everyone - from receivers to backs to tight ends - with great success.
“I’m out here having fun and [Case] is dropping some dimes,” Sanders said Tuesday. “Musgrave is calling all the plays, and he’s trying to spread the ball around. It smells like football. It doesn’t seem like it’s so hard. It’s easy, and it’s fun.”
Keenum also has some versatility that has not been typical of Broncos quarterbacks of late.
“The thing about Case, even though he’s not a 6’5 guy, he still throws well from under center which good because we want to run the ball from under center. But we don’t want to be predictable when we’re under center that we’re 99 percent run and 1 percent pass,” Musgrave added. “And then he can throw on the run really well — on the move, on the run. He can process what he sees and make good decisions. That’s been consistent, and you love that trait.”
So it’s also worth noting that Keenum has yet to throw an INT in camp.
Five practices in now and Case Keenum STILL has not thrown an interception— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 1, 2018
But it’s not just the offense noticing a nice change of pace. It’s the defense too. And if this defense is noticing, it’s worth paying attention.
Domata Peko said Keenum is “exactly what we needed.”
“I’m really loving Case,” Peko said. “He takes care of the ball, he’s not going to make those wild, crazy throws, trying to force plays. He’s going to maintain the game, and he can sling that thing. Him and Emmanuel hooked up a lot yesterday. I’m excited for them this season -and I’m excited for our offense.”
Bradley Roby says the vibe is a lot different on that side of the ball this season.
“Case is a great leader, a great manager. How he commands the huddle and gets those guys set up and lined up getting the ball to them, his accuracy, everything, his decision making,” he said. “We’re going to be so much better than we have been the past two years, so I’m excited.”
Todd Davis gets the same sense about the offense.
“Absolutely. It’s a totally different feel. They have a different swag to them. They play with a lot more confidence, and that’s all coming from No. 4,” the linebacker said. “When you have somebody behind you that you know is going to come in and do his job and do a great job, it really allows you to play hard.”
Chris Harris Jr. - one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL - got burned this week by a sweet pass from Keenum to Sanders. That bodes well for the new quarterback - and Harris is all for it.
“That’s just a quarterback,” Harris said. “If he keeps throwing like that, we’re going to win.”
Sounds amazing to me.
Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day
RGIII had a shot at the Olympics. But when Ravens called, it was ‘a message from God.’ - The Washington Post
Out of football for a year, the former Redskins QB was training with Olympians. Now he’s fighting for a roster spot in Baltimore and feels called “to play football at a high level.”
Broncos training camp Day 5 observations
Ron Leary and the offensive line are finding cohesion, which is helping set up success for the entire offense so far in camp.
Broncos Camp: Case Keenum already exceeding expectations - CBSSports.com
It would seem the Broncos are already getting what they paid for in QB Case Keenum.
Broncos announce Saturday as Alzheimer's Awareness Day at Broncos Training Camp Powered by Ford
The team encourages fans to wear purple on Saturday.
Broncos: Jared Veldheer explains how hard it is to block Von Miller
Denver Broncos offensive tackle Jared Veldheer says blocking Von Miller is like attempting to sink a really long par-three hole in golf.
Does Royce Freeman have edge in Broncos' backfield? - NFL.com
Now that C.J. Anderson is in Carolina and Jamaal Charles is out of work, the Broncos' backfield is still in search of a lead dog. NFL Network's James Palmer reported the competition is "wide open."
Denver Broncos TE Jake Butt looks ‘really good’ at training camp
Denver Broncos first-year tight end Jake Butt could be a sleeper in fantasy football this season.
Three standouts from day five of Broncos training camp - YouTube
Guess who tops the list? Yep, the QB.
Su'a Cravens, Jeff Heuerman miss practice with knee soreness
Head Coach Vance Joseph said he's not concerned with the long-term availability of either player.
Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton ‘great, great picks’ by John Elway
John Elway did a great job selecting Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton in the NFL draft, says Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby.
Domata Peko: Denver Broncos have a ‘stacked’ defensive line
The Denver Broncos are loaded with depth on the defensive line, according to nose tackle Domata Peko.
Broncos camp Day 5: Chad Kelly drops the ball ... literally
Highlights and takeaways from Denver's fifth camp practice.
Broncos Quiz III: How well do you know your team? | 9news.com
Our monthly Broncos Quiz has been so maddeningly popular – but mostly just maddening – we couldn’t wait to give you another chance. Think you’re a serious Broncos fan? Take this quiz!
NFL releases fact sheet on new helmet rule - NFL.com
The NFL implemented a new helmet rule in late March, and league officiating crews are making the rounds visiting team training camps to educate coaches and players on the changes. But there has been confusion among some players in the past week, leading to the league to release a fact sheet Wednesday morning related to the rule.
Patriots release Jordan Matthews following injury - NFL.com
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews' time with the New England Patriots proved short. The Patriots are moving on from Matthews following his "significant" hamstring injury.
NFL offenses increasingly are staying grounded, and the Redskins have stepped up - The Washington Post
A running game isn’t a luxury anymore. It isn’t something to do just to keep the defense off-balance. It is becoming essential again because the talent demands it.
Colts' Jack Mewhort retires from NFL after 4 seasons - NFL.com
Colts offensive lineman Jack Mewhort is retiring from the NFL after just four seasons. He looked like he would become a staple on the interior of the offensive line just two seasons ago but injuries derailed that plan.
Packers LB Jake Ryan (torn ACL) will miss 2018 season - NFL.com
The Green Bay Packers' worst fear has become reality for a key member on defense. Starting linebacker Jake Ryan has been diagnosed with a season-ending torn ACL
Adam Gase: Frank Gore looks like he did 10 years ago - NFL.com
While Frank Gore is expected to back up Kenyan Drake this season, Dolphins coach Adam Gase praised the 35-year-old running back, whom he coached as an offensive assistant back in 2008.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes plagued by mistakes
New Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has been plagued by mistakes in training camp - and that makes Broncos fans just giddy with excitement.