ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Despite an overcast day on Thursday at the UCHealth Training Center, the Denver Broncos’ stars shined through.
Here’s who stood out and what went down during Denver’s second training camp practice.
Who won the day: Push
One of the many reasons NFL playoffs is so great is there are no ties. One team must come out victorious. That, unfortunately, is not the case in the regular season or in training camp.
There was a hung jury between the DNVR Broncos Crew over whether it was the offense or defense that won the day, thus forcing an atrocious tie.
But it wasn’t because neither unit played well. In fact, it was because both sides had big-time plays.
After a slow start on Wednesday, the offense came out swinging on Thursday.
On the first play of the day, Jerry Jeudy ran a 30-yard crosser moving from the right to the left. As No. 10 popped out of the crowd of defenders in the middle of the field, Wilson hit him in stride. Not only was it a big-time play to open up practice, but it got Jeudy involved in a big way for the first time in camp.
On the next play, however, smothering coverage by Ronald Darby forced Wilson to throw the ball out of Courtland Sutton’s reach.
Then Wilson got on a roll.
The next four passes, Wilson alternated hitting Sutton and Tim Patrick for completions. However, all four were for less than 10 yards. Short and sweet.
But when Wilson then looked deep, the defense said enough is enough.
For the first time in camp, Russ dropped his right shoulder, cocked his arm back and released a moon ball in the direction of Jeudy. But Justin Simmons was all over it.
As the ball was falling from the sky, No. 31 had a picture-perfect swat, causing the emphatic incompletion. Kareem Jackson was also in coverage, but Simmons made sure he didn’t need to rely on his backup plan.
Wilson responded by finding Eric Saubert for 15 yards on the right hash coming out of a creative pre-snap formational change.
Then, the most important part of practice rolled around.
“It was a third down period. It was offense versus defense,” Pat Surtain said, explaining the situation after practice. “It’s really competition period. If the offense got a first down, they win the competition. If we stop them, we win.”
On the first series, Russ connected with Jeudy on back-to-back slants on third and fourth down, but came up one yard short.
But Hackett gave the offense one more chance. That’s when the play of the day happened.
Play of the day
On 3rd-and-4, with the offense searching for a first down, Wilson threw a jump ball to Sutton with Surtain in coverage.
“I had to make a play,” Surtain stated.
And boy did he.
“‘Court,’ he went up and got it. Russ threw a good ball. He almost had it,” Surtain explained, as the play started to shift toward No. 2’s side. “But that’s the key to finishing plays and just finishing on the ball. You never know what could happen unless you finish.”
With both players attempting to high point the ball, Sutton got his hands on the pass. But Surtain immediately flailed both arms to lodge the ball free and watch it fall to the ground.
Practice started with a big-time play from the offense and ended with the defense coming up big and making the day a push.
Jonas Griffith — For a second-straight day, the athletic linebacker not only started alongside Josey Jewell, but made plays all over the field, including pressuring Wilson up the middle.
Javonte Williams — While Hackett won’t comment on the running back competition, his actions of putting No. 33 out there first two-straight days speaks volumes.
The WRs — On Wednesday, during team periods, Denver’s receivers were shutdown by Surtain, Darby and Co. One day later, they began to found their groove as they all had multiple receptions from Wilson.
Netane Muti — The strong, fast and powerful guard rotated with Quinn Meinerz at right guard, showing he’s still in a battle for the starting spot.
- Good news: No new injuries to report
- Randy Gregory, Billy Turner, KJ Hamler and Tom Compton on the PUP.
- Christopher Allen on the NFI.