ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Before every training camp practice, Justin Outten makes a plea to Pat Surtain.
“I’ll go over to him each and everyday and say ‘Can you let us complete a pass please. Just once,’” Denver’s offensive coordinator said after practice.
On Saturday, during the Broncos’ fourth training camp practice, Surtain obliged his offensive coordinator.
But just once.
Here’s what went down at camp
Who won the day: Defense
Despite being at the UCHealth Training Center for Saturday’s camp practice, it was an Alabama highlight show.
Pat Surtain and Jerry Jeudy were the featured pieces on their respective sides of the ball.
But at the end of the day, the defense came out on top due to their ability to win at all three levels.
It started with the first play of practice, when Jonas Griffith flew through the right side of the offensive line to have a near, potential, sack. Two plays later, Dre’Mont Jones had what would have been a sack on No. 3.
That’s when Surtain and Jeudy began to take over practice.
After D.J. Jones jumped offsides, thus giving the offense a free play, Wilson threw up a jump ball down the left sideline to Courtland Sutton. But No. 2 was in coverage and made sure the ball hit the ground.
The next two plays, Wilson looked to the right side for back-to-back completions for Jeudy for five yards a piece. Two more short completions, to Melvin Gordon and Sutton, followed before Russ went back to Jeudy for a gain of seven on another slant.
In the next series, Eric Saubert continued his impressive camp by bringing in back-to-back passes for 15 yards and six yards.
It was time for more Surtain, who came up with the play of the day (read below).
Then, Surtain obliged Outten’s wishes.
During a move-the-ball period, on third down, Wilson scrambled to left with pressure bearing down on him and hit Jeudy just past the first-down marker. Jeudy tapped both feet in with Surtain just behind him. First down.
On the following move-the-ball period, following a false start by the offensive line, Ronald Darby got in the action, picking off Wilson after Sutton slipped on his route, leaving Darby not only with the easy interception, but an easier touchdown on top of it.
The veteran quarterback immediately responded.
With Montrell Washington burning past K’Waun Williams—who appeared to suffer an injury on the play—Wilson tossed up an easy 60-yard touchdown pass to the wide-open rookie.
Fittingly, for the defense winning the day, practice ended on an incompletion.
Play of the day
After testing Surtain earlier in practice on a free play, Wilson tried it one more time. This time, however, he didn’t have an offsides penalty in his back pocket as a safety net.
And he nearly regretted it big time.
With Tim Patrick streaking down the right sideline, No. 3 there a jump ball to the 6-foot-4 receiver.
But despite the heigh mismatch, Surtain positioned himself perfectly to have the inside leverage on the pass. Surtain had the ball in both hands before Tim knocked it out and saved Russ from an interception.
Justin Strnad — Lining up with the second-team defense, Strnad had an excellent pursuit on a run to the left side where he would have blown up the play at the line of scrimmage. After practice, Ejiro Evero pointed to Strnad, among a few others, as players that have jumped out to him so far in camp.
Eric Saubert — Another camp practice, another impressive day for the tight end. Saubert continues to be one of Wilson’s favorite targets as he brought in multiple receptions on Saturday.
False Starts — Technically, false starts were trending up on Saturday as the offense seemed to continue to get called for them left and right.
- K’Waun Williams was immediately looked at by trainers after jogging slowly behind Washington on Wilson’s touchdown pass. After practice, Hackett said the veteran slot corner was still being evaluated.
- Randy Gregory, Billy Turner, KJ Hamler and Tom Compton on the PUP.