Randy Gregory appears in good spirits, so let’s relax on Week 1 worries
Aug 1, 2022, 2:51 PM
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverFan.com)
Denver Broncos training camp on Monday was interesting for a variety of reasons.
There was a sloppy start from the offense, causing Russell Wilson to huddle up the unit and get everyone refocused. There were some epic battles between Pat Surtain II and Courtland Sutton. And there was something that happened after practice that should encourage all Broncos fans.
High-priced free agent Randy Gregory was around, and even caught the attention of his head coach during his podium interview.
“Hi, Randy! Sorry, he’s making me smile,” Nathaniel Hackett said during his press conference. He was in the middle of giving an answer, but noticed Gregory behind reporters and went out of his way to say hello.
Gregory then walked over to Broncos team media and spent a few minutes answering one of those goofy “after camp questions” that they’ll blast on social media. He didn’t talk with the local media (he’s on the PUP list), but walked into headquarters with a smile.
So, let’s relax.
I’ve heard some spicy takes recently that Gregory is overpaid and the Broncos made a mistake giving him a five-year, $70 million deal. Maybe, maybe not.
But what’s really driving me crazy is the notion Gregory won’t be ready for Week 1 after offseason shoulder surgery. Where are people getting this narrative? GM George Paton sounded confident in Gregory’s progress at his press conference last week.
“Randy has been working really hard. I love seeing him work. I look out my window and I’m seeing him work. He’s showing everything here in his rehab that he showed on tape. I think Randy—obviously, there is some work to be done, but we expect him on schedule for Week 1 and we’ll see if we can take him off [PUP] before then. He looks really good,” Paton said.
When Hackett followed Paton’s answer, he didn’t disagree with his boss. But he did say “it’s a long season. We want [him] to be hitting that stride in December. It’s about December football.” Apparently, that quote has caused some manufactured concern. If Hackett’s not expecting him to his stride until December, well then maybe Gregory won’t be out there against Seattle in Week 1?! Sigh.
Look, I work in this business, so I know we need things to fret about. But there’s nothing that’s been said or I’ve seen that is alarming. Hackett’s point is more about how the Broncos need to be clicking as a team in December and preparing for a postseason run. It’s not an indication Gregory won’t be in the fold until then.
If Gregory was in a bad spot, we probably wouldn’t have seen him on Monday. It’s highly unlikely Hackett would crack a big smile during a press conference with 10 cameras and go out of his way to say hi. The Broncos don’t play a real football game for six weeks; there’s very little to suggest Gregory won’t be ready by then.
As I wrote last week when I picked the Broncos to go at least 12-5, a lot of this is a vibe. What I witnessed with Gregory on Monday was a good one. Both from him and his head coach.
How the contract is ultimately judged will be fascinating. But for now, Gregory appears to be in a good spot. Let’s hope I’m right, but I feel pretty confident about it. And Paton and Hackett seemingly do as well.