TRAINING CAMP 2022
Broncos Training Camp Day 7 Report: Jog-throughs reinventing the practice wheel
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — UCHealth Training Center went from a bastion of old-school philosophy to an incubator of innovation almost overnight.
Such is the contrast between the Broncos’ previous coaching regime and the seven-month-old reign of head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
A year ago on this date, the Broncos practiced incompletions. Literally. They went through a drill in which quarterbacks Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater rehearsed throwing away the football.
Those drills are gone.
And so much has changed in 365 days.
Wednesday’s practice was the second “jog-through” of training camp, following the one last Friday. Another is expected to follow this Friday. Nathaniel Hackett split his team across two fields — first-teamers and key rotational players on the north field, reserves on the south field — to increase the number of repetitions and quicken the pace.
And don’t call it a “walk-through.”
“I’m glad you said ‘jog-through,’ not walk-through,” right tackle Calvin Anderson said after I used the term in a post-practice interview. “Because in our minds, it really is not a walk-through.
“In our minds, it’s 100 percent mentally, because we’re still thinking full-speed. We’re still seeing the defense and seeing their rotations and stuff — we’re seeing all that full-speed.”
Added Hackett: “We still want them to run. It gets you a lot of mental reps, but they’re still moving. They’re still running. They’re still getting yardages — which is what we want to give them — but we want to do it the right way.”
And as Anderson sees it, the mental demands are, in some ways, greater than for a normal day’s work.
“I think you have to be even more keyed in mentally because if you have a jog-through, you’re moving at a slower tempo once you get to the contact point,” Anderson said. “You don’t have as much time to react and try to run and get your block if you mess up; you’ve got to be on it. And if you’re not on it, and you’re moving slow, it’s going to be very evident.
“So, I think it holds you to a higher standard mentally, and we need that.”
And some players have noticed the impact of the jog-through days.
“Yeah. I have noticed a big difference in how my body has felt now than the past three years,” edge rusher Malik Reed said. “I feel like it’s a credit to Coach Hackett and the emphasis he puts into making sure you’re taking care of your bodies and making sure you’re ready to go hard the next day.”
So, all of this begs the question: Is this the proper mix of practice work — two days full-tilt and one day off?
Reed believes it is.
“We take our individual sessions to a high degree as well,” he said. “That’s something where we get a lot of good work in, whether it’s technique stuff or hitting the bags. That’s just as important as the team stuff that we do together.
“It’s something that’s used not only for my position group, but every position group on the team. I feel like it’s getting us ready to go play.”
- With D.J. Jones still being monitored for a back issue, rookie Enyi Uwazurike rotated in with the first-team defensive line for some snaps. Uwazurike had multiple QB pressures Tuesday.
- Netane Muti rotated in at left guard for Dalton Risner and right guard for Quinn Meinerz for a slew of repetitions Wednesday. “Everybody needs to work with everybody. We are going to need all the guys,” Hackett said. “
- Five days after working out ex-Browns, Jaguars and Steelers ILB Joe Schobert, the Broncos were in the mix for former Vikings LB Anthony Barr before he signed with Dallas, according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
- John Elway attended practice.
- WR KJ Hamler (knee/hip) and TE Greg Dulcich (hamstring) both saw team-period work at the jog-through pace Wednesday.
- WR Tim Patrick (ACL), RB Damarea Crockett (ACL) and WR Tyrie Cleveland (hit to the throat) did not practice Wednesday. Hackett said that the surgery dates for Patrick and Crockett has not been set yet. “You want to make sure that the knee is nice and ready to be surgically repaired,” Hackett said.
- A knee issue sidelined WR Kendall Hinton for Wednesday’s work. ““We’re just kind of [doing] maintenance on him,” Hackett said. “We want to make sure his knee is good, and we’ll move forward with that.”
- CB K’Waun Williams remained sidelined with a knee issue. Essang Bassey worked in his place at slot corner.
For the first time this week, temperatures stayed out of the 90s. The mercury rose from 80°F to 86°F during the 90-minute practice.
A full-pad practice Thursday at UCHealth Training Center. The session is scheduled to be the longest of camp to date — two-and-a-half hours. It begins at 10 a.m. MDT.