During Day 9’s “jog through,” it was telling to see who was on each field
The Denver Broncos were back to a “jog through” on Friday. Things were heated on Thursday in their longest practice of training camp, but on Friday things were much more laid back.
The energy was much better than it was the previous day. Sure, they got mental reps on Wednesday but on Thursday they got mentally and physically challenged.
Here are some of my notes from day nine of training camp.
Who’s on First?
The Broncos do the jog through on two practice fields. One field has the first-team unit, and some of the top reserves practicing against each other. The other field has the second and third teams going against each other. It’s interesting to note which players are on which field, and which players move back and forth between the two.
For example, I think the two starting inside linebackers will be Josey Jewell and Jonas Griffth. However, you see Alex Singleton on the field with the starters. He may not be a starter, but he’s a key backup who could be counted on to do more if needed. Singleton’s not the only guy in that position as players like guard Netani Muti and wide receiver Trey Quinn (more on him in a bit) who get first team field reps even though they’re not currently starting for the Broncos.
Mustang Mach Q
One player who has been standing out most every day is wide receiver Trey Quinn. A former SMU Mustang, and college teammate of Courtland Sutton, it’s nice to see Quinn make plays for the Broncos in camp. A seventh-round pick for Washington in the 2018 NFL draft, Quinn has bounced around the league and was out of football last year after getting an injury settlement with the Raiders.
Earlier this spring, Quinn was signed to a one-year deal that mostly went under the radar. In one week of practice, Quinn has gone from a player most don’t know to a guy that is standing out daily. He’s working to be the no.3 receiver for the Broncos, and there’s a chance he could win that job out of training camp. Quinn is a perfect slot receiver, and he has good concentration on underneath routes. It’s clear that Russell Wilson already trusts him, and Quinn is doing everything he can to strengthen that trust anytime he’s on the field with the first team.
Making Pictures Come Alive
I’m not a fan of the jog through practices. It’s the old school football fan in me. Add in that I’m a creature of habit, and this new style from Nathaniel Hackett has me a bit worried. I know the team will be okay, but it’s just interesting the way they’re going about these practices this year. On Friday after practice, Hackett described what and why he was doing things this way. He mentioned how his father, former NFL offensive coordinator Paul Hackett, would make pictures come alive.
That description really hit me, and it helped me understand the “why” of this practice regiment. Hackett explained that he wants his players to stay fresh, but most importantly understand why they’re being asked to do the things they do. By jogging through practices, that part can be taught, and the players get a better understanding of what coaches want them to do.
The confidence from Wilson is my favorite thing about him. There is nothing he backs down from because of the belief he has in himself, and he’s learning to believe in his teammates as well. The Broncos offense has been down this training camp at times, but they’ve never been out of it because of Wilson.
He’s positively positive in the way he goes about his business. There’s no self-doubt with Wilson, but he maintains his humility as well. That positive energy is something his teammates can feed on, and you can see that on the field. If a player does what he’s supposed to do, there is no doubt that Wilson will get the team in position to win. That confidence is contagious, and the Broncos players are catching what Wilson has – in more ways than one – this training camp.
Don’t Overlook Defense
The Broncos defense has won most days at training camp. That’s the way it usually goes in training camp, regardless of how good the offense is. However, the defense should be recognized as a unit that has a ton of talent and the upside to be one of the top defensive units in the game this year.
I feel Ejiro Evero is going to have a more productive defense than Vic Fangio did with the Broncos. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Evero get a head coaching job in the near future. He’s connecting with these players, and you can see how they’re responding to his coaching on the field. We’re over a week into training camp, and I think the defense could win more than a few games for the Broncos this season.