Joe Schobert is already making his presence felt on Broncos defense
Aug 16, 2022, 6:46 AM
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Denver Broncos are done with training camp, but there are still many preparations being made for the 2022 season. On Monday, the team was back on the practice field. The practice was closed to the public, but we in the media got to watch the entire process.
Over the two hours of practice, the Broncos built on the momentum they’ve built during training camp. There were some new faces on the practice field, and the Broncos continued to sharpen their skill on the field.
Here are some of my writings in my Broncos notebook.
Off Platform Throws
I like the way Russell Wilson gets rid of the ball. The team is working on getting the timing of the offense down, and you can see things come together quickly as they’re preparing for their second preseason game. Wilson didn’t play in the preseason opener, but I imagine he gets at least one quarter of action against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.
Wilson does a great job of throwing off platform when need be. It’s not ideal, but when space is limited, Wilson can throw off his back foot and use all arm to get the ball where it needs to be. In addition to throwing long off his back foot, I’ve also seen Wilson make quick throws underneath with a sidearm action like a baseball player. These off-platform throws will frustrate the defense as Wilson finds a way to make a play when it looks like disaster is about ready to strike.
Every Team Needs This Guy
One of my favorite players on this team is wide receiver Kendall Hinton. He’s one of the hardest workers on this team, and he can do anything the coaches ask him to do. If he doesn’t make much of an impact as a receiving weapon, then Hinton can make the team as a special teams player. However, I think he might be in for a larger-than-expected role on offense.
We’re seeing more of Hinton as practices continue. He’s forcing the coaching staff to give him more reps with the first-team offense because of his strong play. Hinton looked good in the preseason opener, catching an amazing touchdown pass from Josh Johnson against the Cowboys. In practice on Monday, Hinton earned more praise from Wilson after the two connected in the end zone. Wilson trusts Hinton, and I think he could operate as the no.3 receiver for the Broncos at times this season.
Nothing on Surtain
The best player on the Broncos roster, regardless of position, is second-year cornerback Patrick Surtain. Yes, he may even be better than Wilson at this point in his career. It’s amazing to consider what Surtain can be in the future, especially since he’s just getting his career started. In his second season, Surtain could make a strong push to be the best in the game at his position. I know opposing offenses had better stay away from the young corner or he will make them pay.
On Monday, Surtain frustrated running back Melvin Gordon in space. With only Surtain to stop him before he got the end zone, Gordon tried to put a juke move to get by the defender. It didn’t work, and Surtain ran Gordon out of bounds before he could score. To end practice, Surtain knocked an end zone pass to Jerry Jeudy away – and his defensive teammates were overjoyed to celebrate the play.
Time For an Upgrade
The Broncos finally addressed their inside linebacker position on Monday when they signed free agent Joe Schobert. When Jonas Griffith went down with an elbow injury on Saturday night against the Cowboys, the Broncos were compelled to finally add to the room. Schobert will be competing with Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton for work inside, and I think he could be a starter come Week 1.
On his first day of practicing with the team, Schobert was already running with the first team. He’s a seasoned veteran who can find the ball, and Schobert can be relied on as a tackling machine. Just like Jewell and Singleton, there are questions about Schobert in coverage. It will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero schemes around the shortcomings at the inside linebacker position.