Questions linger as Sean Payton, Broncos begin minicamp

Jun 10, 2024, 11:30 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 3:11 am

It is doubtful any questions will be firmly answered at Denver Broncos mandatory minicamp this week. Frankly, the largest question — the status of wide receiver Courtland Sutton — found its resolution when he announced last week that he would take part in the three days of practice this week.

The lingering question there is how quickly Sutton and Bo Nix can find chemistry … and how having at least two quarterbacks who better fit the preferred manner of a Sean Payton attack will change the types of routes run by Courtland Sutton. Will all the 9 routes — deep — become 2s, turning Sutton into a Michael Thomas-like “slant god”? To be certain, Sutton has the size and secure hands to handle such work, even though it hasn’t been a primary part of his oeuvre to date.

But that’s where the questions begin. Here are three others worthy of a look during this week’s practices.


During the first week of OTAs, Broncos coach Sean Payton noted that he did not expect the third-year tight end’s absence to linger to training camp. But as of last Tuesday, Dulcich had yet to practice since injuring his foot in his brief return to the practice field last December.

“His rehab has gone well. It’s not going to be (that) we don’t see him until training camp,” Payton said May 23.

But aside from watching him work on a side field as he rehabilitates from the foot injury, he wasn’t seen in the practices open to media in recent weeks. In the meantime, Lucas Krull has turned heads as one of the most dynamic — and intense — players on the field this spring.


The Broncos will have three days of work this week. So, is this the point at which Payton narrows the quarterback competition, perhaps to give two of the three quarterbacks on the roster more first-team repetitions? Or will he carry that derby into training camp? If the Broncos want clarity, timing and thorough preparation, at least narrowing the field to two among Bo Nix, Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson sooner rather than later could be the most prudent call.


Over the course of the three days, the Broncos should spend at least some time working on the overhauled kickoff play, which represents the most radical one-year alteration to a core element of the sport in generations. Payton noted during OTAs that the emphasis on the work in the massively-overhauled play will change how special-teams periods in training camps are conducted. What’s more, the new kickoff play.

It could even change how the roster is constructed.

“It does. It all gets back to can we get them to the game and how do we see them playing in the game? You’ll see, I think, offensive linemen in that protecting front line,” Payton said last week.

“I think we’re starting with a bigger group, a bigger picture,” Payton said, “and then working our way down rather than trying to guess and narrow who we think those candidates are.”


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