Day 8 of Broncos camp is in the books and today (Day 9) was an uneventful practice. It was another walk-through paced practice where they worked on installing the offense/defense before tomorrow’s up-tempo padded practice.
Today we have exciting news about EDGE Baron Browning impressing in camp, thoughts on tomorrow’s padded practice, injury updates, news and notes, and more.
Baron Browning impressive
One of the more interesting players to watch as the Broncos headed into camp was former ILB now turned edge rusher, Baron Browning. He flashed as an off-the-ball linebacker but would his size, speed, and athleticism transition to the edge rushing position? Well, through the first week of training camp, he has shown off his elite athleticism, natural bend, and potential at the position. He has even earned some first-team reps opposite of Bradley Chubb.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport called Browning a “revelation” for them at edge rusher. NFL Network’s James Palmer also added that tackles who have gone against Browning in camp have praised his get-off, his hand usage and that his bend is real. Being able to bend around the tackle and get under their blocks is one thing that made Von Miller great, so if Browning can do that and do it well, that is pretty exciting.
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked about Browning’s transition from ILB to edge rusher and he told reporters that Browning has looked better than him and the Broncos staff thought he would so far through camp.
“Just kind of evaluating him when we were in the offseason—seeing his body type and just watching some of his bend and how he plays. In this league, it’s about getting to the quarterback, first and foremost. You can never have too many rushers. I think we wanted to see what it looked like when he was down there. We had tape of him at inside linebacker, and we were like, ‘Hey, let’s give it a shot and see what happens.’ I think for us, watching him play that position has definitely been even better than we thought. We kind of had a feeling that he might be good there, but it’s his ability to bend, his ability to anchor, and just being able to shut that edge off. He had a couple moves early when we first got pads on—some up and under [moves] that was just unbelievable. Watching him progress shows us that our natural instincts [were right]. We didn’t know—you never really know. It was kind of an experiment. I think he’s really embraced it and likes it, too. It’s fun to see him [out there].”
If Browning is able to be a consistent and reliable pass rusher off the edge, this gives the Broncos some much-needed depth. Randy Gregory is still on track for week one but has an injury history and Bradley Chubb has also struggled with injuries throughout his career. So, Browning would add at least some much-needed insurance there.
Plus, when you play in the AFC West, you will need to get after the passer consistently.
Padded Practice Tomorrow
Tomorrow the Broncos will have their third padded practice of camp so far. These practices, as you know, are important because it is about as close as they will get to practice what they will do on Sundays during the season.
Nathaniel Hackett on what he hopes for from tomorrow’s padded practice:
“I want another day like yesterday.”
Said he liked the intensity and number of big plays from Thursday’s practice.
— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 5, 2022
When Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked what he wants to see from his team during tomorrow’s padded practice, he said he wants to see a repeat of what they did during Thursday’s practice.
“Gosh, I want another day like yesterday. I thought there was a lot of good stuff. There were explosive plays. Defense was making good plays. There were good runs, and defense getting some tackles for losses [ILB] Josey [Jewell] had a great tackle. Just that fast reaction, feeling fresh and feeling that pop full speed. I think that’s what you’re always hunting for with your pads, and that’s why we do this. We want to be sure that we get every single thing that we can out of these padded practices because there are just so few.”
You always see a few players stand out more during these practices and you get to see if your training camp stars continue to perform during real football. Also, it allows players like KJ Hamler and Greg Dulcich who have missed some practice time because of their rehabbing of injuries to get some important reps with Russell Wilson as well.
So buckle up, tomorrow’s practice should be another good one.
News and Notes
- WR Tyrie Cleveland sat out practice with a throat injury
- WR Kendall Hinton sat out practice with a knee injury
- CB K’Waun Williams continued to miss practice with a knee injury
- S Caden Sterns missed his second practice with a minor hip injury
- NT DJ Jones missed another practice with a minor back injury
- OT Tom Compton was officially placed on the PUP joining EDGE Randy Gregory and OT Billy Turner
Tweets from Camp
Nathaniel Hackett on Randy Gregory, Billy Turner and KJ Hamler:
“We want those guys for Week 1. That’s what we’re aiming for.”
Said he thinks they’re on track in their recoveries.
— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 5, 2022
#broncos are going through a mental rep period. Heard this about Wilson. He literally visualizes every aspect like it’s an in game play. Visualizing a pass rusher, moves in the pocket ect. I was told by a few players it’s like a next level type of mental rep they’ve never seen
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) August 5, 2022
Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett on the improvement he’s seen from CB Damarri Mathis
“When they first got out here, they didn’t know what was going on. He played a lot of press, so we kind of had to transition him to playing off coverage and learning those techniques. He’s really picked those up really well. He made an awesome interception yesterday, cutting across the field. It wasn’t just the technique, but that extra effort to continue to trust himself and run underneath the ball. That was great to see. He’s picking it up. It’s a little different for him because of how he’s played in the past, but he’s picking it up well.”
Inside linebacker Josey Jewell on how he is meshing with ILB Jonas Griffith
“It’s been going really well. We haven’t played a game together. We had some reps last year and then during this off-season, during OTAs and stuff like that together. It’s been going well. Communication is still coming along; you can never be perfect on that end. It’s definitely coming along [with] pre-snap communication and post-snap communication are getting a lot better, too. It’s been good and with a new player out there, it’s always a little bit of an adjustment, but I think we are doing really well together so far.”
Inside linebacker Josey Jewell on how well the coaches are doing in explaining the schemes and technique
“They’re not afraid to dig deep into it. Whether it be a meeting where we’re supposed to cover some other stuff and you have a question, they’re going to be able to answer that question and go deeper into that question about why we’re doing it, how this is going to affect the offense and how it’s going to affect the defense as well. Also, really what the offense is looking for in certain situations—certain third down and fives, third down and fours. What they’re looking for and why we’re doing certain things to stop them in certain defenses. They’ve gone over it a couple of times in defensive rooms and in the meeting rooms talking about that. It’s been a great help for us to understand why he’s calling a certain defense.”
Inside linebacker Josey Jewell on how it feels to be a leader on the defense after signing a new contract
“It makes me feel good about it. It makes me feel like I don’t have to worry about mine [his job] too much, even though I still am. There’s always a worry about it. You can never be comfortable, and you can never be complacent. It makes me feel refreshed that they wanted me back, they wanted me to be in the middle of the defense [to] be controlling things [and] communicating between everybody. I appreciate that and hopefully we take advantage of that.”
Guard Quinn Meinerz on how much easier it is coming into Year 2
“Coming in last year, I had no idea what was going to be happening at all. So going into year two, the main thing I’ve been talking about—and it was a big adjustment for me last year—was all the fans out there on the hill. One of the days, we had 7,000 people, which is a home game for me back home in Wisconsin. That was definitely an element last year that I wasn’t expecting. On top of that, learning defenses—all the new defenses that the National Football League presents. There is so much turnover and carryover now, I’m learning things twice or three times. It’s now a lot easier to have it click. It’s happening faster. I’m able to make the adjustments and now the game within the game that people talk about is starting to open up.”
Guard Quinn Meinerz on how he feels different on the field after losing weight
“I feel like my first and second step off the ball has increased. My speed has increased a ton. I feel like the angles that I’m able to create, especially when we have a base three four and I got a single through to the backside backer. I feel like I can just sprint and go straight ahead and I’ll beat that linebacker nine times out of 10. Even if he gets over the top, I’m going to latch on and run you out. Certain blocks like that, I can really feel the speed, especially when [T] Calvin [Anderson] and I am on the right-side working doubles. I just feel a lot faster.