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Broncos Training Camp Quick Hits: Day 2

Posted Jul 28, 2017

It was more than just Paxton Lynch's arm and his scrambling ability that stole the show Friday at training camp -- it was his decision-making.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It's not just about making the right decision for Paxton Lynch. It's about making the right decision quickly.

When the pass rush is bearing down on him and he's standing in the pocket, the worst thing a quarterback can do is be indecisive. Either commit to standing tall in the pocket and wait for a receiver to break open, or commit to escaping and going off-script -- either choice opens up a horizon of possibilities, with an escape bringing the possibility of a run into play.

"If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice," as the Canadian band Rush once philosophized, and on the football field, there are no merits to making no decision.

That's what made Lynch's work -- and particularly his scrambling -- so good to see Friday. On one play, he quickly stepped up as Vontarrius Dora pushed Steven Scheu back into the pocket, collapsing it from the right flank, and without hesitation, Lynch took off. Nothing but green field lay ahead of him.

"That's Paxton. He can run. So I wasn't surprised to see that," Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "He made a bunch of those in the spring [during OTAs]."

Two of Lynch's biggest plays Friday came via scrambles. These cannot be the only utensils in the second-year quarterback's drawer. But they can -- and should be used, because they are effective and can discombobulate a defense.

"Obviously for a young quarterback like Paxton, early on, if he's playing when things break down, he does have legs to make things better," Joseph said. "As a defensive coordinator, you hate that part, because you can't account for that part. If you're going to play man-to-man, no one's accounting for him, so if things break down for him early on, he can take off and make plays with his legs."

But it's not just about the decisions and the scrambles:

... Lynch had a perfectly placed pass to Sanders during the first team period of practice, hitting WR Emmanuel Sanders near the left sideline.

"The shake route I ran in the red zone, I mean that ball had some velocity on it," Sanders said. "It was on the money. I mean, toe-tap. It was just a beautiful throw. I was like, 'Man, all right. If he can make those throws consistently, he could be the guy for the job."

Lynch also had the longest connection of the day, hitting Cody Latimer downfield on a deep post route during a seven-on-seven period.

... But Trevor Siemian also connected on plenty of passes. Just a moment later, he led the No. 2 offense to a touchdown in that red-zone period, looking off the defender and going through his progressions to find a wide-open Jordan Taylor inside the 5-yard line. From there, Taylor easily scored.

"Then I see Trevor come back, and he's throwing off his back foot, a sell route, and it's a perfect throw," Sanders said.

"Both of them, man, they want the job."

"Both guys are improving every day," added Joseph.

... Joseph stretched the field out more Friday, but the Broncos continued their emphasis on red-zone work as they get up to full speed in advance of putting on full pads Sunday.

"Just thinking about injuries, hamstrings, groin injuries, early on in camp," Joseph said. "Having a chance to build on this thing is the best way to go. We're going to add more team periods next week when the pads go on, but it's by purpose."

... The Broncos worked on kickoff returns during their special-teams periods. Cody Latimer, Carlos Henderson, Brendan Langley, Hunter Sharp and De'Angelo Henderson fielded kickoffs.

... Bradley Roby had his first interception of training camp, getting under a deep Siemian attempt for Sanders in the end zone and picking it off.

... De'Angelo Henderson saw some brief work with the No. 1 offense and continued to show quickness and burst in his opportunities. One of his best runs came behind the No. 2 offensive line, as he followed Ty Sambrailo and Allen Barbre during the initial team period for a solid gain upfield.

... WR Jordan Taylor made a series of solid catches, including one sliding grab near the center of the field after Lynch found him on a crossing route.

... The Broncos worked on kickoff returns during their special-teams periods. Cody Latimer, Carlos Henderson, Brendan Langley, Hunter Sharp and De'Angelo Henderson fielded kickoffs.

... RT Menelik Watson is embracing the challenge of going up against Von Miller. After being beaten by the perennial All-Pro twice in a one-on-one period, he asked for another chance, at which he fared better.

Having only taken up American football several years ago, he's still at the point in his development where every repetition helps, and every snap against perhaps the best edge rusher in the game seems to be bringing out extra tenacity in Watson.

... Bolles continues to have rookie moments, especially against Miller and Ray, whose speed and array of moves ensures that one misstep will ensure that the tackle loses the one-on-one matchup.

But teammates like Miller are doing their best to build Bolles' confidence. After the first-round pick got the best of a one-on-one duel with Kasim Edebali, Miller sprinted over to Bolles and chest-bumped with him to celebrate the play.

PARTICIPATION REPORT:

... Barbre saw extensive work at left guard with the No. 2 offense, working alongside Bolles and Sambrailo, who continued to rotate back and forth as they battled for the No. 1 spot.

... C Matt Paradis and DE Adam Gotsis continued to work in individual periods while watching from the sidelines during team periods.

… Newly acquired RB Stevan Ridley went right to work, receiving carries behind the No. 2 and No. 3 offensive lines.

WEATHER REPORT: Lower humidity and warmer conditions greeted the Broncos, who worked under partly cloudy skies with temperatures that rose from 72°F to 78°F.

ATTENDANCE: 4,567.