ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Adam Trautman did more than just make the play of the day.
The Broncos tight end may have made the play of training camp.
During a red-zone period in Wednesday's practice, quarterback Russell Wilson rifled a pass down the center of the field to Trautman — and despite double coverage, Trautman made a one-handed catch to haul in the score.
"The guy's back was turned," Wilson said. "I just kind of whistled it in there and he made a great catch. I think those are the kind of contested plays we want to be able to make, especially in the red zone. There's an extra defender back there — obviously, the end line — so to be able to make those plays [is important]."
Trautman would have taken a hit under game-like conditions, but his ability to record the catch in traffic remained impressive.
"Two-high [safety coverage], I just took the middle and I saw the ball thrown and I honestly just stuck my hand out there and hoped to catch it," Trautman said with a laugh. "And I did. I'm glad it worked out."
A mix of athleticism and concentration, the play underscored the possible contributions that Trautman could make to Denver's offense.
"I think he's solid," Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi said. "He's a guy that might not have the speed of those [other] guys [at tight end], but he's very quarterback-friendly, meaning the quarterback knows exactly where he's going to be, what he's going to do. If you're one of those types of receivers that really talks to the quarterback with your body language and you make the right decision, you're somebody the quarterback's going to have confidence in."
Wilson undoubtedly has that confidence in Trautman, whom the Broncos acquired in a late-round pick swap during the 2023 NFL Draft.
"The thing about Trautman that I really love, No. 1, is he's consistent every day — how he comes in, his approach," Wilson said. "He's a true pro. You can tell he's been around a championship-caliber organization. He comes in with the right attitude. He's got tremendous hands, tremendous confidence. He can do it all."
SUTTON CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton made a pair of impressive catches on Wednesday as he continues his strong training camp.
On the first play of full-speed 11-on-11 work, Sutton elevated to pluck the ball out of the air for about a 40-yard gain on a deep pass from Wilson. Later, in red zone work, Sutton beat his defender to the back pylon to haul in a touchdown pass.
"I've always known him as a big-body guy that can make the contested catches," Lombardi said. "Strong hands. Been impressed with how well he's been running, and seems like he's in really good shape. I know that he's dealt with injuries, and it just feels like he's really healthy right now. Kind of the Courtland Sutton we remember from a few years back. That's what I've been seeing."
… In addition to his passes to Sutton and Trautman, Wilson also found wide receiver Jalen Virgil for a deep touchdown during seven-on-seven action. While not all of the team periods appeared to be conducted at full speed, Wilson seemed to have one of his sharpest practices of training camp.
"You can gain some confidence that you are in the right direction, but I think you always know you are only as good as your [last] game," Lombardi said of the offense finding success. "You never get complacent. You always have to be working and pushing."
… Denver's defense held its own during the finishing red-zone stretch during Wednesday's practice. Justin Strnad delivered a powerful hit on a Samaje Perine carry, and Zach Allen likely would have posted a sack under game conditions on another snap.