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Broncos Day 16 camp report: Jamal Carter gets used to his new spot

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There are little things that Jamal Carter will learn to get right as he adjusts to his new role at inside linebacker after moving from safety.

"It's more checks. Not really more, but it's just a different language," he said Monday after his second practice at linebacker. "It's kind of the same thing, but I've just got to learn their language instead of the DB language, and basically key in on the O-linemen. Like, when they pull, I've got to get over to this gap."

Read-and-reaction quickness is a part of both of the positions, so he feels that his speed will translate and give him an advantage taking every snap from inside the box.

"[I'm] just basically getting close to the action," he said. "At safety I was kind of far [away]. Linebacker is more close to the trenches, and I'm a trenches dude. I'm a front-line guy."

What Head Coach Vic Fangio wants to see is whether his raw skills translate. At this early stage, that is more important than whether Carter grasps every nuance of playing inside linebacker.

"[You] just watch him and see if you think he fits," Fangio said. "I know that sounds easy, but you kind of know what a linebacker should look like in the NFL and just looking to see if he looks like that because he doesn't know everything right now and what he's supposed to do.

"Obviously all the DBs think they can be linebackers until somebody fires out at them, one of those guards or tackles. See how he handles that too."

Carter believes that he will be up to the task.

"With the big O-linemen, I've got to take them on, use my hands, but I'm already physical, and I'm quicker than them," he said. "I'm going to give them hell."

His teammates are helping him. First-team inside linebacker Todd Davis, who has been out for the last three weeks because of a calf injury, stood with Carter on the sideline at times during the last two practices, offering guidance.

"He's just like a big brother to me," Carter said.

That can only help Carter, given the rigors of a position shift and the relatively short time he has to make an impression at his new spot, with 19 days left until the Broncos must pare their roster to 53 players.


... Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders continues to see his repetitions increase each day, and with him, the offense has a dynamic element that it otherwise lacks. One example came on the first play of the day's first team period, when Sanders ran a quick slant to the right as the play flowed left. Joe Flacco moved to the right, and Sanders was open past outside linebacker Von Miller, catching the pass and turning upfield for what would have been a long gain under game conditions.

... Safety Will Parks has filled in for Kareem Jackson the last two days and delivered solid work both times out. One of his best plays Monday came when he read a developing Royce Freeman run to the left perfectly and filled the hole, preventing Freeman from reaching the second level.

"I think Will's had a good camp," Fangio said. "He's versatile. Obviously, he's a safety primarily, but he may have some other roles that he can play for us in the sub defenses too. He's had a good camp right from the start. [I've] been pleased with him."

... The defense didn't intercept any passes during team periods Monday, although inside linebacker Alexander Johnson came close during a red-zone period. Cornerback Bryce Callahan also prevented a long Kevin Hogan-to-River Cracraft connection in a seven-on-seven period by getting a hand on the football. Justin Hollins also got a pick during seven-on-seven work.

... Wide receiver Tim Patrick caught a two-point conversion pass from Flacco, leading to a celebratory dunk of the football over the crossbar. Patrick was a frequent target throughout the practice, which saw him receive a slew of first-team repetitions.

The work with the No. 1 offense was not by design, Fangio said.

"I think we're just rolling those four guys [Patrick, Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders and DaeSean Hamilton] and [Wide Receivers Coach] Zach [Azzanni] is trying to keep track of the reps," Fangio said. "I think it's just happening by happenstance more than anything big to read into."

Nevertheless, Patrick has been a consistent producer throughout training camp, with few drops to mar his work.

"He's a bigger receiver. Bigger receivers that don't run fast better catch everything," Fangio said.

... Patrick's successful catch was one of two victories for the offense in the three-snap two-point conversion period.

In the duel of second-teamers, the defense won when Zach Kerr fought off his blocker to stuff Phillip Lindsay just before he reached the goal line on a draw play.

The No. 3 offense scored against the third-team defense, with Brett Rypien finding Trinity Benson, who ran an out pattern at the goal line to break open past Carter for the score.

Our daily visual recap of the Broncos' training camp practices takes you into a surprise sit-down with Phillip Lindsay and some lucky kids, the usual high-intensity one-on-one, seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 practice reps and the post-practice autograph session.

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