ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Five takeaways from practice as the Broncos got back to work for the first time since their preseason-opening win over the Seattle Seahawks:
1. PLENTY OF WORK FOR TREVOR SIEMIAN.
As was the case throughout most of training camp, Trevor Siemian split the third-team repetitions with Zac Dysert Monday.
But it's hard to ignore his Friday performance: 5-of-6 passing for 90 yards with his only incompletion coming on a throwaway and a calm demeanor -- although he felt otherwise about the latter.
"Then I did a good job faking it, I guess," he said with a smile. "I just execute, stay in the moment. It's easy when you're around a ton of other guys that know what they're doing. Just play one play at a time, and have fun. Just play ball."
Siemian enjoyed another solid day Monday. His passes were strong and usually on target -- as they were in Seattle. But he was focused on a to-do list of self-improvement that started with his eyes, believe it or not.
"Putting my eyes in the right spot and on time," he said. "When you get out there the first time, everything's buzzing around pretty quick. But you want to stay disciplined with your eyes and let your feet follow and just trust what you see. As the game went along, I thought I got better, but it's something I've got to work on."
So much of his offseason has focused on his footwork and how it sets up the rest of his delivery. By Friday, he wasn't thinking about his feet; he was dropping, setting and throwing.
"It was definitely a situation where you could play ball a little bit," Siemian said. "I felt like that's kind of what I got into, and it was good. It was kind of one of the things I took out here from the practice field: not to over-think things, but take what you've learned and keep your discipline, but just play ball."
- MATT PARADIS IN CONTROL.**
The next step for Paradis will be working with Peyton Manning during game conditions, but his repetitions with the 18-year veteran quarterback helped set him up for his array of pre-snap checks and calls in Seattle. Monday, Paradis picked up where he left off.
"The first thing that impressed me with our first group was Matt Paradis running the group," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's got to be a quarterback, and I know he's been here, but let's remember, he's really a rookie in a lot of ways, too. But I liked the way he ran the group. We played extremely hard. We'd make mistakes and then we'd come back and make the next play. I just like our effort and I think if Matt can hold the group together and we can continue to grow, which is going to be the key."
In contrast, Kubiak said he was "a little disappointed" in the No. 2 offensive line, which featured three veterans who have started in the regular season in recent years: left tackle Chris Clark, center Gino Gradkowski and right guard Shelley Smith.
"They played hard, but there are some guys in there that have played some football. Our communication did not look good with that group, and we've got to bounce back and play better," Kubiak said. "But I like the way the first group played."
View the top photos from the Broncos return to the practice field at UCHealth Training Center.
- BENNIE FOWLER STILL MAKING PLAYS.**
Fowler has shown a predilection for big grabs on which he's used his speed to get out in front, his size to get in position for the reception and body control to adjust to the pass in flight and get down in-bounds with the football. He had two of the biggest receptions of Monday's practice on go routes up the left sideline, including a touchdown from Brock Osweiler.
"It's interesting -- young players that all of a sudden see the light and say, 'I can do this and I can contribute,'" Kubiak said. "It's fun to watch that light go on. He's doing a good job right now. He needs to keep coming. He's doing very well."
"I think Bennie's having a heck of a camp," added Siemian, who found him for the 41-yard connection in Seattle last Friday. "It's my first time seeing him, and I've been really impressed with him the whole way through. Just getting more throws with him is helping me and him, but he's been doing it with everybody, regardless of who's throwing."
- SPENCER LANNING GETS A LOOK ON KICKOFFS.**
Kubiak mentioned at his postgame press conference last Friday that Lanning would be in the mix on kickoffs in addition to his punting responsibilities, and he took turns working there with Brandon McManus and Connor Barth during two special-teams periods Monday. After a shank on his first kickoff, he settled down, averaging 4.17 seconds (unofficial) of hang time on his next three kickoffs with good distance on each.
Lanning's work on kickoffs with Cleveland last year was limited; he kicked off six times in Weeks 15-17. Three of the kickoffs went into the end zone, with one ending in a touchback. He averaged 64.5 yards per kickoff, with an unofficial average hang time of 3.86 seconds.
5. BIG PLAYS ON BOTH SIDES.
Peyton Manning had some outstanding passes, particularly in the red zone. He found Andre Caldwell deep on a post route in seven-on-seven work. But his day wasn't perfect, and included a deep attempt for Cody Latimer that was tipped by Aqib Talib to T.J. Ward in one of the best defensive moments of training camp.
This has been the norm after an up-and-down start to training camp. More and more, the offense and defense push each other. It's important to remember that based on the recent performance of the team and the quality of the roster, each unit gets a challenge more difficult than it will receive in most regular-season games on a daily basis.