Photos from the Broncos' photoshoots for various television networks for the upcoming seasons' game broadcasts. (photos by Ben Swanson, Aric DiLalla and Caroline Deisley)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --During Wednesday's work, the color of note was neither orange nor blue.
Instead, it was red, as Head Coach Vance Joseph put his team through a slew of red-zone periods in the next-to-last session before the Broncos take a six-week break.
... The practice began with a team red-zone period, opening with a Paxton Lynch pass to Emmanuel Sanders near the right sideline. Backup Kyle Sloter also stood out during that period, tossing touchdown passes to Virgil Green and Hunter Sharp.
... A seven-on-seven red-zone period late in practice saw Lynch hit Bennie Fowler and Jeff Heuerman for touchdowns. On the pass to Fowler, Lynch rolled to his left, buying time for Fowler to break open in the end zone near the left sideline.
Trevor Siemian then stepped in and fired three touchdown passes in three attempts, hitting Cody Latimer, Henry Krieger-Coble and De'Angelo Henderson. Siemian's pass to Latimer saw him hit the fourth-year receiver in stride down the seam in the end zone, continuing the solid work of the passing duo during OTAs and minicamp to date.
"They had a great day," Joseph said of the offense. "They scored touchdowns in the red zone. That's our goal: to score touchdowns in the red zone.
"Defensively, it's tough. It's not live bullets. But the routes and concepts and throws were pretty good by the offense. It's fun to see."
... The defense did have its moments. During the seven-on-seven red-zone work, CB Lorenzo Doss and safety Jamal Carter each intercepted rookie quarterback Kyle Sloter. Doss got his hands on another potential interception during that period, but failed to reel in the football.
One period later, safety Justin Simmons joined the pick party, leaping for an end-zone interception of a Lynch pass that was intended for Jeff Heuerman.
... It was an outstanding day for Siemian, who at one point completed 11 consecutive passes during team and seven-on-seven periods.
... At left tackle, Ty Sambrailo and Garett Bolles continued to share first-team repetitions, dividing them by period.
One area in which Bolles has shown progress the last two weeks is in his run blocking. He helped spring C.J. Anderson for a long jaunt to the left side, and later served as a beefy escort for Devontae Booker, helping guide the second-year running back to the left pylon for a touchdown in a red-zone period.
... OLB Von Miller was his usual self. Early in practice, he burst around the left side of the line of scrimmage, forcing Lynch to step out of the pocket and scramble. Later in practice, he exploded off the edge, getting to Siemian and knocking the ball out of his hand for what would have been a strip-sack fumble under game conditions.
... With Ron Leary moving to right guard alongside right tackle Menelik Watson, the Broncos could have some road-grading capability on the right side. Together, they helped spring C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker for solid gains during Wednesday's practice.
"That's two big men," Joseph said.
... Practice closed with a two-minute drill "move-the-ball" period. Lynch and the first-team offense turned the ball over on downs after gaining just 7 yards via a third-down scramble. The other three passes ended in incompletions, including one pass that was just behind Emmanuel Sanders and a pair of attempts to Demaryius Thomas that were broken up by Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby.
Siemian led the No. 2 offense, which drove 61 yards to the defense's 4-yard line before the horn blew to end practice. Siemian completed three of his first four passes to move the offense to the defense's 45-yard line, then spiked the football to stop the clock, leaving the offense in third-and-5.
At that point, Siemian located Jordan Taylor deep up the right sideline on a go route. Despite tight coverage from CB Chris Lewis-Harris, Taylor leapt and brought down the pass for a 41-yard gain.
... TE A.J. Derby (hamstring) sat out for a second consecutive practice. He was joined by OLB Brandon Marshall (sore Achilles tendon), WR Isaiah McKenzie (illness) and WR Carlos Henderson (foot).
"We want our guys to leave here healthy so they can go home and train for the next five weeks," Joseph said. "The worst thing for a coach is to have a team that is not healthy going into the break."
Henderson's foot "became sore this morning," Joseph added.