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Broncos OTA Day 10 takeaways


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **One of the busiest players on the field this month is fullback Andy Janovich.

He's active on multiple special-teams units, just as he was last year before injuries struck. But his primary value comes on offense. He's the only full-time fullback on the roster and has a versatile skill set, with proficiency as a blocker, a short-yardage runner and as a short-area target in space coming out of the backfield.

On Thursday as the offense tried to work its way out from the shadow of the goalposts, he got the call on multiple running plays, showing his versatility.

"We're passing a lot more, but there's room for the fullback," Janovich said.


Janovich's role is "pretty similar" to what it was last year, he said as he met the media after Thursday's organized team activity, which was the final one of the offseason.

But as Virgil Green noted Tuesday, the skill-position players are being asked to learn multiple spots. Versatility helps in up-tempo situations and will be crucial for running backs, tight ends, wide receivers and Janovich, the lone fullback.

"You've got to kind of know a little bit of everything," Janovich said. "They're trying to see what you can do and who does it the best so they can change things around.

"They just wan't versatile guys. You can get on the field if you can do multiple things."

That could play right into Janovich's hands. In addition to multiple carries, he caught passes from both Paxton Lynch and Kyle Sloter during Thursday's work.

The Broncos concluded their three weeks of OTAs in their offseason program with Thursday's practice. (photos by Ben Swanson)

What else happened during the final OTA of 2017?

... Lynch was solid right from the start, hitting WR Bennie Fowler on his first pass to move the chains in a second-and-7 situation. Lynch did a good job fielding a low snap and making a quick read to find Fowler as he streaked across the field a few yards past the line of scrimmage. Fowler kept his stride and turned upfield for a long gain.

Lynch also did a good job keeping his cool under the pass rush. In a third-and-10 situation, he stood tall in the pocket as Brandon Marshall bore down on him and located TE Virgil Green just past safety Will Parks to get the first down.

... QB Trevor Siemian showed similar composure and success in the pocket when faced with pressure. On one play, Corey Nelson burst into the pocket on a delayed blitz. Siemian kept his eyes up and located Isaiah McKenzie for a quick connection. The play showed the value of having quick inside targets like McKenzie, something that Head Coach Vance Joseph made a draft-weekend priority.

... Situational work continued Thursday as the Broncos worked a variety of scenarios, including "four-minute" offense and defense.

In the battle of the No. 1 units, outstanding penetration from the defensive line forced the offense into a loss of 4 yards on the first two plays and a subsequent third-down stop.

The No. 2 defense stopped the second-team offense on third-and-3, as Zach Kerr burst through the line to tackle RB Juwan Thompson for a 3-yard loss.

Only the No. 3 offense moved the chains. The key play came before the first snap, when Sloter's hard cadence caused a defensive encroachment penalty that set up a first-and-5. RB Bernard Pierce found just enough room to pick up seven yards on the next three carries to move the chains.

... The Broncos also spent a period working on one of the most adverse situations an offense can face: taking possession at its own 1-yard line. The No. 3 offense managed to move the chains, as Sloter hit Isaiah McKenzie on third-and-5.

... DE Jared Crick continued to be active at the line of scrimmage, deflecting a pass for a second consecutive day.

... NT Domata Peko and OLB Von Miller showed the value of an inside/outside pass rush to post a sack early in practice.

... Parks also posted what would have been a sack under game conditions, bursting into the backfield to get to Sloter before he could throw.

... Rookie WR Anthony Nash had one of the best receptions of OTAs, winning a jump ball against fellow undrafted rookie Dymonte Thomas for a long reception from Sloter late in practice.

... The Broncos will reconvene Tuesday for their three-day mandatory minicamp before taking a six-week break. The first training-camp practice can take place no earlier than Thursday, July 27 -- two weeks before the preseason opener at Chicago.

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