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Broncos Training Camp Day 1 Takeaways: It's not 'lackadaisical' this year


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **The energy was there on Day 1 -- as it should be, and as you'd expect.

That shouldn't be news. But it was, at least when compared to last year.

"It's regular. Last year it wasn't regular. We came back lackadaisical," Talib said. "This year, it's regular. It's anticipating the first game of the year."

And while the Broncos insisted that they didn't have a Super Bowl hangover last year, in retrospect, they might have suffered from one.

"There are a lot of expectations of ourselves. A lot of guys are hungry. That's what every team in the league is right now, except for the Super Bowl champions," Talib said. "Well, maybe the Super Bowl Champions are.

"It's regular to us. Last year that wasn't regular. We're getting back to where we want to be."

Thursday's work was a good first step.



With Devontae Booker out for all of training camp and Jamaal Charles being monitored carefully after injuries in recent years, the onus falls on C.J. Anderson once again, and he responded with an outstanding day.

He built off of his solid work during OTAs and minicamp with some solid runs, including a goal-to-go burst that saw him make a sharp cut through a hole to the left side.

I'm definitely in the best shape I've been in in a very long time, so I'm excited about that," he said.

He's also in sync with quarterback Paxton Lynch, who hit him for a touchdown in the back of the end zone on a perfectly placed touch pass. But their chemistry extends beyond the pitch-and-catch; Anderson has become a teammate on which Lynch can lean.

"C.J. is basically another quarterback out there on the field," Lynch said. "He's been in this offense before, so whenever you need help or to talk something through, C.J. is always there to help you."



In return, Lynch was there to celebrate with Anderson. After that touchdown, the two met at the goal line with a leaping bump that was as smooth as their touchdown connection.

It's a little thing, but it's a significant part of Lynch's growth. During OTAs and minicamp, he would often rush downfield with teammates to celebrate after touchdown passes.

"I've just always been taught to go celebrate with your teammates," Lynch said. "Don't be the guy in the end zone by yourself when all your teammates are trying to celebrate with you and you're doing some crazy stuff.

"I just like celebrating with the guys around me because they helped me succeed."

Given how the fans cheered when Lynch and Anderson bumped together, these moments have a chance to become Lynch's signature and connection with the public if he earns the starting job.



Ten seasons of experience with four teams helped Barbre get settled in right away as he took part in the full array of work during Thursday's practice.

"Being a veteran guy and playing guard his entire career, he knows what to do," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "Concepts are different, the communication's different, but he knows who we are. It's an under front and we run power, he knows who to block. He did a fine job today."

As he gets up to speed in learning the system, his role should expand as he ramps up to compete for a starting spot at left guard with incumbent Max Garcia. Joseph told Orange and Blue 760 that he expected Barbre should be able to learn the entire offense within two weeks.

President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway also told Orange and Blue 760 that Garcia was "really struggling" at right guard, leading to the decision to move him to the left side.



Unlike other recent years, the Broncos find themselves scrolling through preseason prognostications to see modest expectations -- including some calling for them to finish .500 for what would be the first time since 2010.

But they figure that their reservoir of motivation should be filled.

"My fire is already fueled," safety T.J. Ward said. "I believe that for the whole team. Last year we didn't make the playoffs, how much more motivation do you need?

"We need to try and win this division and what is said from here and throughout the season, it doesn't matter because the results change automatically."

It has begun. The Broncos are back on the field and ready to sharpen themselves and each other into championship form at camp. (photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)

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