The Broncos continued to work at UCHealth Training Center on Monday on Day 5 of training camp. (photos by Eric Bakke unless otherwise noted)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The second day of practice in full pads leads into an off-day Tuesday, and given the inconsistent quality of Monday's work, the respite comes at the right time.
"I look at today, I thought offensively we were practicing really good, and then we hit these lull periods," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said.
... Although the offense was not consistently effective, QB Paxton Lynch followed his stellar performance Sunday with another solid day, although this was defined more by steady work and sound decision-making than hitting deep shots down the sideline and seam. "No. 12 is really, really stepping up," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's making some progress here."
... Perhaps Lynch's best throw was at the end of practice, when he lofted a fade route to Jordan Taylor that the wide receiver got under, outleaping B.J. Lowery for the 17-yard touchdown. But another example of Lynch's progress is his timing with his receivers, on one late-practice pass to Durron Neal, he timed his throw to where the pass was released as Neal began his break outside; the ball arrived in perfect time and in a spot where it could not be defended. Lynch is also improving at trusting his ability to throw the ball into tight windows, as he did on one pass to Garrett Graham during a team period.
... QB Trevor Siemian closed strongly, allowing him to overcome some early ups and downs, most notably a fumble he lost when Jared Crick sacked him in an earlier period.
... In the move-the-ball red-zone period late in practice, Siemian led the second-team offense against the No. 1 defense, and finished with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Cody Latimer. The drive got moving when Siemian drew Sylvester Williams offside on second-and-8 from the 18, giving him a free play from which he found Bennie Fowler for a 13-yard gain. Three plays later on third-and-goal from the 5, Siemian stepped up under a heavy pass rush and fired a strike to Latimer as he broke away from Justin Simmons and Chris Harris Jr.
... Another pass of Siemian's that jumped out was a 6-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders on a third-and-5 situation. Siemian placed the football perfectly -- to Sanders' outside shoulder, ensuring that T.J. Ward could not get to it in coverage.
... QB Mark Sanchez had an up-and-down day, as well. Although he completed six consecutive passes with the No. 1 offense during a seven-on-seven period, he also had one period in which four consecutive passes were incomplete, and on his move-the-ball period with the No. 1 offense, his pass of Sanders was intercepted at the goal line by Lorenzo Doss, who had what would have been a 100-yard pick six in a game situation. "Mark threw a pick in the red zone; we can't do that," Kubiak said.
... Earlier in practice, Sanchez also lost his grip on the football as his arm moved forward under pressure from Vontarrius Dora. But he also was the most effective of the three quarterbacks on fades near the end zone during the one-on-one period. "I know we've got three guys that are working their tail off right now," Kubiak said of his quarterbacks. "I think we're going to have three very good quarterbacks."
... Brandon McManus went 7-of-8 on his field-goal attempts over two different periods, including two from beyond 50 yards. His only miss was from 40 yards.
... CB Taurean Nixon and rookie WRs Kalif Raymond and Bralon Addison handled kickoff-return work. Addison muffed one of his opportunities.
... The newest Bronco, DE Billy Winn, saw some immediate work on the third team. He shone on back-to-back plays during one of the team periods, first using a swim move inside of Dillon Day to get pressure on Lynch, then showing excellent backside pursuit to get to Juwan Thompson just as he got to a hole on a play that was run away from Winn. Later in practice, Winn engulfed Devontae Booker, holding him to a 3-yard gain on the first play of the third-team-vs.-third-team series in the red zone at the end of practice.
... Among the Broncos alumni at practice were RB Terrell Davis, working for the NFL Network, safety John Lynch, OL Mark Schlereth and LB D.J. Williams.
... RG Ty Sambrailo did not practice Monday and is expected to miss the next few days because of a hyperextended elbow suffered during Sunday's practice. "We're kind of evaluating it. He's going to probably be day-to-day," Kubiak said.
... OL Sam Brenner was diagnosed with a concussion and will go through the league-mandated post-concussion protocol. Brenner was injured when he was hit twice on a running play during a team period Sunday morning. "I talked to him last night at length on the phone," Kubiak said. "He was really good and talking good last night."
... DE Vance Walker did not practice because a back strain. Kubiak said he hopes Walker will return Wednesday, after the Broncos' off-day Tuesday. "Vance has had a great camp," Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips said.
... RB Ronnie Hillman stood on the sideline watching practice after suffering a back bruise on a hit from ILB Zaire Anderson one day earlier.
... NT Sylvester Williams returned to practice after missing two days because of a shoulder injury. "It's feeling good," he said after practice.
... WR Marlon Brown did not practice. He went to the sideline midway through Sunday's practice after seeing individual work early in the session.
... TE John Phillips remained sidelined with an ankle injury he suffered Saturday.
... Rookie OL Connor McGovern saw first-team work Monday with Sambrailo and Brenner sidelined. "As a coach, sometimes you don't make a decision that you might make in a game. You say, 'Hey, I'm in camp, we've got four or five weeks, we don't want to hurt people moving them around,' so the natural thing was for Connor to move up," Kubiak said. McGovern had a trial by fire, particularly when he had to go against Derek Wolfe during the team periods.
... OLB Von Miller continued to work in nine-on-seven and one-on-one periods and could be at full speed later this week.
... DE Adam Gotsis continued to work with the second unit on some team and nine-on-seven periods. He had some one-on-one duels against Max Garcia during a period early in practice. "He's a big guy that can move well. That's what we thought we had when we got him," said Phillips.
QUOTABLE:"We didn't play very well today on defense. I thought our intensity [on] the fifth day -- the third day in pads -- you've got to push them a little bit, and I didn't think we did a good job of pushing them defensively." -- Phillips, on the defense's performance
WEATHER REPORT:It was a warm morning, with temperatures rising from 77°F/25ºC to 87°F/30ºC under sunny skies.
ATTENDANCE: 4,813. Average to date: 3,978.