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#BroncosCamp Observations: Teddy Bridgewater efficient, stretches field on Day 5

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Teddy Bridgewater didn't take long to bounce back.

After an uneven Saturday practice in which the veteran quarterback tossed multiple interceptions, he may have turned in his best performance of training camp as the Broncos returned to the field Monday.

Bridgewater's strong day began with his very first snap, as he unleashed a 50-yard play-action pass to Diontae Spencer down the left sideline. Spencer hauled in the well-placed pass for the touchdown, and Bridgewater was off and running.

The Broncos ran through a series of situations on Saturday — in the red zone, backed up against their own goal line, a late-game move-the-ball scenario and a hurry-up scenario — and Bridgewater found success in nearly every circumstance.

Across the morning's session, Bridgewater had just two passes fall incomplete — one of which was dropped — and completed his last 13 passes in team drills. He did not have a turnover during his 11-on-11 reps, and he pushed the ball down the field on several occasions.

In addition to the long pass to Spencer, Bridgewater found Courtland Sutton for about a 20-yard gain, hit Jerry Jeudy for another 20 yards and nearly connected with Tim Patrick on a deep throw down the sideline. Bridgewater also showed off his touch during seven-on-seven work, as he dropped a pass in the bucket for Jeudy that would've gone for more than 40 yards.

Bridgewater's performance, in which he completed a high percentage of passes while also pushing the ball down the field, came just days after Head Coach Vic Fangio expressed the need to balance high-percentage throws with chunk yardage.

"There's a fine line there," Fangio said Friday. "Checkdowns are good, but you need more than checkdowns. We need the right mix of that."

Fangio noted on Monday that Bridgewater has demonstrated an ability to push the ball in the past.

On Day 5, Bridgewater showed that balance with few errors. The only real negative play came in a seven-on-seven drill, when Curtis Robinson made an acrobatic interception.

And yet, as the team continues in its competition at the game's most important position, both players appear deadlocked in their push for the starting job.

"It's still even-steven," Fangio said. "There's been no separation. We're going to kind of keep the rotation these next three days the same as it [has] been."


Through the first few days of training camp, first-round pick Pat Surtain II has lined up all over the field.

As the Broncos have worked in different packages and personnel groupings, Surtain has been featured in a number of different spots — and he's appeared comfortable wherever he's been asked to play.

Surtain's ability to play in different roles — which could become evident in the preseason — is unusual for a rookie.

"It's rare," Fangio said of Surtain's versatility. "It's rare that you would ask a rookie to do that, No. 1, and it's rare that he's been able to handle it and do it. Now, he's not perfected any of them yet, by any means, but we think he can and it's not too big for him."

Surtain showed his comfort level on Monday, as he made his first big play of training camp. During seven-on-seven work, he read Drew Lock's eyes and broke on an intermediate route to secure an interception. The play showed both solid awareness and top-level athleticism, which has impressed his teammates.

"He has a lot of natural abilities like getting his head back for the ball, playing the ball, just focusing on the ball," cornerback Ronald Darby said Friday. "He gets up there, compete, press, play off the ball. [He's] patient, willing to learn, doesn't complain. He works hard."

Cornerback Bryce Callahan also praised Surtain's ability to learn the system on Friday, saying the Alabama product was "one of the quickest [rookies] I've seen acclimate to a defense."

The expectations are high for the young player, but Surtain remains focused on the day-to-day grind of training camp.

"I'm just out here controlling what I can control at the end of the day," Surtain said. "I'm just looking forward to playing the season with my teammates — just building on that, playing my game and being the best player I can be."


Even without the pads on, it's clear second-round pick Javonte Williams has the talent to be a dynamic player for Denver's offense.

His practice on Monday was not unlike others throughout the first five days of training camp, as he made an impact both on the ground and in the passing game. Williams said he worked on his receiving abilities this offseason, citing the need to be an all-around back.

"He's picked it up good," Fangio said of Williams on Saturday. "He's showing his versatility. He can run a route as well as carry the ball. We think he can block, although that hasn't been tested yet to the nth degree. We like him. He's done everything that we expected up to this point."

The 5-foot-10, 220-pound player has looked good in space and has also impressed his teammates in recent days.

"It seems like he runs really hard," guard Graham Glasgow said Monday. "Seems like he runs hard, he's got some good vision. I think that in OTAs, I think that he was just running the ball where the play told him to run the ball. Now I feel like he's starting to see the holes a little bit better, and I think that we're going to get a better feel for all that stuff once the pads come on tomorrow."

Williams is certainly excited for that development, as he led the nation at UNC in broken tackles.

"That's real football," Williams said. "I feel like out here you can get better without pads on, but I just like being physical. … I feel like the real football starts tomorrow."


…. Both Lock and Bridgewater were successful in a hurry-up situation midway through practice. Each quarterback had a couple completions in a final-minute drive that began at the 50-yard line. Kicker Brandon McManus knocked a pair of field goals home to complete the drives.

…. Sixth-round pick Seth Williams got in the action early in practice as he made one of his first catches of camp in 11-on-11 action.

…. Sutton caught another couple of passes on Monday, including the deep comeback route from Bridgewater.

…. Free-agent addition Mike Boone showed good burst on a couple of team-period runs.

…. Tight end Austin Fort has made catches in each of the last several practices as he attempts to make the team after two injury-impacted seasons.

"He's doing better," Fangio said. "He's been able to sustain his health. He had the bad injury his rookie year. Last year's injury wasn't as bad, probably could've come back from that last year. He's a good receiver, runs well, little on the small side as tight ends go, as you guys know. Some of those guys can carve a niche for him. It's going to be important, though, that if he's going to carve a niche, then part of it has to be special teams, too."

…. Seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper demonstrated good speed on one run play, as he broke through the line for a would-be tackle for loss.

…. Defensive end Dre'Mont Jones batted a pass up in the air during a team drill that was nearly intercepted.

…. Seventh-round pick Marquiss Spencer showed good pursuit toward the quarterback on one passing play, but the offense was able to complete a short pass.

…. McTelvin Agim showed up again on Monday, as he penetrated through the line late in practice and may have had a tackle for loss under game condit

…. Cornerback Parnell Motley rebounded from a few tough plays early in camp to break up a pass intended for Sutton.

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