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Catching up on Camp: What to know on the Broncos' first day off

Broncos players are currently enjoying their first off day of training camp, which means it's a great time to catch up on everything you've missed during the first five days of camp. It's also a good time to know what to watch for when the Broncos reconvene on Friday morning.


Case Keenum impresses

The free-agent acquisition has yet to throw an interception, and he's made some throws that have left defenders shaking their heads.

"He's better, in my opinion, than what I saw on tape," Head Coach Vance Joseph said Tuesday. "Even talking to [Senior Personnel Advisor Gary] Kubiak this morning about Case — we had him in Houston — and how much he's grown as a quarterback. His accuracy, his command, his smarts, his feel, he's better now than he was last year, in my opinion."

Courtland Sutton does, too

The rookie wide receiver is making absurd catches on a near daily basis. The question on everyone's mind at the beginning of each practice is quite simple: What will Courtland Sutton do next? That includes Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods, who has been tasked with trying to stop the 6-foot-4 wide receiver. 

"He's a big guy," Woods said Wednesday. "He's talented. Him and [WR] DaeSean Hamilton are both really good draft picks for us, but down there when you play against a big, physical receiver, it's all about body position. It's been a test for us. He's made some very nice catches. We'll continue to work on it, but so far, he's a beast."

Offensive line looks much better

After a year in which the offensive line struggled to maintain consistency, a five-man unit has begun to separate itself at training camp.

The Broncos' first unit — from left to right — consists of Garett Bolles, Ron Leary, Matt Paradis, Connor McGovern and Jared Veldheer.

How have they done? Just ask defensive end Derek Wolfe.

"No offense, but last year it was kind of like we'd get by them at will," Wolfe said Sunday. "Now, you're not going to get a clean win in one-on-ones. You're not going to have to get a clean win. You're going to have to fight for it. They're getting so much better. They have depth. They're playing as one. They get along. They like each other. They care about each other, so that's huge. You see we've gone two days in a row without a fight (laughing). That's saying something. I think we're just playing good clean football."

Joseph, Broncos not taking anything for granted

A couple of days after the renovations at UCHealth Training Center were unveiled, Joseph said his team has no excuses. After five days of practice, though, Joseph wasn't ready to anoint his group. Joseph emphasized ahead of the off day that the team had areas in which they needed to clean things up.

"We know how it feels when it's right, but we have to do a better job of keeping it going," Joseph said Wednesday. "I think this team gets it. We're humble and we're hungry, but we have work to do. … It's a long road to winning football games. We're being very humble with this thing."

Broncos are 'being smart' with injuries

The following players missed practice with injuries on Wednesday: Jeff Heuerman (knee), Su'a Cravens (knee), Jake Butt (undisclosed), Tramaine Brock (hamstring), Corey Brown (concussion), Josey Jewell (hamstring) and Kenny Bell (hamstring).

Through five days, Joseph doesn't seem concerned with the long-term availability of any of those players. He said this week he expects Jewell to return soon and for Brock to miss about a week.

Overall, though, he's not going to compromise the health of any of his player's for the season opener against Seattle.

"You can bring them back and push those guys through those injuries and have a setback and lose them for Week 1, and we can't afford to do that," Joseph said Wednesday. "We're being smart with the injuries."


Who emerges at running back?

All five running backs — Devontae Booker, Royce Freeman, De'Angelo Henderson, Dave Williams and Phillip Lindsay — have received first-team reps during the first few days of training camp.

"They're looking good, especially in pass pro," Joseph said Wednesday. "I watched No. 2 (Phillip Lindsay) pick up a big-time stunt today. [No.] 37 (Royce Freeman), 36 (David Williams), 23 (Devontae Booker) and 33 (De'Angelo Henderson), they're all doing a good job right now. It's a heavy competition and it's going to be fun to see how it finishes."

Can the backup quarterbacks take a step forward?

Third-year player Paxton Lynch had a strong day Wednesday. Can he keep it going? And what about Chad Kelly, who has yet to get second-team reps but has made some nice throws?

"[They're] very solid," Joseph said Tuesday. "It's early, it's practice, so no one is grading practice. We don't look at it like you guys look at it. It's just practice, so we have good plays, we have bad plays, and we fix the bad ones and high five the good ones. We're not taking stats, we're not grading guys right now, we're just coaching."

How will the secondary shake out?

With Tramaine Brock out for now, the Broncos are looking to see who can step up behind Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby. Isaac Yiadom could be one candidate.

"Isaac is making plays," Joseph said Tuesday. "He's getting better and better each day we practice. He's long so he can play press coverage and he can play the nine ball. That's huge for corners."

Will Carlos Henderson return?

The second-year player, who was a third-round pick in 2017, has not reported for training camp. He was placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list on July 25, and there has been no indication that he is close to returning. Joseph last addressed the issue on Monday. 

"We've had some conversations about other things than football,"  Joseph said. "He's not ready for football right now, so we're not talking about football a lot. We're doing a good job as a team of checking on him on a daily basis."

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