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Minicamp Notebook: Broncos prioritizing right decision over timeline in quarterback competition

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In an ideal world, the Broncos would have their answer at quarterback sooner rather than later.

Training camp repetitions are valuable, and the Broncos' future starter would likely benefit from increased reps with the No. 1 offense.

Head Coach Sean Payton, though, said following the Broncos' first minicamp practice that he does not have a set date for deciding the team's starting quarterback.

"I would say I have an end date," Payton said. "That would be the week before the first game. But I don't have a set date."

And while Payton acknowledged it would be preferable to make the decision earlier than the last week of August, he also pointed out a far more important standard.

"I think most importantly is [making] the right decision," Payton said.

Payton said the three-player quarterback competition between Jarrett Stidham, Zach Wilson and Bo Nix is not all that different from many other positional battles, in that the competition often resolves itself.

"We always talk about the locker room and the players in the locker room," Payton said. "I think when we get into training camp and we get into the preseason games, I think oftentimes the decisions take care of themselves."

Payton did acknowledge the Broncos will select the player that gives them the best chance to win on Sept. 8 in Seattle.

"The object is to win," Payton said. "I understand the question relative to [the position], but in our league it's year to year. We're competing to win this year. And we're going to make the right decision relative to who gives us that opportunity."


As the Broncos near the end of their offseason program, Payton pointed out an upward tick in the level of competition at several positions.

"I think not only at quarterback, the thing I see different in this offseason is in the secondary, at the receiver group, at the line, there's a lot of competition for jobs and playing time," Payton said. "That's encouraging, and I think you guys who followed and watched these [practices] a year ago, maybe you see something that's different. Certainly, I feel like it's been different."

Payton also acknowledged the change for him in coaching a group of young quarterbacks on a relatively young roster.

"There's a new energy to it, a new challenge," Payton said. "Really, it's that challenge of working with a young team — not just at quarterback. I think that's the one thing I notice at least watching. I feel the competition. I think it's part of what makes this job exciting, because it is very competitive. It's [about] meeting the challenge and giving these guys the best plan, the best opportunity. I look forward to training camp and the start of the season."


Tight end Greg Dulcich did not participate in Tuesday's minicamp practice, but Payton said Dulcich could still participate before the end of the offseason program.

"We're going to see where he's at tomorrow," Payton said. "He's doing really well. We have these meetings where we go through the roster, so we'll be smart in our approach. I think there are a couple of guys that we have a chance to maybe see more work from tomorrow than today."

Payton said Trautman suffered a core muscle injury that "is basically a sprain." He said Trautman would not require surgery and that the injury was "nothing significant."

Wide receiver Courtland Sutton was also limited in practice as he returned to the field.

"We were smart," Payton said. "Look, I know he did some extra work on field three. It's great having him out here. He's in good shape, but you don't want to just throw him in there, and so we'll be smart about that."

Safeties Caden Sterns and Delarrin Turner-Yell, running back Audric Estime, linebacker Drew Sanders and tight end Dylan Leonard also did not participate.

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