ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --There's plenty of individual work for key, proven veterans on the roster, but Wednesday's seven-on-seven work belonged to younger players, continuing the plan of this week's minicamp.
Who made an impression? Find out below ...
1. MARCEL JENSEN CAN REACH ALMOST ANYTHING.
Of the 74 tight ends measured at the National Scouting Combine since 2012, none had longer arms than Jensen. With 34 7/8-inch cherry pickers growing out of his shoulders and a 6-foot-6 frame, Jensen's catch radius is the largest on the team and among the best in the league.
Once again Wednesday, Jensen made plays. He caught a touchdown pass on a fade route from Zac Dysert, beating rookie safety Josh Furman. Two plays later, Jensen scored again, going low to bring in a pass in the left flat from Brock Osweiler.
With 265-pound Dominique Jones again catching multiple passes -- including one in which he was held by linebacker Reggie Walker near the sideline -- the competition at the bottom of the depth chart behind Owen Daniels, Virgil Green and James Casey bears monitoring. Along with Joe Don Duncan, one of the younger tight ends could be in position for a roster spot in the wake of Jeff Heuerman's torn anterior cruciate ligament.
2. KAPRI BIBBS AND HIS SHARP CUTS.
In terms of 40 time, Kapri Bibbs isn't going to draw attention in a crowded field; a 4.67 time at the 2014 Combine helped contribute to his undrafted status last year.
But he cuts decisively, accelerates and has good vision. These are the tools of a running back who succeeds behind a zone-blocking-based line scheme.
"I think my best attribute is my eyes, and I have the other tools to go with it," Bibbs said. "So I just try to trust in my eyes, and just run. I rarely ever make a bad cut or have to go back on film and say, 'Oh, I should have done this,' because I usually make the right one out there. It's a blessing having that one attribute that I can look to, and it's helping me out right now."
Bibbs looks at home in the one-cut-and-go scheme, and there's a good reason.
"It's the same exact scheme we ran at CSU," he said. "I feel like I'm tailor-made for it."
There was one run in the red zone near the end of Wednesday's OTA where Bibbs started off running to the left, and looked like he was going to overshoot the mark to cut back inside. But he didn't, and turned on a 90-degree angle back inside through a gaping hole, accelerated and found the end zone for the touchdown.
"That's just be being familiar with the system," Bibbs said.
- PLENTY OF WORK FOR THE RUNNING BACKS.**
When the Broncos went from individual to seven-on-seven work Tuesday and Wednesday, players from all but one position group on offense or defense headed off to the conditioning center for lifting and conditioning workouts. The lone exception? Running backs.
"It's because we're all young," said Bibbs. "That's their rationale behind it. Plus, Coach (Eric Studesville) would rather have us out here seeing stuff face-to-face, rather than going back out there and watching on film, or missing practice. That's Coach E for you; he wants everybody to stay locked in."And it reminds every running back that the competition is wide open -- even with a returning Pro Bowler (C.J. Anderson) and last year's season-opening starter (Montee Ball) leading off the work.
"[Studesville] doesn't want anybody thinking that this is a cakewalk, where anybody has anything tied up," Bibbs said.
"Everybody in that running back room can start for this team, can produce and possibly rush for 1,000 yards. And that's the crazy part about it, because there's not enough room for all of us."
- GINO GRADKOWSKI DROPS ANCHOR.**
Even in individual periods, Gradkowski's experience from spending a year under Kubiak in a similar scheme breaks through. Gradkowski helps get his fellow offensive linemen set up before each play if they need any guidance -- a crucial attribute for a line in flux.
"He does a great job of tying both sides together," Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison said. "That's the key for a center, is to make sure that the front side knows what the back side's doing or whatever it is, run or pass. That's the thing that he has: great communication up front and he's light on his feet, does a good job with that."
5. FOLLOWING THE T-SHIRT MANTRA, BEN GARLAND KEEPS HIS FEET.
One of Bibbs' best runs came behind Garland, whose agility is accentuated by the non-contact nature of the ballcaps-and-visors work of the last two days.
The big question for Garland will be how well he fares in full pads with full contact during training camp and the preseason. But right now, the left guard is getting to the right spot, is keeping his balance and is in synergy with the linemen around him.
"I see Ben this way: work habits, effort and all those things, there is no question about Ben. Really the thing that we've got to see is the playtime," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "Everybody is very impressed with Ben and how he's handled himself here. It's time for Ben to become a player, but we've got to find out when the lights come on.
"But he's doing everything he possibly can do. The fact that he has not played a lot of offensive football too, that was a big change for him. So you see some of that along the way. But everything is in place. It's just a matter of reps and we'll see how he does."
The Broncos' offseason minicamp continued on Wednesday as the team had its second minicamp practice.
- A FEW OTHERS WHO WORKED THEIR WAY INTO MY NOTEBOOK:**
I liked the quickness that undrafted rookie center Dillon Day showed in firing off the snap and getting in position to block. He helped spring Bibbs for one of his blocks, quickly getting into position and pulling to create the inside half of a seam through which Bibbs galloped. …
… Defensive lineman Vance Walker showed a good first step, allowing him to get a jump and generate pressure working from the inside. …
… Safety Josh Bush continues to have a nose for the football. Tuesday, he accelerated from out of nowhere to break up a pass; Wednesday, he snared a Dysert pass intended for Bennie Fowler in the right flat that turned into a tip drill before Bush snared it. …
… Inside linebacker Lamin Barrow was in the right place at the right time for an interception. Dysert attempted to thread the needle to Nathan Palmer on a short cross, but the ball caromed off the receiver and into Barrow's grasp. …
… Outside linebacker Lerentee McCray caught tackle Michael Schofield off-balance by leaning outside, then cutting inside to generate pressure on Osweiler.