The major news coming from the Denver Broncos on Wednesday is that the informal passing camp in Los Angeles has been cancelled. After hearing word of this camp last week from Demaryius Thomas, the abrupt cancellation comes as a bit of a shock.
The reality of the situation is that the camp being cancelled is not a big deal. In fact, the cancellation could be a best-case scenario for the top decision-makers in the organization.
The passing camp tradition started with Peyton Manning who held a camp in Durham, N.C. with his bother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and Duke University football coach, David Cutcliffe. Even Mark Sanchez held a camp last off season at his alma mater, USC.
There is not a Manning-like veteran leader on this team taking the players to Durham and making sure that everyone is 100% focused on football. Last year’s camp host, Mark Sanchez, isn’t even on the roster anymore.
If the camp had happened, it could have thrown even more complications into an already confusing quarterback competition. Head coach Vance Joseph has already been on record saying a decision will be made based on training camp and preseason games. Then, Thomas went on record saying he would like a decision in the first week and a half of camp – though he said he trusts coach Joseph to make the right call. After that, Emmanuel Sanders started to talk up Paxton Lynch, saying the second-year man from Memphis was “lighting it up.” Sanders also mentioned that he trusted general manager John Elway and the rest of the front office to make the right decision.
As so many players are sounding off and looking for a decision from different places at different times, the lack of an unofficial passing camp could really be a blessing in disguise.
With no camp happening outside of the coaching staff’s supervision, there will be less outside influence whenever the quarterback decision is actually made. If the offensive skill players all went to LA together and got reps in without the coaches, there’s a good chance more opinions would be formed by non-decsision makers (see, the players) in a vacuum.
The last thing a first-year head coach with a quarterback competition on his hands needs is something outside of his control influencing the players who will be affected by his final decision.
Since the camp has been cancelled, the coaching staff and front office in Denver will be able to see everything that goes on in the competition. There will not be any worries about how different either Lynch’s or Trevor Siemian’s performance was at the passing camp compared to official training camp.
Like Joseph said from the beginning, the quarterback competition will be decided during training camp. Now, without a players-only passing camp, the decision can be made without outside influence. This is not a problem for the Broncos. It’s a blessing in disguise.