The Denver Broncos got their first taste of “real” football on Saturday when they partook in a non-scripted scrimmage on their ninth day of training camp.
That taste seems to have only increased their appetite for some live action, which they will finally get on Thursday when they travel to Chicago to take on the Bears.
Thursday marks two weeks since the Broncos’ kicked off training camp, and after two weeks of hitting each other, they are ready to finally hit someone else.
“I can’t wait to hit somebody else,” cornerback Chris Harris said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “I’m tired of going against [WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas] ‘E’ and ‘D.T.,’ and I’m pretty sure they’re tired of going against us. It’s at that time where you’re ready to see some other receivers and get ready for the season. I think we’ve got four more weeks, five weeks to get ready for [the regular-season opener against] San Diego. You just try to work every day, try to get better and try to get in better shape every day. I’m ready to be at my best come Monday Night.”
“I think everyone is excited,” Head Coach Vance Joseph said on Saturday. “You kind of practice to play the games. Even though it’s preseason, you get a chance to get a fair evaluation of the players. That’s a live-like environment. It’s not controlled. You want to see how guys react when they’re tired, when they’re hurt and obviously against a different opponent. I’m excited about Thursday to see how the young guys go out and play football so we can find out the best guys for our football team.”
Quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch have the tough job of finding success against the Broncos defense everyday. While they may not get to hit someone new like Harris, they are both ready to try their hand against another defense.
How ready is Lynch to face a different defense?
“Very,” Lynch said. “This defense has been getting after us day in and day out, but we’ve had good practices on the offensive side of the ball, too. I think it makes everybody better when you go against the best defense in the league day in and day out – the pass rushes, cornerbacks and linebackers. It’s definitely helped me to progress my game, but I’m excited to get out there and be able to run around a little bit and go against a different defense.”
Siemian, his competition for the starting quarterback job, agrees.
“I think it’ll be good,” Siemian said of facing a different defense. “I think at this point in camp you’re going back and forth so much. You’re trying to get your own defense figured out and they’re trying to figure you out. It’ll be good to against some new faces for sure I think.”
With a good portion of camp in the books, both Siemian and Lynch are ready to turn their focus towards Thursday night’s game against the Bears.
For Lynch, the preparation is no different than as if the Broncos were getting set to play a real game.
“You approach it like it’s a game week even though it’s just preseason,” Lynch said. “You have to go out there and know that you’re playing for a spot and you’re battling for a job. The game is when you go out there and you cut it loose and have fun. Like I said, you’ve learned from your mistakes that you had out here and you go out there and play football.”
For Siemian, the objective for Thursday is simple: Be as good as he can be with the time he is allotted.
“I want to be as good as I can with the reps I get, whenever they are,” Siemian said. “I want to move the ball, take care of the ball and score some touchdowns.”