Denver Broncos, Nathaniel Hackett prepare for first training camp

NFL: Denver Broncos Minicamp
Jun 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos general manager George Paton and head coach Nathaniel Hackett during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

One day before the Denver Broncos take the field for their first official practice, George Paton and Nathaniel Hackett met with the media at the team’s annual media BBQ.

Denver approaches this season with mile-high expectations after the team traded for star quarterback Russell Wilson in hopes of a much-needed revitalized offensive unit.

Denver Broncos Training Camp Update

As the Broncos take the field on Wednesday, they’ll be doing so without key free agent acquisitions Randy Gregory and Billy Turner after the team placed them on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

K.J. Hamler will also join those two on the PUP list as the team eases him back into the mix after recovering from ACL and hip surgery. The team will monitor his progress, but the expectation is that he’ll be ready to go for the start of the regular.

Gregory continues to go through the strengthening part of his rehabilitation process after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder.

He is expected to be fully ready to go for the Broncos’ season opener on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks.

Turner will gradually build back towards getting onto the practice field as he continues to recover from an off-season knee procedure.

The good news is that the Broncos can remove them from the PUP list as soon as they are ready to step back onto the practice field under the team medical staff’s advisement.

Last year’s seventh-round gem edge rusher Jonathon Cooper also enters training camp on a limited basis after undergoing surgery on his finger during organized team activities.

Undrafted rookie free agent Christopher Allen will start camp on the NFI (non-football injury) list.

Nathaniel Hackett plans to innovate Broncos offense

During Tuesday’s media session, Hackett touched on how he and his staff plan to be more innovative on the offensive side of the ball.

Last year, former offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur seemingly struggled with putting players in positions to be successful on offense.

This season, Hackett and his staff are embracing the opposite of that.

The Broncos’ new head coach believes in building the offensive playbook around what his players do really well.

For the first day of camp, the players will receive even more installation of the team’s hybrid version of the West Coast offense.

“You’re going to see a lot of different stuff out on the field,” Hackett said on Tuesday. “For us, it’s all about this team. It’s about what Russell [Wilson] does well, it’s about what Tim Patrick, Courtland, Albert, what all these guys and the offensive line do well. We’re trying to just make sure that we have a big enough playbook to be able to simplify it down once we get to the season to do what’s best for them.”

How quickly players pick up the offense will be one of the key storylines to follow throughout training camp.

An update on Russell Wilson and Bradley Chubb contract talks

After the Arizona Cardinals gifted their franchise quarterback Kyler Murray a $230M contract, Broncos Country wants to know when Russell Wilson will receive one.

On Tuesday, Broncos GM George Paton updated the media on the current status of contract talks revolving Wilson and pass rusher Bradley Chubb.

“Like with Russell, we’re going to keep everything in-house with he and his agent,” Paton said on Tuesday. “What I’ll say about Bradley, is I’ve only been here a year and a half and he’s had an incredible offseason. And we’ve talked about it before, the first offseason he had to rehab, he had the surgery. We’re seeing the Bradley that I thought we were going to get when I got here. He’s playing with reckless abandon, he’s looked as good as the year he had 12 sacks as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see what happens when we get the pads on. We’re excited about Bradley Chubb, we want him here a long time and we’ll keep the other stuff in-house if that’s okay.”

It appears a Wilson extension could be the team’s top priority once the Walton-Penner ownership group is in place, but Paton and the Broncos are in a good position to sit back and focus on a brand new season.

The Broncos’ first training camp practice will be tomorrow morning at the UCHealth Training Center with all the action kicking off at 10 AM.

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