Day 9 of Denver Broncos Training Camp saw more competitive periods as Sean Payton and the Broncos offense went against the defense in their first two-minute camp drill.

Denver Broncos offense turns in best operational day

As the Denver Broncos continued their installation period as training camp pushed on, the offense and Russell Wilson saw their most efficient day through camp.

There were some highs and lows, but overall the offensive unit was more decisive.

Early on, during 7-on-7, Wilson and the Denver offense carved up the defense with various quick passes that opened up some downfield throws.

In particular, Wilson connected with tight end Greg Dulcich for a big gain downfield. One of the benefits of 7-on-7 is the session’s ability to help quarterbacks and receivers develop further timing and chemistry within the structure of the offense.

That success carried over with the second and third-team offensive units as well. Friday’s practice was by far the offense’s most productive day.

After 7-on-7, Denver went into their team period portion of practice, where it was 11-on-11. The defense applied various pressure looks that have become consistent through practice.

Wilson showcased more maneuverability on Friday, operating within the play structure despite having pressure coming at him from the outside, leading to him having several plays where he would have scrambled for positive yards in a real game environment.

Defensively, players like Nik Bonitto and Zach Allen consistently flashed when attacking the Denver offense with pressure looks.

One thing Payton has done throughout training camp that helps in the evaluation process is rotating starters on offense or defense within the second and third-team units, helping facilitate good looks for young guys who may need to accelerate their development.

Broncos offense rebounds after a shaky start in move the ball period

Friday’s padded practice featured two competitive move-the-ball periods. The first period was what Broncos head coach Sean Payton called a ‘need a touchdown’ period, where the team started on their own 25-yard line with 1:48 on the clock and two timeouts.

Denver’s offense struggled with penalties which plagued how the drive could have potentially gone. On the first play, new offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey was called for a false start, backing the offense up to a 1st and 15.

The next play saw tight end Greg Dulcich flinch for a false start, backing the offense up to their own 15-yard line facing a 1st and 20.

Wilson connected with Perine on a quick pass to try and give the offense some breathing room.

The first-team offense’s first series would end on the next play as the defense dialed up pressure, with Wilson seeing Jerry Jeudy wide open. However, defensive lineman Jonathan Harris tipped the pass at the line of scrimmage, popping the ball into the air and into the hands of Randy Gregory, who came away with an interception.

The second-team offense had a promising start led by Jarrett Stidham, who connected with Tyler Badie on the first play and Marquez Callaway for two consecutive receptions.

Things would fall apart for the second team unit after a low snap forced Stidham to fall onto the ball leading to a loss of yardage and bringing up fourth down. The second unit’s series would end with back-to-back penalties that made it 4th and 28.

“I just finished talking about it,” Payton said regarding penalties. “We had too many fouls there with the officials here. Before you ever really get going, you put yourself in a hole. It’s something we have to improve on.”

Payton initiated the second move-the-ball period, which he deemed as a ‘need a field goal’ period. Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos offense came back onto the field and had a much more efficient drive that saw Wilson connect several times with Courtland Sutton, tight end Adam Trautman, and Jerry Jeudy.

Wilson led them into field goal range with three seconds remaining. Kicker Brett Maher nailed a 52-yard field goal to tie the game, ending the practice.

Overall, the offense took bigger strides in Friday’s practice against a very aggressive and talented Broncos defense. In training camp, it’s never expected to be pretty, but the offense answered the bell, which should help serve as a confidence builder.

Other Denver Broncos camp news and notes from Friday

  • Outside linebackers Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper continue to look very polished in their pass rush sets and setting the edge against the run.
  • Defensive end Zach Allen has continued to impress against the run and with the pressure he’s generated in pass-rush situations.
  • Courtland Sutton continues to have a big start to training camp, showcasing consistency in the team’s practices.
  • Undrafted rookie free agent Jaleel McLaughlin had another impressive day with an explosive run against the defense where he would have scored in a real game environment. His vision, footwork, and ability to cut and get north/south have been impressive.
  • Greg Dulcich had an under-the-radar big day for the Broncos offense, catching several passes downfield from Russell Wilson, Ben DiNucci, and Jarrett Stidham.
  • Tyler Badie has continued to have a solid camp as he and McLaughlin look like the two candidates to consider the most for the Broncos’ third RB spot on the depth chart. That battle will be fun to watch throughout the NFL Preseason.

The Denver Broncos will have their 10th training camp practice on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. MT.