Gary Kubiak has been around the block a time or two and as he settles into his job as head coach of the Denver Broncos he has shown a clear vision for how he wants to get his players ready for the season.

As day one of mandatory minicamp wrapped up Tuesday Kubiak’s plans became clear. With a large portion of practice remaining a large veteran group left the field for the weight room. The remaining youth of the roster were left to learn both the offense and defense for the remainder of the day. It is a process that Kubiak will continue throughout the summer.

“When we get to camp I want to feel like everyone is on the same page mentally and physically so they can go compete. Obviously that group of guys we sent in to lift about 45 minutes ago are obviously ahead. They have been doing it for a long time so we are trying to get everyone caught up,” Kubiak said Tuesday.

The repetitions and playing time is effecting every position group and veteran leader, DeMarcus Ware is already noticing the difference in practice.

“When the younger guys usually come in they usually have a lot of mistakes but they are starting to get a lot more reps in and the mistakes aren’t there. The technique stuff is give and take but the mental reps and the mental things you see out of the younger guys, you don’t see that. They are maturing really fast.”

The Broncos will be forced to use a lot of the younger players during the season due to players lost to free agency and injuries. The offensive line is a group that will need to learn fast. Kubiak’s idea of getting those players practice is paramount in the early stages of the season. He noticed a change in one player in particular immediately following Ryan Clady’s injury on May 27.

“I think I saw Michael (Schofield) really respond when Clady went down. I think all of the sudden I watched him practice different, almost like, ‘uh-oh I better pick this up,’ and he has. That’s the way it works,” Kubiak said plainly.

The offensive line group has only two proven starters on the roster and Kubiak made it clear what he wants to see out of his tackles, the left side in particular, in the zone blocking system.

“We like guys that can run and get to the second level. When we are running zone we like backside tackles that can run and get up and cut and do those types of things. We like guys that can pull but obviously everyone is looking for the guy that can protect the edge. That’s the most important thing.”

Rookie lineman, Ty Sambrailo remains the front runner early for the left tackle position and Kubiak remains encouraged by the former CSU Ram’s athletic ability and football IQ.

Despite the calm and quiet practice that took place Tuesday, Ware, who has seen his fair share of minicamps, emphasized his satisfaction with the workload each day at Dove Valley.

“I would say minicamp, when you talk about the duration of practice, yeah it’s the lightest but I would say the most intense.”

Brock Osweiler continued to get a heavy amount of snaps Tuesday and Kubiak once again commented on how important his progress is not only for the team but the young quarterback’s future as well.

“It’s huge that he continues to progress. It’s very important that he shows he can run the football team when Peyton is not out there. I know it’s a big offseason for a lot of guys but I think for him it has been even a little bit bigger,” Kubiak said. “It’s a very important part of his career.”

Kubiak made it clear how important these early workouts are to his team at the end of practice and shared what he told them with the media Tuesday afternoon.

“This league makes you get better. It doesn’t let you hang around.”

It appears that Kubiak is preparing the young players on his team for an intense competition for starting jobs when training camp arrives. It is clear that several new faces will be called upon and relied upon to win games in the fall. The intensity Ware referenced will only increase as the summer wears on and several players, both young and old won’t be hanging around when camp closes.

Foot notes:

As expected, Demaryius Thomas was not at mandatory minicamp but will avoid any fines due to his contract situation. He was franchised tagged in March and has yet to sign his contract. Kubiak remains confident that a long-term deal will get done before the July 15 deadline.

“It’s going to get worked out and he is going to be here. He’s been a great player for this team and always has been and I’m just looking forward to that time,” Kubiak said Tuesday.

Antonio Smith was absent from camp as well. The team excused him from practice and he will avoid fines as well. The team stated last month that until more questions are answered about a possible child abuse claim Smith will be away from the team.

“I’m in touch with him. I talk to him almost everyday, Bill (Kollar) talks to him almost everyday and hopefully we get some answers and move on to football,” Kubiak stated.

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