The Broncos took the field for the second-to-last practice of the offseason program on Tuesday, also serving as the last practice that will be open to the media until training camp.
As always, BSN Denver was on hand to share what we saw.
Sanchez in the saddle
Last week, I said it felt like the Broncos were sticking Sanchez with the ones full time to, in a sense, thrust him into taking the starting job they feel most comfortable giving to him. On Tuesday, it seemed like that move may have paid off.
Sanchez had clearly his best practice of those that have been available to the media. The indecisiveness that had been plaguing him in the offense was all but gone as the veteran quarterback was making his reads, hitting his back foot and letting it fly. Decision making, timing and chemistry all seemed to be there as he connected with his wideouts all day.
On a day where Gary Kubiak said he tried to “create chaos” by going with speed and no huddle all practice, later noting it was evident who handled it well and who didn’t, Sanchez seemed to be one of the guys who was on the plus side. A clear sign of the veteran advantage he boasts in the competition.
As for the other quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian had his roughest day to my eye. For the first time, it felt as if he was trying to aim passes rather than just playing quarterback. That led to him missing on many throws, including missing badly on three in a row. It seems each quarterback has had one day where they were simply off; today was that day for Trevor.
Despite the off day, head coach Gary Kubiak noted after practice that the two quarterbacks are still neck and neck.
Paxton Lynch has found himself solidly in the third quarterback slot, as we’ve talked about before, it’s not due to a lack of talent, it’s simply because he has too much on his plate right now. It’s far too early to count him out of the race entirely, but it will be interesting to see if he can make up the ground necessary to get his name back into the conversation come training camp.
A new No. 84 at tight end
It’s a familiar sight to see No. 84 coming out of the tight end slot and catching passes in Orange & Blue, and it’s happened a lot during the Broncos offseason program. No, Shannon Sharpe hasn’t come out of retirement—although if you ever see him, it looks like he could still play—it’s undrafted free agent out of Iowa, Henry Krieger-Coble.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end has been a favorite target of whichever quarterback he’s been working with and today he got a lot of work with Mark Sanchez and the first team.
As Virgil Green rehabs a finger injury, Krieger-Coble has taken advantage of the opening. Despite having a run-blocking frame, he ranked second on the team at Iowa in receptions last season with 35 catches amounting to 405 yards, as the Hawkeyes put together one of the best seasons in school history.
Iowa has had a knack for producing talent the tight end position, with names like Tony Moeaki, Dallas Clark, Scott Chandler and more coming out of the midwest school. Maybe Krieger-Coble is the next.
Kick return still wide open
While it looks like punt return has been narrowed down a bit, with only Jordan Norwood and Kalif Raymond getting reps there last week, kick return still looks to be any man’s game.
Norwood, Raymond, Cody Latimer, Mose Frazier, Durron Neal and John Tidwell all got reps in the kick return period today. Of course, with the team not hitting right now, it’s hard for special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis to get a true look at things but it looks as if the 5-foot-9 Raymond has some Trindon Holliday-esque quicks to him. If he can hold onto the ball, unlike Holliday, the Broncos may have a secret weapon.
Legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano used to dedicate an entire practice to cutting down the nets. He felt it was important for the team to visualize the act they would perform after winning a national championship.
While they didn’t dedicate an entire practice to it, the Broncos had their Jimmy V moment today when they spent the end of practice working on kneel downs, the victory formation.
Can’t hurt to visualize that. Suppose they won practice.