It was an exciting day three at Denver Broncos Training Camp. The players got to suit up in full pads for the first time, but mostly because of the return of former head coach Mike Shanahan.
Shanahan coached the Broncos for 14 seasons and led them to two Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998. It was the first time that Shanahan had been back to UCHealth training center in 11 years.
“I was glad to have Mike here,” head coach Vic Fangio said. “Mike’s got a big part in the rich history of this franchise. He’s welcome to come here anytime he wants.”
FULL PADS, FULL HEARTS:
The players were happy to put the pads on, and so early into training camp too. It is all part of Fangio’s scheme to get them more comfortable in their game-time attire.
“No reason not to use them,” Fangio said. “That’s what you play the game in. Get used to carrying your pads, playing with game pants and the pads on, and try and make practice as game like as possible.”
The defense looked good today. Really good. The lineman were tipping and deflecting passes, the backs were intercepting the ball from all of the quarterbacks, and they looked like they were having fun.
“I think we had a pretty good day,” cornerback Kereem Jackson said. “I think we’re doing a pretty good job at communicating and all the guys have to be on the same page for us to execute our job.”
This is Jackson’s first year as a Bronco. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Houston Texans where he piled up 559 total tackles and 16 interceptions.
“With the plays that were being made today, it excites you,” Jackson added. “I’m definitely excited about the year.”
Safety Justin Simmons, who had the second most tackles for the Broncos in 2018, had two interceptions; one on Kevin Hogan, the other on Joe Flacco.
“Interceptions are obviously great,” Simmons said. “Still a couple plays during practice that you wish you had back, like bone-head mistakes. We’re always learning, the good thing is we don’t have to be ready until week one against Oakland.”
“Every interception has a story behind it, but no, not okay with it,” Fangio said. “Turnovers make it harder to win the game. I don’t know what exactly happened on each and every one. We’ll go in and look at it.”
ROOKIES GETTING READY:
All six of the Broncos 2019 drafted rookies have signed with the team.
- Round 1: Noah Fant – Tight End (No. 20 overall)
- Round 2: Dalton Risner – Offensive Tackle (No. 41 overall)
- Round 2: Drew Lock – Quarterback (No. 42 overall)
- Round 3: Dre’Mont Jones – Defensive Lineman (No. 71 overall)
- Round 5: Justin Hollins – Linebacker (No. 156 overall)
- Round 6: Juwann Winfree – Wide Receiver (No. 187 overall)
It’s only three days into camp, but the rookies have been working hard and trying to make a name for themselves.
“I think guys are playing so good,” Dalton Risner said. “Juwann Winfree was out there making snags, I’m so proud of him he’s an awesome football player. We want to be known as the rookie class that works hard and stays together.”
“You go against better players every play,” Noah Fant said. “In college you might of had some plays where you could’ve gotten away with certain things. In the NFL, you can’t. You have to be on point in every little thing.”
OTHER TRAINING CAMP NEWS:
- Wide Receiver River Cracraft was not at practice. He hurt a muscle and will be out for at least a week.
- Tight End Troy Fumagalli injured his hip, tried to practice, but didn’t feel right. He sat out the rest of practice.
- Fangio invited the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff to practice. The Broncos will play the Falcons in the Hall of Fame game August 1, in Cincinnati, OH.