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Lammey: 3 big observations from Broncos minicamp – Day 1

Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) throws to tight end Steven Scheu (81) during minicamp at UCHealth Training Center. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos kicked off mandatory minicamp Tuesday at UCHealth Training Center. They have gone through rookie minicamp and voluntary OTAs, and this is the final step before the team breaks before the start of training camp in late July.

Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said on Tuesday that there’s a different feel to minicamp from the rest of the activities during the offseason.

“It’s mandatory, so it does feel different. We upped the reps a little bit. The intensity is obviously up, and everyone’s engaged. It’s different, absolutely,” Joseph said.

Here are the three biggest observations from Day 1:

Paxton Lynch wins the day, again

Last week, second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch had what Joseph called “a great day” in practice. On Tuesday, Lynch continued to look better than third-year quarterback Trevor Siemian.

Lynch looked comfortable working out of the shotgun, and he’s got the freedom to change the play at the line of scrimmage if he sees fit. For the last two days open to the media, Lynch looked in command of the offense and progressing through his reads in a timely manner.

Not only does Lynch look comfortable, he said he feels confident about his ability in this Mike McCoy offense.

“I’m very comfortable in where I am now that all the concepts are put in. There are still wrinkles going in every now and again, but where I’m at right now with what we’ve put in, I’m very confident in,” Lynch said Tuesday.

“I feel like the more reps I’m getting, the more I get to go with ‘D.T.’ (Demaryius Thomas) and ‘E’ (Emmanuel Sanders) in that first group. I think the more confident I get, the more comfortable I get.”

This quarterback competition gets officially started in training camp, but it looks like Lynch is certainly going to make things interesting come late July.

Broncos moving offensive linemen around

It was interesting to see a different mix of first-team offensive linemen on Tuesday. The Broncos moved Ron Leary from left guard position, which he constantly manned during OTAs, to right guard. The team also moved Max Garcia from the right side back to left guard, a spot where he started 16 games last year for the Broncos.

“We moved Max back to left guard, and we’re trying Ronald Leary at right guard. Hopefully that’s a better mesh for us,” Joseph said on Tuesday. “Leary played left the entire spring, and Max played the right, but we think Max is more comfortable playing left, and Ronald doesn’t care.”

In addition to swapping guards, we saw 2017 first-round pick Garrett Bolles get some work with the first-team offense for the first time this year. Ty Sambrailo has been the main starter at the position, but he’s going to see competition from Bolles the further we get into camp.

“Bolles is alternating with Ty (Sambrailo) at left tackle every other series,” Joseph said.

Bolles could be the starting left tackle for the Broncos in Week 1 of the regular season, but the rookie will have to earn the job as nothing is going to be handed to him at Dove Valley.

Broncos defense sends a message

The Broncos defense is arguably the best in football — and there’s not much of an argument against that. They are not taking it easy on the Broncos offense, even though it’s just OTAs and minicamp.

The defense wants to get the best of the offense on every play of every practice. That’s something that was clearly evident Tuesday, as there were some post-play skirmishes at practice.

With the scuffles on the field and the swarming play of the defense, a message was certainly sent from one side of the ball to the other.

“That’s been the entire spring. It’s been back and forth,” Joseph said. “The offense, in my opinion, responded with a big stick. They’ve competed all spring, and that’s what we want. We want both sides competing equally.”

If the Broncos offense shows this kind of spirit against this defense, they can hang against any opponent in the league.

Podcasts

Schlereth and Evans

Spend your morning tapping into the wealth of sport knowledge from three-time Super Bowl champion and former Broncos offensive lineman Mark "Stink" Schlereth and longtime Denver sports radio voice Mike Evans. Schlereth spent 12 seasons in the NFL, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl with the Redskins and two with the Broncos. He's also a longtime NFL analyst for ESPN and supporting cast member of "Ballers" on HBO. Evans has graced the sports radio airwaves for two decades, 15 years in Denver. He's a proud graduate of Syracuse University.

Cecil Lammey

Inject your morning routine with great football discussion and analysis with Fan Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey. Cecil is one of the nations most respected football analysts, gets you the inside scoop from reports from the Broncos UCHealth Training Center to college football all-star games (East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl) to the NFL combine and draft. Hes an authority on NFL prospects from across the country. He is also a senior writer for FootballGuys.com. You can follow Cecil on Twitter @cecillammey.

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Kick off your afternoon with Stokley and Zach, featuring two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Stokley and radio veteran Zach Bye. Stokley earned his two NFL titles with the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts and spent two stints with the Denver Broncos. Bye hails from the Empire State and is the former voice of the University of Albany Great Danes football, basketball and lacrosse programs. Follow them on Twitter: @bstokley14 and @byesline.

The Drive with Big Al and D-Mac

Big Al and DMac help you get through the end of your day with the best afternoon sports radio talk show in Denver. DMac is a 1991 graduate of Syracuse University and has covered Colorado sports for The Fan since 2008. Alfred Williams, a College Football Hall of Famer, won the 1990 Butkus Award and was the captain for that year's consensus National Champion University of Colorado squad. He played nine years in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.

Morning Brew

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About the Author

Cecil Lammey

Cecil Lammey is a host and NFL Insider for Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan and 1043thefan.com. He’s also a senior writer for FootballGuys.com and a member of Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Cecil on Twitter: @CecilLammey

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