The Denver Broncos continued mandatory minicamp Wednesday 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 was all smiles when talking about the team’s Day 2 performance.
“The offense had a great day. They scored four touchdowns in the red zone. That’s our goal,” Joseph said. “Defensively, it’s tough because it’s not live bullets, but the routes, concepts, and the throws were pretty good by the offense. That was fun to see.”
Here are the three biggest observations from Day 2:
Trevor Siemian strikes back
For two consecutive practices (open to the media) heading into Wednesday, Paxton Lynch had been the better quarterback. Wednesday, it was Trevor Siemian who won the day.
While Lynch was up and down with his performance, Siemian was steady in his reads and throws. He was accurate on underneath routes and did a good job of leading his receivers correctly to maximize the yards after the catch.
Siemian doesn’t take many shots downfield, but he did show on Wednesday the ability to move the chains by making quick decisions and accurate passes.
Lynch threw an interception in the end zone while trying to get the ball to tight end Jeff Heuerman. Free safety Justin Simmons made an amazing play near the sideline in the end zone to get the pick.
While Lynch was making mistakes like that, Siemian’s day was clear of interceptions.
However, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said he likes the mental toughness Lynch has shown through his mistakes in practice.
“There’s going to be a play where you get beat, and you’ve got to respond to it. You saw that yesterday in practice. We threw an interception, and then we threw a big play that probably was a touchdown,” McCoy said.
Lynch had the interception, but it didn’t seem to send him into a shell in practice.
“That’s what you want all the players to do. You want them to respond and fight through the adversity,” McCoy said. “There’s going to be some adversity during the year. It’s not always going to go your way, but you’ve just got to keep plugging away.”
After two days of mandatory minicamp, there has been one day for Lynch and one day for Siemian. This open competition looks closer than ever heading toward training camp later this year.
C.J. Anderson, the Broncos star of the day
The Denver offense put up another fight against the defense Wednesday. A large part of its success came when running back C.J. Anderson had the ball in his hands.
As a runner, Anderson broke off big runs through large holes. The offensive line gave him a lane, and he quickly and swiftly ran through before defenders could respond.
As a receiver, Anderson was used on multiple types of routes. He cleanly caught passes away from his body, quickly tucking the ball into his midsection to gash the defense for yards after the catch.
Joseph said a strong running game is key for the offense to succeed in 2017.
“Until we protect better and run the football better, it won’t matter who the quarterbacks are. Those two things have to happen first. We do that, whoever plays is going to have success,” Joseph said.
“With that being said, with (Ronald) Leary and (Menelik) Watson on the right side, that’s two big men. Along with Virgil (Green) as a blocking tight end, that’s going to be formidable.”
Anderson has put together some highly productive stretches during his pro career. In 2017, it’s not just about being out there for 16 games during the regular season. Anderson needs to stay healthy and produce at a high level in what should be a featured role in the Broncos offense.
An improved Adam Gotsis
The offseason clues are adding up positively for second-year defensive end Adam Gotsis. Last season, Gotsis didn’t produce as a rookie and often looked outmatched on the football field.
Too many times Gotsis would be locked into the one-on-one battle instead of shedding his man and getting to the play. This offseason, Gotsis doesn’t spend as much time battling in the trenches.
He’s shown great awareness as the play breaks down, and it seems like every day he’s batting a pass down at the line of scrimmage.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods said it’s almost as if Gotsis is a whole new person this season.
“They say it takes you a year to get back to yourself coming off of an ACL injury. Last year when he came in, he was coming off that ACL, and I don’t feel like he had the opportunity to train physically in the offseason and get prepared for his rookie season,” Woods said.
“When you look at him now, he looks like a new person. I watch him through drills. He has great athleticism for his size, and he’s built like a superhero. He’s doing great things for us right now.”
The Broncos will likely use a rotation on the defensive line, and Gotsis could play a larger role in that rotation than some think.
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.
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.
Let Sandy Clough, one of the most recognizable voices in Denver sports radio, guide you through your work day every weekday leading into the afternoon. Sandy's been the authority in sports radio for nearly four decades in Denver. No other show will give you the insight and experience that Sandy provides.
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.
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.
Each morning at 6:30, get your day started right as Schlereth and Evans serves up The Morning Brew. Mark Schlereth and Mike Evan take you around the world of sports, taking in and breaking down the top stories of the day. So tune in to get your fix before you head out into the world for the day. Brought to you every morning by McDonalds.
Terry Wickstrom, the authority in everything outdoors, talks fishing, hunting, camping and more every Saturday morning.rnWickstrom, host of the popular television show "Angling Adventures" and previously "Mountain States Fishing," is a nationally published outdoor author, an accomplished multi-species angler, and has served on the "pro staff" of many top fishing industry companies.rn
Jerry Walters and Cousin Ray Best provide up-to-the-minute details about golf in Colorado, rules and all the professional tours. The Boys of Summer interview the biggest names in golf every Saturday mornings throughout the golf season.