One of the time-honored cliches of training camp is the notion that the defense is always ahead of the offense during the first few days of practice. It’s long been used as a way of explaining away early sputters and ugly play.
The notion has certainly applied to the Broncos through the first two days of training camp, where the defense has made it virtually impossible for the offense to get much of anything going. On Friday, the situation was almost laughably one-sided.
There were no shortage of examples. It was the most-lopsided battle since Reagan vs. Mondale in 1984.
Von Miller completed destroyed one team drill, dominating Ja’Wuan James play after play to get into Joe Flacco’s face. It resulted in some ugly plays and the series went nowhere.
Backup quarterback Kevin Hogan was giving the defense plenty of opportunities to shine, throwing interceptions to anyone who wanted one. On a short pass in the flat, backup linebacker Joseph Jones got a pick. On a badly thrown ball in the middle of the field, Su’a Cravens got a turn. And late in practice on an under-thrown go route, De’Vante Bausby got in on the action.
Even in 7-on-7 drills, when there is no pass rush, Denver’s offense was out of sync. Because no one could gain separation and get open, Flacco was forced to move out of the pocket to buy time; even still, he rarely found anyone open.
When asked about the poor offensive performance, Vic Fangio put a different spin on things.
“Why can’t you look at those as good plays by the defense?” the head coach asked.
Fair enough. They certainly were. But that doesn’t excuse what the offense was doing.
Day two of training camp featured interceptions, balls on the ground, passes sailing to no one in particular and other generally ugly play. Yes, the defense is ahead of the offense. And yes, they made some good plays.
But it shouldn’t be this lopsided. On the day, it was difficult to find many positives for the Broncos offense, as the defense once again dominated in every way.