Bust out the sunscreen and grab your best Sharpie. Football is back in Broncos Country.
The Denver Broncos officially kicked off the preseason Thursday with its first training camp practice at UCHealth Training Center a week earlier than normal thanks to the team’s participation in the Hall of Fame Game later this month.
But hey, we’re not complaining. Honestly, anything is better than stewing amid another Colorado Rockies mid-summer meltdown, thanks very much to a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants at home this week.
Football is back. And in that vein, here are the “Cheers” and “Jeers” from Day 1 of “Training Camp 2019: Road to Redemption.”
Cheers | No soundtrack at practice
Yes, music is fun. And at training camp, it can break up the monotony of a nearly three-hour-long practice in the sweltering Dove Valley heat.
But, the Broncos opting to not bring the noise this season is refreshing. Aside from Twitter feeds being put in peril by — dare I say unjust — copyright claims, it shows Vic Fangio means business.
Jeers | Day 1 crowds at UCHealth Training Center
Broncos Country ranks among the best fan bases in the NFL, if not all of professional sports. It’s not uncommon to see a sea of orange in the crowd for Denver’s away games.
Maybe it was the heat. Thursday’s practice measured in at 96 degrees.
Maybe it was the timing of training camp. Denver does start a week earlier than normal this preseason.
And maybe I’m spoiled by huge crowds of years past, when the likes of Tebow and Manning were slinging the ball around the practice fields.
And it’s commendable that 1,257 fans showed out strong at UCHealth Training Center. On a Thursday morning. In the sweltering heat.
But, I just wish there had been more.
Cheers | Emmanuel Sanders/Phillip Lindsay
Among the biggest question marks for the Broncos this offseason was how Phillip Lindsay and Emmanuel Sanders would look in their respective returns to the practice field from injury.
Both the wideout and the rusher did not disappoint.
Lindsay took handoffs for the first time this offseason, and Sanders looked explosive.
Somewhere, Joe Flacco is licking his chops.
Jeers | Courtland Sutton’s day at work Thursday
Thursday was just one of 53 days until Denver kicks off its regular season. It’s just one day, but it was one the Broncos second-year wide receiver likely wants to forget.
Sutton, the darling of training camp in 2018 as a rookie, struggled on Day 1 this season, dropping a handful of passes early in practice.
But, as mentioned above, there are seven — seven — weeks until Game 1. No need to press the panic button just yet.
Cheers | Joe Flacco’s hair
On nearly a 100-degree day, after a two-plus-hour practice, the man had the gall to stand up at the podium in front of the assembled Denver media and bust out this perfect coif.
Joe Flacco’s hair is simply astounding and might be the MVP of Broncos camp so far. Look at this: Post-practice coif (right) is the same as no-practice coif.
(Once again … I have no life.) pic.twitter.com/34Nn3Frtk1
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) July 18, 2019
Jeers | Todd Davis suffering a partially torn calf
The silver lining to inside linebacker Todd Davis being carted off the practice field Thursday was that he only suffered a partially torn calf muscle and will likely be out just a few weeks.
Mind you, this comes from someone who has never been athletic enough to tear something in his own body, but the situation could have been a lot worse (See: Shane Ray).
But, that being said, you never want to lose a starter on Day 1, especially a starter who was a team captain last season and heads up a unit that already has depth issues.
Wishes for a speedy recovery for Davis, for your sake and the sake of Broncos Country’s sanity.