Didn’t practice: ACTIVE/PUP – CB Duke Dawson (knee), CB Asang Bassi (knee) and OLB Baron Browning (leg).
QB Drew Lock threw a 35-yard touchdown to WR Trinity Benson in 11-on-11 work when Benson went down the left seam to beat CB Parnell Motley.
WR Trinity Benson. The Broncos’ receiver depth chart is full, but Benson made a good impression on day one. In addition to Locke’s touchdown, Benson ended practice with a touchdown catch from QB Brett Rippian.
RB Mike Boon. Signed in free agency to be a reserve tailback/special teams core player from Minnesota, Boone seemed comfortable hitting the gap with pace.
Dime Package. Six-Defensive Back personnel should be a Plan A sub package of the Broncos. This included cornerbacks Ronald Darby, Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan and Pat Suren II and safaris Justin Simmons and Karim Jackson.
Pass the break-up. Secondary football wasn’t so much around – the only pass at 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 was break-up rookie CB Mack McCain III.
No autograph. The NFL is banning training camp autographs because of coronavirus concerns. This limited the declared attendance to 874. In 2019, the first day attracted 1,257.
odds and ends
* The Broncos wore helmets (no pads) on Wednesday as per the collective bargaining agreement. The first three days are the “ramp up period”, followed by two exercises in the shell and helmet and then full pads are allowed.
*OLB Derek Tuzka was the first player to be dismissed for practice. CB Kyle Fuller also arrived early and went through an extensive jogging warm-up before the team stretched.
*As indicated by coach Vic Fangio on Tuesday, QB Drew Locke took the initial set of first-team reps 11-on-11. Locke and Bridgewater combined for 34 snaps at 11-on-11 and Brett Rippian had 13.
*11-on-11 Highlights: Bridgewater overthrew WR Tyree Cleveland on the Deep Post Route. Cleveland, who got a move on CB Pat Suren II, was able to get a hand on the pass. … Rypien finds WR KJ Hamler on a deep over route against Motley. … OLB von Miller jumped off-side to start the third period. … Bridgewater’s final pass was a leaping catch from Hemler. … Benson ended his big day with a touchdown catch from Ripion at the deep post.
*7-on-7 Highlights: WR Jerry Judy jumps off Bridgewater and takes a catch with two hands. … CB Mac McCain III broke a Rippian pass on the shore, which was the only incomplete one during this period.
*On-field but limited work included OLB Bradley Chub (ankle), WR Cortland Sutton (knee) and TE Albert Okwegbunam (knee). Regarding Chub, Fangio said that it “will probably be a few more days before we let him loose. We want to get him in shape because he hasn’t been able to do much for the good of May and the good of June.” Fangio said Okuwegbunam is “doing great” in his recovery.
* Calvin Anderson gets the first shot on the right tackle, semi-surprisingly following Broncos legends Bobby Massey and Cam Fleming following Javuan James’s Achilles injury and subsequent release. Fangio said of Anderson, “He’s a good athlete, he works hard, he plays hard and I love the way he plays.” “He got a few games last year and I think he’s a viable candidate for that job, I really do.”
* Fangio said the perfect first-team tackle would be “somewhat different” in each practice, meaning Messi and Fleming would get their chances as well. Anderson spent part of the off-season training with left tackle Garrett Bowles in California. “It made us very close as friends and it’s hard to find a real friend in football because everyone is competing,” Anderson said. “He’s really like a brother. We’ve developed a really close relationship.”
* On getting the right tackle job on day one, Anderson said: “I’m happy with every opportunity I get. I had really good off-season training with Garrett. … It was a game to prove my worth on the field. It’s about and what you do between the lines. It’s time to show everyone that I’m ready.”
*C Lloyd Cushenberry took all first-team snaps and Fangio stopped short of calling the center position a fight against rookie Quinn Meinerz. “I think Meinerz will have to show first that it should be a competition,” Fangio said, adding that Meinerz will also serve on guard at the camp.
*Newly-signed Brett Jones will serve at the Center and Guard. “He’s a solid guy, very smart – he will pick things up fast and has the ability to play guard and center and that was appealing to us,” Fangio said.
* Several offensive linemen, including Boles, came out to practice with padded helmet covers. “It’s supposed to be another layer of protection that the teams have used in practice,” Fangio said. “It’s more prevalent in college football than in the NFL. We’ve made it available to the players – it’s their choice. Some of them came out with it and took it off quickly. That’s what I thought when I saw the videos and pictures.” A little bigger than that.”
*General Manager George Patton will be a close practice supervisor. He oversaw every season of the team from right outside the numbers on the field.
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