Englewood, Colorado. – On Saturday morning, the Denver Broncos welcomed more than 5,000 enthusiastic fans to the UCHealth Training Center for the first lined training of the “Broncos Back Together” event. The event without tickets sold out almost immediately online earlier this month.
For the first time since training camp began, Broncos players have been introduced to wearing platforms consisting of light shells under their jerseys and helmets. This is the first phase of the annual intensification of full filler practices that will begin next week.
As most people expected, there was a very high sense of excitement from the crowd which was contagious to Broncos players, coaches and media alike. I spotted GM George Paton early in the morning, early in the warm-ups. Even Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning was looking to train with his son.
Saturday’s workouts were the most intense of the week as the players were pressured to work hard and fast, to replicate the playing environment. Friday may have been a slower day to install, but players made sure to get their start on Saturday morning as Sunday is scheduled to be a holiday.
Without further ado, let’s get into the three main stories to wrap up the first week of bootcamp.
PS2 is about to reach the elite
Rookie defenders are not supposed to join the league and achieve immediate success in the starting lineup. But Patrick Sertin II, ranked No. 9 in the Broncos’ pick, turned that idea on its head last season, playing in all 17 games with 15 appearances. The former Alabama star recorded 58 tackles (45 singles), 14 passing deflections, four interceptions, and brought one home pick.
As a rookie, Surtain has demonstrated an exceptional level of competitiveness along with dynamism in the gaming industry. After watching Surtain defend receivers like Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick all week, there’s no doubt he’s really improved his game.
In all four drills, the 22-year-old ran 50/50 high balls and forced Sutton to several accomplishments and on day 4, Patrick. The ‘PS2’ is literally improving daily and continually fighting until the end of each game.
Surtain always shreds the ball and stares at it for spin or incompleteness when faced with oversized receivers. His 6-foot-2 height and elite level of athleticism allow him to fly backwards in the air, literally breathing on the receiver covering him.
The Surtain has also shown an impressive recovery when it rarely gets hit on a trail and can easily go along with any of the Broncos’ existing receivers.
So, if the receiving Denver team is considered top-tier and Year Two Sartain could disrupt any one of them, is it an exaggeration to suggest he could be the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2022? The time and race to win the West Asian title will tell.
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Wilson’s favorite goal
Throughout the week, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson dispelled the idea that he doesn’t prefer using tight ends. The entire tight end room, which includes Eric Subert, Albert Okwijpunam, Eric Tomlinson and Andrew Peck, was catching a barrage of passes in the red area and midfield.
Even the running defenders had to increase their performance and prepare to participate as attackers in Wilson’s attack. But when the chips are down, and the game is on the line, Wilson will likely prefer either Sutton or Patrick. Go the number, as the dynamic oversized receivers have been with the Broncos since 2018 and are only two years apart (Sutton 26, Patrick 28).
Both parties also signed a lucrative contract extension at the same time last fall, as well as being subject to a team-friendly restructuring this spring. There are not as many receivers that play football as Sutton and Patrick.
Go to follow
Aside from the fact that both parties are masters of their running profession and take pride in their preparation and attention to detail, they are both humble players on the team. Nothing is more fun than watching defensive No. 14 and No. 81 in the shape of a pie and energizing their teammates for a massive run.
Throughout the four days of camp this week, Jerry put in a mixed performance with a big drop and some mental blunders, but in the end, his best day was Saturday. Meanwhile, Sutton and Patrick were both targeted by Wilson relentlessly on short to medium and even deep routes.
Sure, Surtain spoiled some great plays for Wilson and his receivers, but a sophomore corner kick was also humbled by some veteran moves and maneuverability from a quarterback known as “Mr. Unlimited.’
Fantasy football owners warned: Wilson suffers an embarrassment of fortunes in his passing arsenal.
Britt Ribian Pushes For QB2
The idea that the Bronco’s Year 4 signal caller is on the list simply because of his outlook as a future coach may fizzle out. Yes, Rypien runs like a dog and has an advanced understanding of Xs and Os, but he made an important step as an NFL quarterback based on what she witnessed on all four days of training camp.
The rip (no pun intended) on the Brit has always been associated with arm strength for me. He can process information quickly, understands defensive fronts, and knows how to go through, but sometimes he just needs a little more mustard on that helix to get the ball in the right place. What he lacked in raw arm talent, he made up for in his footballing intelligence, intuition, and reliability.
On Saturday, Rypien appeared to have completely revamped his throwing mechanics, generating an impressive amount of slip and power using his tight spirals. To start training, he threw several completions in a row while running several second and third series offenses.
But it wasn’t just Rypien’s throws that showed a massive improvement, it was a deep ball. In one of the last plays of the team’s tenure, he fired a beautiful deep pass into WR Kaden Davis that got the crowd excited.
I asked OC Justin Outten of the Broncos how Rypien and Josh Johnson have performed so far.
“They were a shadow of Ross,” Otten told me.[They’re] Ask all the right questions and play the what-if game.”
Apparently, Rypien borrowed some of the improved footwork from Wilson. The former Boise State star’s unpolished throws are more robust and tighter in evidence of his improved lower-body mechanics as he generated more power and accuracy in this camp. There’s no doubt that Rypien makes a strong case to be the Broncos’ backup behind Wilson.
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