Because the Broncos have a new head coach, they're allowed an extra "voluntary" veteran mini-camp. That began in earnest Monday at UC Health Training Center. And while it was Nathaniel Hackett's first practice as a head coach, as expected, most of the attention was on his new quarterback, Russell Wilson.
Hackett was asked what it was like working with his new signal caller, "It's great...it's all the guys, everybody is coming in they're so fired up, so excited to get out there," he said. "In the end that's what you want. You want guys to want to come out here. You want them to want to practice and want to get better, and Russ leads that charge, This guy loves practice. Just out there at the end, he was like, 'wait, we're done?' and you're like, 'man, I would love to!' But, you gotta tone it down, baby steps, but no, he's awesome.
For Wilson, who's spent the last 10 seasons in Seattle, there was certainly a bit of a "1st Day of School" vibe. However, the 9-time Pro Bowler and his pass catchers are a little ahead of the curve because they spent time throwing in San Diego, as well as in Denver without coaches on the field.
It's easy to feel the future hall-of-famer's energy and positivity. "Great first day...guys look really sharp, it was an excellent day, the locker room and everything, the guys are just excited to go play ball," Wilson said. "The transition to a new team, to be here with such tremendous talent, all of that translated to today, to be able to just go through the little details of the game, and the knowledge of what we're trying to do and us trying to coach each other up as much of possible, it's been really excellent. And just the (Offensive) Line, usually you have false starts, missed assignments, little stuff like that on first days, but, we didn't have any of that. We were really sharp, really on our idea of executing and getting in and out of the huddle and playing crisp football, and that was evident today."
While Wilson knows where he's supposed to be at practice, every first-time head coach, similar to walking into a high school lunch room for the first time, has to figure out where they fit in. Hackett calls the plays on offense, and admitted that's where a lot of his time is spent in the meeting room, but he's not just hanging out with the offense, at least not on the first day of practice in his new role. "I'm just going all over the place, I just want to be around everybody, focusing on the offense, but it's about defense, special teams, and everything."
Football practices in general, but especially in the Spring and Summer can feel a little mundane, but that doesn't appear to be the case with Wilson at QB and Hackett at head coach. One other thing we should get used to in Broncos Country, is Russell Wilson ending his press conference and likely radio and tv interviews with "Let's Ride."
Watch their post-practice press conferences below: