The Broncos wrapped up the first mini-camp of the Nathaniel Hackett/Russell Wilson era, and by all accounts, it was a good 3 days. Justin Outten, in his new role as offensive coordinator was pleased with the work his unit accomplished, "It was good," he said. "It was exciting to get on the grass and out of our cubicles upstairs to get these guys moving around in our system. [We saw] the development of the learning process carried over to the field. It’s been fun."
Hackett is going to call the plays, but it's Outten's job to make sure all elements of the offense are on the same page. That starts with making sure everyone is on the same page with Wilson. Understandably, Denver's 1st-year O.C. wasa happy to be on the field with the 9-time Pro Bowler, "Looking at him from afar for the last six years and playing him what seems like every season—it’s just his process and how he works," Outten said. "It’s not just out here. It’s in the meeting room. It’s watching video in the building and outside the building. He does all the right things. He’s a pro’s pro. He’s a leader deep down inside. He wants the best for himself, but he also wants the best for the team. With his work habits, it’s rubbing off on those other guys which is exciting. You can’t beat that."
The offense already has plenty of offensive talent at their disposal, but the team bolstered the running game by bringing back Melvin Gordon on a 1-year deal worth up to $5 Million. Last year, he and Javonte Williams both carried the ball exactly 203 times each, with Gordon gaining 918 yards and scoring 8 times, while Williams racked up 903 yards and 4 scores. "With him being in the system, it’s going to be another opportunity for us to get another guy back there to run the outside zone in third-down situations," Outten said. "[It’s about] having that 1-2 punch. All those guys are working their tail off as well. You have [RB] Mike Boon and [RB Damarea] Crockett. Those guys are really putting in the work, so it’ll be exciting to get him on the field as well."
Wide receiver Tim Patrick spoke after Wednesday's practice as well, and he had pretty high praise for a couple of moves general manager George Paton made recently. The first being the return of safety Kareem Jackson, who's notorious for "talking trash" in practice to offensive teammates, but more importantly, setting a tone with his play and his veteran presence. "In my opinion, it was the last missing piece that we needed," Patrick said "Honestly, ‘K-Jack’ (S Kareem Jackson) is a leader, and he’s a tempo-setter on that defense. The way he talks, the way he hits—not many people are hitting people the way he does and that just gets everybody excited. The way he carries himself in the locker room, he’s a veteran in this league and has seen a lot of football. He helps the young guys. He helps us in life and helps us in football. In my opinion, he was our missing piece that we needed to sign."
Patrick was also excited to have Gordon back in the fold as well, "They both had 900 yards last year, right? That’s just another piece to the puzzle. It’s going to be scary this season. I’ll tell you that."
The NFL Draft begins Thursday night. Phase 2 of the Broncos off-season program continues next week.
Watch the Press Conferences from Outten, as well as Special Teams Coordinator Dwayne Stukes, Patrick and safety Justin Simmons below: