Brandon Krisztal spoke 1-on-1 with Right Guard Ron Leary. (Photo: Michael Coover/KOA NewsRadio
Day 2 of Broncos Training Camp 2019 was relatively uneventful, and that’s probably not the worst thing.
The biggest question today, was how would Vic Fangio handle the injury to Inside Linebacker Todd Davis. As expected it was a rotation of Alexander Johnson and Joseph Jones. Fangio indicated Johnson got the shot with the first team today, and it would rotate with Jones getting a shot, as well as Keishawn Bierria. While Jones appeared to get some work with the 1s, Fangio made it sound like today was Johnson’s Day.
“Yeah, I think you saw A.J. (Alexander Johnson) out there today running with the first group,” Fangio said. “Probably tomorrow or the next day it’ll be somebody else. We’re just going to kind of even off the work with everybody.”
As for the rest of practice, the Kevin Hogan project continued to seem like a waste of time, as he was intercepted 3 times, once by Jones, once by De’Vante Bausby and once by Su’A Cravens.
The only thing that made Hogan’s struggles tolerable was we finally saw Drew Lock get some work with the second team. Lock wasn’t overly impressive, but at least the guy that John Elway has all but said will be the backup, got some work with the group he’ll likely spend more time with as the pre-season moves along. In fact, following the series that Lock got with the 2’s, he stayed in and worked with the 3’s.
Fellow rookie QB Brett Rypien got an extended look with the 3’s today too, and he provided the highlight of the day, which coincided with the end of practice. He found speedster running back Khalfani Muhammad on a deep wheel route where Muhammad appeared to haul in a 45-yard Touchdown. Johnson, who was caught in a bit of a mismatch immediately signaled incomplete. Despite the cheers from the crowds who were tough enough to brave the near 100-Degree temperatures cheers, it appears that Muhammad didn’t make the catch in the end zone.
Not surprisingly, Fangio said after practice that nobody should read into the QB rotation this early in camp and no decision about the backup is close to being made. “It’s way too early to start any thoughts that way. I don’t think there’s anything that’s in stone, but you like to see obviously more practices, a preseason game or two and then maybe.”
A lot has been made of Emmanuel Sanders speedy return from his torn Achilles tendon. And while it’s certainly well-deserved, it appears to have over-shadowed Ron Leary’s return to the field even though he suffered the same injury 7 weeks earlier than Sanders on October 14.
Leary happily wears the offensive line leader badge as the elder statesman of that unit. I tracked down the 8-year Vet post-practice and it’s clear that he’s excited to be back on the field.
A couple more things that stood out today…there’s a noticeable absence at practice, and it’s not a person, it’s the music that has been a permanent fixture during practice dating back to Josh McDaniels tenure in 2009 and continuing the through each of the next 3 Coaches eras.
Thus, I asked Fangio about the decision to eliminate music from his practices and he responded, “Anybody’s who’s been a position coach or an assistant coach they don’t like the music because it makes it hard to talk to your guys, so I don’t see the benefit of having music out there. I was an assistant coach and I don’t want to have to drum out the noise to talk to my players. There’s no music in games, and when it goes to the point where we need to simulate crowd noise in practice, which we will do, it will be noise. It won’t be music. It will be noise. That’s what it is in the game. Noise by definition sounds annoying. Music sounds nice so if we have to deal with noise let’s deal with noise.”
Fangio also pointed out that Derek Wolfe is in a better mood, which may seem as a surprise to some.“I think Derek is really happy right now which is hard to believe,” Fangio said. “I’ve heard he’s a grump guy, but he hasn’t been grumpy around me. I enjoy being around him, but I think he’s in a good spot.”
Derek and his wife Abby welcomed their daughter Roxanna into the world recently, and I asked Wolfe if that’s why he’s been in a better mood. “She brings so much joy to my life,” he said. “If you know anything about my past, you know how important having a family was to me. To hold my daughter every day—at the end of the day, we get out of meetings at 9:15 p.m., and I go home just for a quick hour just to put her to sleep. I get to feed her a bottle and put her to sleep. That just rejuvenates me for the next day. I go to the hotel, go to sleep and then wake up the next day—I look forward to that hour I get with my daughter now. That’s like my treat for the end of the day. It just gives me a whole new purpose in life.”
I ran into rookie left guard Dalton Risner and I asked him about the rumor I heard yesterday that he was only gonna meet the media once a week.
The Wiggins, Colorado native has been a media darling pretty much his entire life, but certainly since he was drafted by the Broncos. Thus, I was curious if this rumor is true.
On his way into the locker room he said, “yeah, I’m only talking once a week.” Why I asked? He replied simply, “I haven’t done anything yet to earn the right to speak that much.”
We’ll see how long that lasts…
Saturday the tempo should ramp up in the third practice. The Broncos will be wearing “Shells” which is essentially shoulder pads, but shorts instead of padded pants. The first full-padded practice comes Sunday.