Day 7 was not a good one for the Broncos as head coach Gary Kubiak described it as “lethargic” and says there was “a lot of things to correct“
“We had a day off yesterday and we did not respond very well,” said Gary Kubiak. “Good teams when you get a break day, you come back and you’re bouncing around. We were kind of lethargic and not practicing well.”
The Bronco’s defense looks like it did in 2015, leaving little concern about their play in 2016. The offense is a different story, with tough competition at the quarterback, running back, and receiver position. The tight end position has many unanswered questions right now, as Virgil Green and Jeff Heuerman both seem as if they are lock for the final roster. Both, however, are coming off of injury, with Green returning from finger surgery and Heuerman returning from an ACL injury he suffered in the offseason last year, ending his rookie season before he had any game action.
“We’re counting on him big time. You look at us releasing ‘O.D’ and you never know what can happen there down the road- but when Jeff came in he was very impressive…We think he has the ability to do both catch and block.”- Head coach Gary Kubiak in March 2016.
The Broncos signed former Texans tight end Garrett Graham this offseason who is competing for the third and likely final tight end spot on the roster, but in case things do get shaky, Owen Daniels is still on the market.
The running back situation has C.J. Anderson as the starter, but the second, third, and maybe fourth string positions are still up for debate, as rookie Devontae Booker and third year veteran Kapri Bibbs compete for the second and third. Booker has an edge on Bibbs, even with recovering from meniscus surgery in November. According to milehighreport.com writer Scotty Payne, Ronnie Hillman, who lead the season in rushing last season, is the odd man out at the RB position.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Big news hit the quarterback position as the Chiefs signed Nick Foles. The quarterback and Andy Reid reunite after spending the 2012 season together in Philadelphia.
The Chiefs had a more relaxed practice Wednesday, practicing in helmets and shorts leading into their day off on Thursday. Head coach Andy Reid ran a 10-10-10 practice, which gives each team ten reps per drill, which is a less tiring practice. Reid gave praise to the scout team for giving them the look they want to be successful this season.
“It was all execution. I always like to give an extra shout out to the scout team for giving the looks we need , so our offense can execute their plays.”
Quarterback Tyler Bray is impressing the team and fans alike with his arm strength, while Aaron Murray has shown he can lead a drive, capping a 90 yard drive on Tuesday’s practice, within the drill’s 7 minutes and 51 second time slot.
Left tackle Patrick Ehinger resumed play after leaving Tuesday’s practice with a foot injury. OLB Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have not reported to practice as they remain on the PUP list, along with Jamaal Charles. Eric Berry still hasn’t reported due to his contract dispute.
The Chiefs resume full padded practice Friday.
The Raiders announced Wednesday that they have released running back Roy Helu Jr. The veteran had surgery on both hips this offseason, leaving him on the PUP list since camp started. Fifth round pick from Texas Tech Deandre Washington is having a great camp, making him a likely choice for the second string running back position behind Latavius Murray.
The most interesting competition is the kicking battle between 17-year veteran Sebastian Janikowski and Giorgio Tavecchio, and Sports Illustrated’s Austin Murphy reports Tavecchio has out-kicked Janikowski thus far in camp. The former first round pick (yes, he really was a first round pick) has had notable lower kicking percentages since the 2012 season, where he had a 91% field goal accuracy, leading to his next deal with the Silver and Black. Since then, he has kicked 70%, 86%, and 81%. The Raiders would interesting enough save over $3 million in cap space. I would say this is an intriguing situation in Oakland.
The secondary in the Bay Area is quietly progressing their secondary, according to cornerback Sean Smith. Smith signed with the Raiders this offseason from Kansas City, and he has been a vocal leader this offseason.
“To be honest with you, it’s been going great, going back to OTAs. From the outside looking in, you’d hear things and figure, ‘They must not be that good in the secondary.’ You get here, you meet these guys, and you realize this is loaded with talent. It’s just that they were inexperienced. They had to go through their growing pains.”
The offense has been having success as well, with Michael Crabtree’s “killer training camp”, and Derek Carr’s progress with his play reading.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
The Chargers had the day off Tuesday and returned to the field on Wednesday with a new face.
The Chargers signed veteran receiver James Jones Tuesday after hosting a workout for him. He practiced for the Bolts for the first time Wednesday, and he caught a touchdown Brandon Flowers, and he was thrown in the first team offense at some time on Wednesday.
Tyrell Williams stole the show Wednesday, as he played in most of the teamls snaps. The undrafted receiver from Western Oregon is in his second year with the team. According to Garrett Sisti, writer for boltsfromtheblue.com, Williams snatched a touchdown grab over Casey Hayward, and another one over Nick Dzubnar on a dig route in an 11 on 11 red zone drill.
Sisti also reports that the other quarterbacks not named Phillip Rivers, are awful. With no real notes on the quarterbacks, I imagine Zach Mettenberger lacking the speed and read ability to make pro decisions. Being an ASU fan, I could write a whole separate piece on why Mike Bercovici is terrible. He’s inaccurate, makes bad reads, has sloppy footwork, and is undersized. The Chargers need to get a backup situation down before they end up like the Dallas Cowboys did in 2015.