Broncos Day 7 OTAs: 1st Day of 11-on-11

Broncos QBs Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater on Day 7 of OTAs (Photo: Ben Swanson/Denver Broncos)

Monday's 7th Organized Team Activity Practice saw the Broncos go 11-on-11 team periods for the first time all Spring. Depending on who you ask, neither Quarterback, Drew Lock nor Teddy Bridgewater looked great. But, if you ask Head Coach Vic Fangio it was a good day for his signal callers, "Overall, it was good, Fangio said. "I saw that we had a pick or two on defense. I'm not sure who threw it, but I'll watch the tape. It was good to get 11-on-11. We did about 20 plays of team [work]. [We] kept the same amount we've been doing so far as plays go. We did a little less 'skelly,' but it was good. It's really good for the lines to get involved. It's really good for the defense to have to figure out if it's a run or a pass, [which is the] most fundamental and important thing you have to do on defense. It was great work and I was pleased with it. I'll take a look at the tape and see how it looked totally.”

Both QBs did manage to throw interceptions. Lock had a pair to outside linebacker Malik Reed as the ball slipped out of his hand, and one a few plays later that would've been a pick-6 to safety Justin Simmons. Bridgewater threw the ball to rookie safety Jemar Johnson.

Fangio said a couple of weeks ago that it's not fair to either QB to try to judge who's playing better until the pads come on, and/or they get into pre-season games, but left guard Dalton Risner, who's back after a bout with Covid-19 between vaccination shots, said it's not hard to support both of the QBs as they compete for the starting job, "It’s the same way across the whole locker room," Risner said, "right, because there’s competition going on everywhere, whether since the quarterback is the main position, that might be the highlighted one that everyone’s talking about, but there’s competition everywhere. My thing is, we’re all teammates trying to be the best team possible. I never pick sides. I’m not going to hangout with one more than the other. I’m going to respect both, get to know both, try to support both for every position across the team – not only just quarterbacks. When it comes a lunch, yes, I might sit with Drew [Lock] one day, might sit with Teddy [Bridgewater]. I don’t know Teddy as well, so I’m trying to get to know him. Drew has been my boy ever since I got here. So it’s always great as a teammate to make sure that you’re extending yourself to your teammates and making sure you get to know them and see their likes and dislikes. Get to know them so you can get to know them better on the field. I’m always trying to do that with every position and every competition across the board, even if it’s my own competition. As for Risner himself, he certainly missed the camaraderie with his teammates.

On the defensive side, cornerback Kyle Fuller made his first appearance in Orange and Blue, and even though he's new to the Mile High City, as someone who's played in this defense for 4 seasons in Chicago, there is still a slight learning curve, although Fangio, who saw Fuller earn all-pro honors playing for him in 2017. "I'm sure it will be(a learning curve)." Fangio said. "I saw Kyle. We happened to walk in the building today at the same time. I saw him in meetings and saw him out on the field. I've seen him just a little bit more than you guys. He should have a very, very fast learning curve. There are some things that we're doing here that we didn’t do [with the Bears] and some things he hasn’t heard in a couple years. Overall, it should be about as easy as it can be for a new player.”

Inside Lineback Alexander Johnson talked after practice as well, and while his head coach mentioned he needed to be more assignment sound, and not freelance as much. The team's leading tackler in 2020 agreed he needed to be more disciplined, but pushed back about criticism of his technique and assignment responsibility, "I feel like I’m pretty sound, and I’m pretty technique [conscious] already," Johnson said. "I feel like he may be saying that over some of the mistakes I made last year, but those just came with playing the game instead of just me doing my job and trying to help out or fall into another gap if I see a gap open instead of just sticking to—it's my job, stick to my job and let the other stuff play out. Far as technique-wise, is something that I know I want to improve on as far as what I was just saying earlier. 'All right, I know I got hip over top from the safety on this leverage, let me slide out to the outside leverage, to make the running back go inside or make him go outside on different formations and coverages.”

Johnson also said he'd likely still celebrate like a Dinosaur and that he, like so many Coloradans would continue to ride his bike to work.