CENTENNIAL • The Broncos' offense is really starting to click 10 days into training camp.
After a slow start to camp, quarterback Russell Wilson and the offense have been stacking a few good days in a row at UCHealth Training Center. On Saturday, the offense was clearly the better side of the ball, scoring several touchdowns, courtesy of Wilson.
Here are the top observations from the practice:
Star of the day: QB Russell Wilson
Wilson had arguably his best day of camp so far on Saturday. Wilson completed several touchdowns, most notably a 50-yard-plus pass to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who got behind the defense for a wide-open touchdown.
Wilson also led a successful two-minute drill during team period. Given 1:42 remaining with no timeouts before halftime, Wilson led a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a short field goal. The highlight play of the drive was a 35-yard completion to undrafted rookie receiver Brandon Johnson, who beat cornerback Ronald Darby on a go-route. Wilson also had a nice touchdown throw to wide receiver Courtland Sutton in the red-zone period, finding Sutton in the back of the end zone.
After the defense appeared to control the first week of camp, the offense has certainly started to click in recent days, which is a credit to Wilson, who has been crisp during the team periods.
"It goes with everybody," coach Nathaniel Hackett said. "It’s just as us as a team, you want to see good things on both sides of the ball. You don’t want just one side to get after it — one or the other. I think, again, it is continuously evenly matched. The defense is really good, and the offense is starting to understand what we are doing."
Rookie spotlight: OLB Nik Bonitto
Second-round pick Nik Bonitto has had a strong camp through 10 days. He's had a handful of what would've been sacks and tackles for loss in real games. He's also been taking reps on the first team.
"I'm definitely feeling more comfortable," Bonitto said. "Every day, I can feel myself getting better in some aspect of my game, whether it's against the run, my hands, the pass rush — I'm improving every day."
Bonitto added he's ready to play a real game so that he can actually tackle, especially the quarterback. That's why the Broncos drafted him, as he totaled 19.5 sacks, including 16 his last two seasons at Oklahoma.
But at Oklahoma, Bonitto was playing in a different defense. He was asked to move around a lot to create pressure or drop back into a spy position. In Denver, he's being asked to be a true edge player, which he said he's more comfortable with.
"Here, it's more setting the edges, going against tight ends, setting the edges against the tackles," Bonitto said. "At Oklahoma, it was more slanting, looping, a lot more stunts and stuff like that. I was definitely moving around more. Whereas here, I can focus more on being just an edge guy. That's what I'm best at: just being on the edge."
Top highlights: Washington's diving TD
Another day, another Montrell Washington highlight play.
The rookie wide receiver has been a standout in camp so far, with multiple touchdown grabs and almost no drops during team periods. But on Saturday, he may have made his best catch yet, diving for a ball in the corner of the end zone during the red-zone period, catching another touchdown pass.
Fellow rookie wide receiver Brandon Johnson also had a nice catch Saturday, which came during the two-minute drill. Wilson found Johnson on a deep ball for 35 yards down the sideline. Johnson, like Washington, has had a nice camp and could be a dark horse to make the roster as an undrafted player.
Fight: Agim, Braden scuffle
Saturday saw the first fight of training camp, with defensive tackle McTelvin Agim and offensive lineman Ben Braden getting into a scuffle after a play during one of the team periods. A couple of punches were thrown by both players before it was broken up, and Hackett kicked both off the field.
After the period was over, Hackett spoke with the two players, which ended a group hug between Hackett, Agim and Braden.
“I just kicked those guys off the field. In the end, that’s what happens in a game," Hackett said. "In a game, if something like that happens — if someone is out, potentially for the whole game, it hurts the team. In the end, we talk about the team. It’s all about the team, and I know there’s heated battles out there, but it’s all about controlled aggression. No matter what happens, you can’t throw a punch. You can’t do anything like that.
"That’s not what we want; that’s not what we coach. After that, we talked, cleared the air and made sure they were all good. Then they were able to come back onto the field."
Injuries: Muti misses practices
Safety Caden Sterns and wide receiver Kendall Hinton both returned to practice Saturday after missing the past few days with minor injuries. The only new players to miss practice was guard Netane Muti and outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper.
"Cooper is just continuing to go through some stuff, so just making sure he is good and, Muti — we are evaluating his knee," Hackett said.