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Broncos notes: Bolles says game has changed — back to leaner, quicker offensive linemen

Two Hat Hackett will seek counsel on dual game day head coach/play calling duties. Wilson sharp in Day 2 of camp.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Garett Bolles has become a master of the set-up compliment.

In talking about the adjustments he’s had to make as a left tackle to the wide zone blocking zone, Bolles veered into describing what defensive line teammates Dre’Mont Jones and D.J. Jones have overcome to get to where they are, then pumped in the reason why they are here.

"I think a lot of teams are going to the outside zone scheme," Bolles said following the Broncos’ second training practice Thursday. "I think linemen aren’t as big as they used to be anymore, these 350-plus guys, anymore. A lot of guys are more lean, low 300s, guys who are quick and fast off the ball.

"The game is changing. The defensive line, I mean you look at Dre’Mont Jones, he’s not who you would think belongs in the league but he’s so quick and fast and agile that he goes around (blockers). Or D.J. Jones, you’re like, man he may be a little slow but he’s quick off the ball. The game’s changing. Guys are getting faster so you have to be more athletic.

"So with me I feel like I fit this scheme really well with who I am, my size and my ability to get out there and create running lanes for the back."

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles (72) looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Two Hat Hackett

Nathaniel Hackett is not only a first-time head coach, he’ll be calling offensive plays for the first time since 2018 when he was with Jacksonville. One of the criticisms Vic Fangio received in his previous three years as Broncos head coach was while he was very good at defensive play calling, he wasn’t on top of game management decisions a head coach must make in regards to timeout and fourth down calls -- especially in his first year, and one game into his second.

Luckily for Hackett, the previous head coach he worked for, Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur, was in a similar position in 2019 – a first-time head coach who called the offensive plays on game day. And LeFleur went 13-3, 13-3 and 13-4 in his three seasons. Has Hackett sought advice from LaFleur or others about how to balance such a mental workload on game day?

"Not yet but I’ll probably be reaching out to him," Hackett said. "We talk a lot, he’s so dear to me. He did so much for me, and I want to do it a lot like how he did it. I thought he did a fantastic job. I’ll definitely talk with a couple of people I’m close with and he will definitely be one of them."

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett watches during the NFL football team's training camp Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Camp wrap

Russell Wilson had a good practice in Day 2 of training camp. He quickly carved up the Denver defense with short and intermediate completions. He had a deep crossing route to Jerry Jeudy that went for a big gainer. Wilson also had several nice connections with veteran backup tight end Eric Saubert.

The defensive play of the game was made by safety Justin Simmons who ranged back to bat away a deep Wilson pass intended for Jeudy. Cornerback Pat Surtain II also knocked away at the last second what appeared to be a back-shoulder completion from Wilson to Courtland Sutton.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson takes part in drills during the NFL football team's training camp Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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