ENGLEWOOD – There is reason to be nervous about reporting this, but Case Keenum and the Broncos’ No. 1 offense looked really good against the Chicago Bears’ No. 1 defense during the joint practice Wednesday at the UCHealth Training Center.
Keenum, the Broncos’ starting quarterback, completed several passes – many for big gains – to the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Jeff Heuerman, De’Angelo Henderson, Phillip Lindsay and Tim Patrick.
And during one-on-one drills, Keenum and Emmanuel Sanders had Bears’ No. 1 cornerback Kyle Fuller corkscrewed into the ground.
“We did some good things,’’ Keenum said. “There’s some things I’d like to see a little quicker. In the two-minute drive, I think we can communicate a little bit better because that’s such a crucial part of the game. We did some good things. There’s some really good film and I’m excited to go watch it with the guys.”
Then again, it was reported throughout offseason practices and the first 10 days of training camp that Keenum and the Broncos’ offense looked good. And then they had back-to-back, three-and-outs in their two series against the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason opener Saturday.
The Broncos and Bears have another joint practice Thursday (closed to the public) and then a preseason game Saturday at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
About that second-string defense
You know who else looked good throwing the ball Wednesday? Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel. He torched the Broncos’ second-string defense. Bears starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky also had his moments, especially during the 2-minute drive period.
It didn’t help that Broncos’ No. 1 cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was held out with a strained oblique and third-string corner Michael Hunter was out with migraines.
“Case was really sharp,’’ Joseph said. “Defensively, our one defense was really sharp, and our two defense was terrible—too many mistakes, too many busted coverages.
“We’re down to six corners. We’ve got guys that we signed yesterday getting reps—so I get it, but it wasn’t very good with our two defense.”
Moot sentence: Carlos Henderson suspended one game
It sounded like good lawyer work at the time. When Broncos receiver Carlos Henderson was facing six months in jail for possessing marijuana, accepting a three-month diversion program plea seemed like a good idea. The marijuana possession charge came after he unsuccessfully tried to eat the evidence, according to a Louisiana police report.
However, accepting any kind of plea is an admission of guilt in the eyes of the NFL and Henderson was slapped with a one-game suspension Wednesday for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Henderson, though, is unlikely to serve the suspension because he is unlikely to ever make the Broncos’ 53-man roster as he declined to report to training camp for what the team and his agent stated were for personal reasons.
Ray reps with No. 1
There were a few defensive series Wednesday when Shane Ray lined up at outside linebacker with the Broncos’ No. 1 defense. Ray, remember, was replaced by rookie Bradley Chubb as the No. 1 outside linebacker opposite Von Miller last week when the team’s first depth chart came out.
“I don’t have any control over the depth chart,’’ Ray said. “The way I took it, I didn’t let it faze me. I’m going to keep playing, keep working and try to do whatever I can for my team.
“My teammates, my coaches, they all know what I can do. I would be a bad teammate if I got salty.
Why should I get salty for? Coming back from an injury, I’m still out there with one hand playing the game that I love. I’m just happy to be out there playing.
“They’re going to find a place for me. I’ve got faith in Joe (Woods, defensive coordinator), I’ve got faith in Vance. They’re going to get me out there.’’
As for his troublesome left wrist, he’s adjusted the wrap/case/brace so that his left thumb is now free.
“It’s still a process,’’ he said. “I’m trying to get another adjustment, so I can get a little more grip. The hardest thing for me is grabbing guys, especially in a game when those jerseys are so tight, it’s hard for me to get a good grip on my left hand. But I’m working on it. I’ll find a way.’’