ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — And on the final day of school, Mr. Fangio cancelled class and organized an outside Field Day for his kids.
The 2019 Broncos concluded their offseason program Thursday not with a final minicamp workout, but a Field Day competition.
Vic Fangio, the Broncos’ old-school coach, notified his players after team meetings Thursday morning that practice was cancelled in favor of a fun-and-games bonding period.
The Field Day competitions included a home run derby (Garett Bolles appeared to claim victory on video from team website), 3-point basketball shooting contest (rookie QB Drew Lock was the winner), water balloon toss, remote control car races, chipping contest, a football toss, watermelon eating contest and a football-throwing dunk tank in which general manager John Elway was among the splash victims.
Fangio also provided an Italian Ice truck. Thus ends the Broncos’ offseason program that began April 2nd with conditioning. The players now go on a five-week vacation before reconvening for training camp in mid-July.
Lock the QB
Lock’s sharpshooting on Broncos’ Field Day – he hit 5 of 6 from downtown -- was a reminder that he had NCAA Division-I basketball scholarships from Oklahoma, Wichita State and Missouri before he attended Missouri on a football scholarship.
As for Lock the Broncos’ rookie quarterback, he has been outplaying fellow rookie Brett Rypien. But Lock finished the offseason behind veteran Kevin Hogan as the backup quarterback to Joe Flacco.
"They need to be resilient," Fangio said following what can now be called the team’s final offseason practice on Wednesday. "It’s OK to make a mistake or two. It’s not OK to repeat it, and it’s not OK to let it drag into the next play. These guys have been playing sports for a long time – at quarterback. They have to learn that."
Ron Leary became a hot commodity in free agency two years ago after playing left guard in a zone-blocking system for the Dallas Cowboys from 2012-16.
He is back playing the zone system for Broncos’ new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello this year, although he is switching to right guard. He is happy with both developments – the right side and the zone.
"I love right guard," said Leary, who has returned from his season-ending Achilles injury. "I think you all might have said I wanted to go back to my natural spot at left guard more than me. I wanted to stay at right guard last year. I had made that known to the coaches, but they decided to move me back to left. I’m glad to be at right. I feel a lot more comfortable at right. I had a great season at right my first year here."
And the zone system?
"I love it," Leary said. "That’s all we did at Dallas before. That’s kind of our staple here. It’s getting back to what I did best when I was having my best years in the league, so I’m excited about it."
The Broncos’ offensive line appears set. The starting five from left tackle to right: Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Connor McGovern, Leary and Ja’Wuan James.
Elijah Wilkinson appears locked in as the swing tackle. There remains a serious competition for the interior backup position between Sam Jones, Austin Schlottmann, Don Barclay, Jake Brendel and newcomer Chaz Green.