ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Tough day for Teddy.
Halfway through the Broncos’ fourth training camp practice Saturday, the two guys in The Great Quarterback Competition, Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, had yet to throw an interception.
And then Bridgewater was picked off on back-to-back passes and later threw a third pick.
Lock also moved the first-team offense more smoothly and efficiently than Bridgewater did with the second-team offense during the Broncos’ first move-the-ball session of camp.
In fairness to Bridgewater, two of his interceptions were deflected at the line of scrimmage. Defensive lineman McTelvin Agim, who barely played as a third-round rookie last year, batted a Bridgewater pass up in the air, then snagged the ball on its way down, and ran it back. Swat, pick, six.
Veteran safety Kareem Jackson got the next two interceptions. The first on a pure move up from his safety position. The second was off a goal-to-go drill when it appeared blitzing linebacker Alexander Johnson deflected the ball at the line and it ricocheted to Jackson’s arms in the end zone.
"The one was a coverage which was the first time we played it this camp so maybe he got fooled but I’m not sure," head coach Vic Fangio said of Bridgewater’s second interception, first by Jackson. "And then there was a tip. There’s always a story behind every interception. We’ll see what that story was (after watching film)."
Fangio said Friday following Day 3 there’s been no real separation between Lock and Bridgewater. And it that continues through the end of training camp and the preseason?
"I’ll just have to pick the one I believe gives us the best chance to win," Fangio said.
Crowd on the hill
Day 4 of camp drew a nice, invitation-only crowd of 2,587 Saturday. The Broncos said it was at full capacity given the COVID-19 protocol restrictions.
"I hope we max out every day," Fangio said. "I haven’t watched much of the Olympics but from what I’ve seen, no fans there, you can see the difference. It’s not quite as exciting. Sports needs fans. Particularly at the highest levels. Our fans are great.
"I think one of the things you can say about Denver fans, because I follow baseball as you know, and there like (sixth) in attendance, the Rockies are, in attendance for Major League Baseball. And they’re in the toughest division in baseball, they don’t have a chance for the playoffs, but they’re a team that’s building, grooming a lot of young players and they’re supporting them. They’re outdrawing cities like Chicago, Philadelphia. That just speaks to the Denver fans."
Two of the most improved players through the first four days of training camp have been receiver Kendall Hinton and Agim. Which figures since both were rookies who didn’t play much in year one. Hinton was an undrafted receiver out of Wake Forest who memorably filled in for one game as an emergency quarterback last year. He has been mixing in reps with the first team offense.
Agim was a third-round draft pick out of Arkansas who was inactive for six games last year and averaged just 14 defensive snaps in the 10 games he did play. Is Agim ready to play more this year?
"We hope so," Fangio said. "The next four weeks will tell if he’s one of the 53. But yeah he’s a lot better than he was last year. I feel a lot better about him."
Fangio has been impressed with the nightly entertainment put on by the rookies so far.
"I said to George (Paton, the general manager) yesterday, I said I don’t know if this rookie class can play or not but they’re the best rookie show we’ve ever had," the coach said. "(Pat) Surtain set the ball high the first night. And then Javonte (Williams) and (Baron) Browning did a skit together and (Quinn) Meinerz was great last night. … These guys have been the best rookie performances I’ve seen so far."
Kareem Jackson agrees, with a condition. "They haven’t missed so far. We’ve had three rookie shows so far, three different rookies went and they haven’t missed so far. They’ve been doing a great job. I’ll be looking forward to what we’re going to get tonight."
Defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones said The Belly was the best. "Meinerz, he had the funniest one so far, by far," Jones said. "He is the whitest wide dude on the team right now."
Defensive tackle Mike Purcell missed practice with a sprained ankle, an injury he suffered during practice Friday. Inside linebacker Josey Jewell left practice with tightness in his groin muscle. …
The Broncos have Sunday off from camp. No practice, no meetings, no conditioning. Nothing.
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