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As the music plays, Broncos feel 'more juice' at practice

Sure, having star quarterback Russell Wilson helps. But it's the long-lost music that moves Broncos players in practice.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Every time a Broncos player or coach steps up to the media podium, he is asked some version of what it’s like to have Russell Wilson on the team.

The answers, to a man, have always been some version of: it’s great.

It was D.J. Jones’ turn Tuesday following the Broncos’ second OTA practice. A defensive tackle who signed with the Broncos two months ago after playing five previous seasons with the San Francisco 49ers – the division rival of Wilson’s former Seattle Seahawks – Jones delivered a more spirited twist to the Russell Wilson Experience.

"He’s exactly who I thought he was," Jones said, his T-shirt drenched with sweat from the early afternoon two-hour practice. "He did something in practice the other day, and everyone was like, ‘That isn’t real.’ 

"Yes, it is. That’s what he does. He makes time and he gives the offense time. He’s going to make a beautiful throw, and it’ll probably be a touchdown."

Courtland Sutton as a receiver is more directly impacted than others by the recent acquisition of Wilson. He said great things about Wilson, too, Tuesday, but to a question about how different the energy is at practice compared to past years, he mentioned an inanimate object, if lively sound, as the key.

"You guys have been coming to practices the past few years—well, longer than that—but the music at practice is one thing that I feel brings a lot of juice," Sutton said.

RELATED: Wilson scatters, throws red zone TDs in Broncos' OTA debut

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton takes part in drills at the NFL football team's headquarters Monday, May 23, 2022, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

RELATED: Paul Hackett checks in on son at Broncos' OTAs

Vic Fangio, the Broncos’ head coach the previous three seasons, didn’t play music past the team stretch in practice because of the noise hindrance to delivering instruction. Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos’ new head coach, is a former hip-hop dancer. He plays music during practice, although, to be fair, it doesn’t blare as is the case with some coaches like Kyle Shanahan, Pete Carroll and Vance Joseph.

The music plays at a moderate practice decibel.

That doesn’t mean Hackett is going to be a better coach than Fangio. (Although, there’s optimism in Broncos Country he will have a better record.) It just means he likes to play music during practice.

“And then just the energy that the coaches bring,’’ Sutton said of the much younger coaching staff the Broncos are employing this season. “It’s not just the players have to go make the plays for everyone to start feeling the juice and wanting to go out and get everything going. As soon as the first horn blows, everyone has that juice, that pep in their step of getting somewhere fast.

“When we’re out there running the plays, everyone is taking care of their teammates but also having fun with it and having fun with the competition. You see receivers talking to the DBs and vice versa, the linebackers talking smack to the O-linemen and enjoying the process of us getting each other better. That’s all you can really ask for this time of the year.”

It's May 24, and like all the other May 24s, the Broncos are 0-0. Still, the music plays.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson takes part in drills at the NFL football team's headquarters Monday, May 23, 2022, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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