It was once dubbed, “Jets West.”
Then, after Mark Sanchez joined the Philadelphia Eagles, his players-only passing camp near his southern California home became, “Nest West.”
Now it’s time to bring on, “Broncos Beach.”
As the Denver Broncos flirt with another quarterback, Sanchez is reminding his new team it already has a capable leader. Sanchez is holding his annual passing camp Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Orange County, this time with Broncos receivers, tight ends, running backs and quarterback mate Trevor Siemian.
“It shows he wants to come in and get to know us before OTAs start,” Broncos receiver Bennie Fowler said Sunday afternoon from California. “I think it’s really good. It’s going to help us get off to a good start.”
Let Broncos general manager John Elway worry about trying to acquire Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers. Sanchez will concentrate on what he can control, which is to get acclimated with his new teammates.
Sanchez held similar passing camps during his time with the Jets and Eagles. The passing camp with the Broncos is a bit earlier than usual as the team doesn’t begin its offseason workout program until April 18.
But Sanchez’ enthusiasm about leading the defending Super Bowl champs cannot be contained. The three-day session will include offensive whiteboard sessions followed by route-running and passing.
The Broncos’ administration and coaches have nothing to do with the passing camp. Sanchez will serve as camp organizer and offensive coordinator. He will take all his teammates out to dinner one night.
Peyton Manning held similar sessions in past offseasons with Broncos receivers at Duke University.
“It’ll be nice to get some work in,” Siemian said. “Mark set this whole thing up. He’s a good dude from everything I’ve been hearing.”
Fowler and Siemian are aware of Elway’s flirtation with Kaepernick. But if the 2015 season taught the Broncos anything, it’s that a team usually needs more than one quarterback to get through a 16-game schedule.
“You’ve got to be ready with multiple quarterbacks, guys have to step in on a moment’s notice and do the job,” Fowler said.
“From a distance I figured we’ll probably add somebody,” Siemian said, referring to another experienced quarterback. “And we’ll probably draft somebody. I’ll be ready to have four guys when we go to training camp.’’
Siemian, a seventh-round rookie last year who did not attempt a pass, is the only quarterback returning from the 2015 Broncos as Manning retired and backup Brock Osweiler left for free agency and Houston.
Fowler is part of six-man receiver group that pretty much returns intact. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders head the receivers followed by Jordan Norwood, Cody Latimer and Fowler. The only expected change is Jordan Taylor coming up from the practice squad to replace veteran Andre “Bubba” Caldwell.
At tight end, Jeff Heuerman will be counted on to replace Owen Daniels, who was released. Heuerman, a third-round draft pick out of Ohio State last year, missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL suffered early in the offseason.
Everybody is new to Sanchez so why wait to get to work?
“He’s taken the Jets to two AFC Championship Games, he’s been in the league for a long time,” Fowler said. “He’s a good player. This will be a good situation.”