The Denver Broncos were back on the practice field for Day 3 of training camp on Friday with 3,270 fans in attendance.
Here are five quick notes on camp following Friday’s session.
Derek Wolfe retires as a Bronco
Wolfe returned to Denver this week and he attended Friday’s practice and officially retired from the NFL as a Broncos, something that he said was important to him.
“The gratitude that I feel for the organization as a whole and the city itself, the love that they showed me from Day 1, it’s just been incredible,” Wolfe told media members after practice.
After spending eight seasons with the Broncos, Wolfe played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2020-2021. He was a key member of Denver’s defense that led the team to a win in Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season.
Wolfe retires from the NFL with 350 tackles and 34 sacks on his resume.
Injury report: 6 players sidelined
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Broncos outside linebacker Randy Gregory (shoulder), offensive lineman Billy Turner (knee) and wide receiver KJ Hamler (knee) remain on the non football injury list, and offensive lineman Tom Compton (back) remains sidelined, but he hasn’t officially been placed on the PUP list yet.
Meanwhile, outside linebacker Christopher Allen (foot) is on the non-football list, and rookie tight end Greg Dulcich (hamstring) has been working on the side during practice. Those are the six players currently working their way back from injuries.
Pat Surtain building on impressive rookie season
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
After a standout rookie season in 2021, Surtain has carried the momentum from his impressive first season into training camp.
“He is a great person to start off, he’s a smart guy, and he’s starting to get comfortable,” Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said of Surtain on Thursday. “There are some new things that he is doing out there and I think he is starting to feel good about those. … Then you add in the range, the speed, the strength, and all of those things.”
Surtain is an excellent test for the offense and going up against quarterback Russell Wilson will test and challenge the cornerback as well.
“It makes me better all-around as far as a player — going in each and every day competing against a guy like him,” Surtain said. “He makes tremendous throws each and every day. When you go against a guy like that — a high-caliber QB like that — it just makes you better all around.”
Iron sharpens iron
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
It’s typical at an NFL practice to see a first-team offense going up a second-team defense with the first-team defense facing the second-team offense. Hackett has been having the first-team units face off against each other seemingly more often than they have in recent years.
“It good on good, and we want to make each other better,” Hackett said. “Watching [Bradley] Chubb go against Garret [Bolles] and Malik [Reed], all those guys — you always want everyone rolling.
“Then every now and then, you get to sprinkle those other guys in and see if they can step it up — whether that would be on offense or defense. It’s about making the team better. You want everyone to compete together.”
Running back rotation returns
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Just as they did in 2021, the Broncos are having Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams split first-team reps at a near-even rotation. Fans can probably expect a one-two punch this year similar to last season’s rotation.
“For me, we’re going to need both of those guys,” Hackett said. “We’re going to need all of those guys. All of those running backs are doing such a good job.
“They all do a couple of things different, [whether] Javonte goes in there first or Melvin. We want to give them both the ball quite a bit, because they’re very good football players. I love how both of those guys are coming along.”
Denver players will be back on the field on Saturday ahead of a day off on Sunday.