ENGLEWOOD — On the eighth day of training camp, Russell Wilson delivered a signature moment.
It happened in the two-minute drill, offering a Cliffs Notes version of why the Broncos traded three players and five draft picks for the nine-time Pro Bowler in March.
With the Broncos deep in their own territory, Wilson went to work. On third-and-15, he hit Jerry Jeudy on a slant for 11 yards. Staring at short fourth down conversion, Wilson became a stranger to caution, and aired it out. He connected with Courtland Sutton, who made a smooth over-the-shoulder catch in coverage against Ronald Darby, down the left sideline. With the ball inside the 10, Denver scored moments later with a Wilson toss to Trey Quinn.
“Two minute is typically one of the hardest things to get going for a brand new offense, getting everybody on the same page because you are processing things so fast," coach Nathahiel Hackett explained. "To see that happen in only the second time we have done it was really great. It was great working with Russ on that one.”
Hackett and Wilson work in collaboration with the playbook. There is no hard script of plays to follow, rather a selection at Wilson's disposal. He reacted to what he saw and delivered the exclamation point.
"I give him (the plays after discussing goals they are trying to accomplish). We talk about it, and he runs with it. I am always in his ear," Hackett said. "But it's his choice. Whatever he's feeling."
Winning days is relative in August, but the defense had its way with the offense at times this week. The secondary has proven formidable, especially cornerback Pat Surtain and safety Justin Simmons. Simmons believes the sides are making each other better. The offensive counterpunch Thursday cemented this idea.
The momentum started in team drills with the fit in the run game. Melvin Gordon took first reps with the ones, and burst for a chunk gain on the first play. Javonte Williams followed with a nice cut back for healthy yardage.
"I am going to go out on a limb and say it was a really good day," left guard Dalton Risner said. "I love what the offensive line did. We are running off the ball. I think we are protecting, really, really well. I am working great with Garett. (Lloyd) Cushenberry is doing a hell of a job. (Quinn) Meinerz and Calvin Anderson over there doing well, I feel like we are meshing and starting to get rolling.”
New faces, new places
The Broncos added running back Max Borghi and receiver Darrius Shepherd, following the season-ending injuries to Tim Patrick and Damarea Crockett.
For Borghi, it was a pinch-me moment. He is a former prep star at Pomona High, and impressed the Broncos with a workout during OTAs.
"It was awesome. It was surreal to come out here. Obviously, I grew up in Denver and I have been watching the Broncos my whole life," Borghi said. "It's a blessing to say the least. Broncos Country, I can't beat it. "
Shepherd, who overlapped two years with Hackett with the Packers, made quite the impression. His first reception was a long touchdown from Josh Johnson, who is battling for the backup spot with Brett Rypien.
Nose tackle D.J. Jones (back) is expected back for Saturday's padded practice. ... Safety Caden Sterns received an injection in his hip, but Hackett is hopeful he will return Saturday. Receiver Tyrie Cleveland remains sidelined because of a throat injury. ... Rookie receiver Montrell Washington continues to make plays. He is viewed as the early frontrunner for the punt return job, but has opened eyes as a receiver. Washington told Denver7 that Tim Patrick helped smooth his transition to the NFL, reaching out and calling him to help with the playbook and calming his nerves over the summer. ... Rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis made a diving interception off Rypien. Mathis is someone to keep an eye on in games to see if he can move up the depth chart. ... Attendance at training camp remains steady. Thursday drew a crowd of 2.487.